Team Sho-Air/Specialized signed current African continental cross country junior champion Brendon Davids for the 2012 season. Davids is currently ranked as the number six junior in the UCI World Rankings and will start racing for his new team in September of this year.
The South African will come to the United States to focus on the under 23 division in 2012 US Pro XCT and US Cup mountain bike races. He will join current endurance pro riders Manuel Prado of Costa Rica and Monique Pua Mata of Hawaii as part of a three-pronged line of attack for the pro mountain bike squad.
Davids' current sponsors Team Jeep and Ellsworth bicycles have released him from current contractual obligations for the rest of 2011.
"We at Team Jeep are very proud of Brendon and all he has achieved, he has been in the Team Jeep South Africa program for four years now and we are delighted that we have managed to secure this opportunity for him," said his current sponsor.
"It proves that our system is working and that we are able to give our athletes the skills and tools that they need to promote themselves on an international platform. Brendon is the fourth athlete that we have been able to provide this opportunity for through the team, we couldn't be happier and wish him the very best of luck."
"We are very grateful that key partners ... saw the value in Team Sho-Air/Specialized enough to release him early from his contract so he can begin working with the team after Worlds in September," said Sho-Air/Specialized's team director Ty Kady. "We hope this move is another step forward for Brendon as he chases his dream of becoming a top professional cyclist in the years to come."
"We love working with and developing up and coming talent," said Sho-Air/Specialized Team Owner R. Scott Tedro. "I feel our success with riders like Max Plaxton, Sid Taberlay and Tad Elliot will provide Brendon with that same winning environment for his racing career. Brendon comes to us with a great resume and it doesn't hurt that he is being mentored by one of the best cross country riders in the world, South African Burry Stander!"
Davids will debut with the team at mountain bike world championships in Champéry, Switzerland aboard the S-Works Epic 29.