2024 Team Changes: The Complete Guide


2024 Team Changes: The Complete Guide

3 months ago

The UCI Mountain Bike World Series can be a cyclical place when it comes to riders shifting race teams. Some off-seasons, there are very few big moves and in others it’s as though everyone has somehow decided to dawn new colours for the upcoming race season. This year, things have been busy already with plenty of new deals being penned up and down the pro pits.

We are going to update this story as and when new announcements are made so make sure to check back regularly as January heats up.  

JOE BREEDEN off Intense Factory Racing
The young Englishman had a frustrating 2023 where his abundance of speed never quite marrying up with good fortune. Breeden is a huge talent and wherever he lands will be getting a totally committed rider with big reserves of speed.  

VALENTINA HOLL off RockShox Trek Race Team
Valentina’s dramatic double title sweep of 2023 would be her last for the RockShox Trek Race Team. She announced as much minutes after stepping off of her race bike in Mont-Sainte-Anne finals where she claimed her second UCI World Cup overall title. Where she ends up will be one of the biggest stories in mountain bike racing in 2024. 

GREG MINNAAR off the Santa Cruz Syndicate
Few saw this one coming. After a colossal 16 years, the 42 year-old South African, Greg Minnaar, has departed the squad he has become so synonymous with. Minnaar is one of the biggest stars of the sport and all eyes are on where he ends up next.  

GUNNAR HOLMGREN joins KMC Ridley MTB Racing Team
Endurance legend Bart Brentjens has bolstered his roster for 2024 with the signing of emerging Canadian talent, Gunnar Holmgren. The second year elite level rider had some strong top 20 performances in 2023 and he will be looking to build on them into the new season.  

BROOK MACDONALD off MS Racing Mondraker
The toughest Kiwi in the game steps away from the team he has called ‘home’ since 2018. Macdonald is one of the most experienced professional DHI racers in the world having been crowned UCI Junior Downhill World Champion back in 2009. MS Racing’s own break with Mondraker was also announced in December so it’ll be interesting to see who Markus Stöckl’s extremely professional outfit partner up with for 2024. 

JACK MENZIES off Polygon Factory Racing
The hugely impressive Canadian once deemed ‘the prince of privateers’ for his swashbuckling assaults on EDR leader boards has parted ways with the sizable Indonesian brand. Whoever snaps him up may have one of the signings of the year on their hands. 

HUGO MARINI off Commencal MucOff by Riding Addiction
As a young French Gravity talent, there is no name you want emblazoned across your chest more than that of Commencal Bikes. Hugo Marini was often the loan Commencal MucOff by Riding Addiction pilot in an injury ravaged season for the Andorran firm’s top tier squad, but they’ve opted not to renew his deal despite his season high performance of a third in Junior Men’s at the opening round in Lenzerheide at the start of the year. 

One of the most likable and toughest competitors in EDR has parted ways with the squad he became synonymous with for six seasons. The Party Boy himself, Dimitri Tordo, has left Canyon CLLCTV and will be taking his stylish, all-action riding to a new squad for 2024.  

One of the biggest stars of Endurance, Germany’s Luca Schwarzbauer, has announced that he’s extending his contract with Canyon CLLCTV until 2026. The move makes sense for all parties and will hopefully provide the continuity Luca requires to continue to build.  

JESS BLEWITT joins Cube Factory Racing DH
Seen by many in the mountain bike media as quietly one of the moves of this off-season, Jess Blewitt has joined the Cube Factory Racing DH squad alongside the consistent Max Hartenstern and promising Simon Chapelet. An injury suffered at Red Bull Hardline blighted Blewitt’s 2023, will 2024 see the resumption of forward momentum? 

One of the standout moves of this off-season sees Thibault Daprela depart Commencal MucOff by Riding Addiction for Canyon CLLCTV. Race fans the world over were awaiting the return of Amaury Pierron to the team the two once shared but, after his win in Pal Arinsal Andorra, right in front of the factory, Daprela has decided to depart. He is widely regarded as having the rawest of raw pace and, under the tutelage of Fabian Barel, he will be hoping to finesse some added consistency to the overall package. It’s a huge moment in the Frenchman’s career.  

ETHAN CRAIK and Goncalo Bandeira join Scott DH Factory
A superb brace of signings see two of the most promising talents in elite men’s DHI join forces at Scott DH Factory. The squad of Marine Cabirou has parted ways with experienced campaigners Brendan Fairclough and Dean Lucas and in return has netted two superb talents. The Englishman’s podium ride in Mont-Sainte-Anne last season was one of the performances of the season.  

Mckay Vezina retires from racing EDR
On the face of it, sad news for race fans but it’s actually a positive in the sense that he will be taking up a new position as the Gravity side of Giant Factory Off-Road. The role was vacated by long time Giant employee Oscar Saiz earlier this off-season.  

Aaron Gwin leaves Intense Factory Racing
And now for a slightly strange one… Intense Factory Racing announced that the team was no more, star rider and former UCI World Cup overall title holder Aaron Gwin announced that his time as an Intense rider was over, only for the team to announce its phoenix-like return a day later. It has done so with four as-yet-to-be-announced racers silhouettes attached. Time will tell who will be taking to the helm of the big red bikes from California but for the meantime it’s just good to see such a pedigree marque commit to getting between the tapes once again.  

Zakarias Johansen and Frederik Matz join Cube Actionteam 
Multiple Swedish national champion, Zakarias Johansen, was one of the EDR riders left out in the cold when his team announced that they wouldn’t contest the 2024 season. Good news has landed though; he has re-signed with a team he has ridden for before, Cube Actionteam, alongside the 19 year-old German, Frederik Matz. Bizarrely, and arguably not that interestingly, it will mean that Johansen’s professional career will have gone from Ibis Cycles, to Cube, to Ibis Cycles, to Cube.   

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