Giant Factory Off-Road Team has added new World Cup riders in downhill and cross-country racing for 2011.
South African downhiller Andrew Neethling and five-time British cross-country champion Liam Killeen join a squad that includes 19-year-old World Cup downhiller Danny Hart of Great Britain.
The downhill team will be led by Hart, who last year emerged as the world’s top young DH racer. After winning the 2009 Junior World Cup title, Hart made a successful transition to the elites in 2010, finishing eighth overall in the World Cup series and eighth at the World Championships. Hart was the only top-10 rider under age 20.
Neethling, a consistent top-10 World Cup finisher and winner of the 2010 U.S. Open, joins Hart and two-time U.S. downhill champion Duncan Riffle.
The XC division has a new addition in British national champion Killeen, a two-time Olympian who is aiming for his third Summer Games at London 2012.
Returning to the team is American veteran Carl Decker, whose successful 2010 season on Giant’s new Anthem X 29er included wins at several major U.S. events including the All-Mountain World Championships in Downieville, California, and the Super D at the Sea Otter Classic.
Also returning this year is all-around talent Kelli Emmett, defending champion of the Downieville All-Mountain Worlds. Emmett has won races ranging from short-track and Super D national titles to Single-Speed World Championships and will continue to focus on a wide range of endurance events.
Also new this year is a team partnership with SRAM. All Factory Team bikes will run SRAM drivetrains, Truvativ componentry, Avid brakes and RockShox suspension. Other new sponsors include DT Swiss wheelsets, Schwalbe tires, and Fox Head kits and apparel.
The team has a quiver of Giant bikes for every type of terrain—from lightweight composite hardtails to full-suspension bikes. Cross-country riders will race on Giant Anthem X Advanced SL and Anthem X 29er framesets with Maestro Suspension, as well as XtC Advanced SL hardtails. For downhill, the team will rely on the Maestro-equipped Giant Glory frameset.
2011 Giant Factory Off-Road Team
Carl Decker (USA), XC, ST, Super D
Kelli Emmett (USA), XC, ST, Super D
Danny Hart (Great Britain), 4X, DH, DS
Liam Killeen (Great Britain), XC, ST, Marathon
Andrew Neethling (South Africa), 4X, DH, DS
Duncan Riffle (USA), 4X, DH, DS