Junior cross country world champion Anton Cooper has signed with the Cannondale Factory Racing team for 2013. He joins the team's current riders Marco Aurelio Fontana, Manuel Fumic and Keegan Swenson. The team will focus on the cross country World Cup circuit.
"Over the past four years, Cannondale Factory Racing riders have seen great success, including Marco Aurelio Fontana's Olympic bronze medal, world championship titles, and numerous World Cup podiums," said Bob Burbank, Global General Manager, Cannondale.
"With the signing of Anton, and Keegan's increased focus on the cross country World Cup circuit, we are setting the direction for the future of the team while maintaining the approachable personalities and inspiring passion for cross country that the team has been know for."
Cooper is the sole addition to the Cannondale Factory Racing team. As the 2012 junior world champion, 2012 junior World Cup overall winner, and New Zealand junior national champion, Cooper is one of the biggest up-and-coming talents on a mountain bike. The New Zealander used to ride for Trek World Racing, but it discontinued the cross country portion of its team for 2013.
Veteran pro Fontana is the Italian Champion in both cyclo-cross and cross country and earned a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics after a heated battle with Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter.
With this fleet of riders, the team will take on a new dynamic: two elite riders and two U23 riders. The 2013 program will capitalize on the unique vibe of the team, a combination of experienced riders with new up-and-comers.
Racers will compete on the Cannondale Scalpel 29'er and the F29 bikes.
The Cannondale Factory Racing team previously included a North American contingent, but those riders have made the move to the Sho-Air/Cannondale team for 2013.