Evil Bikes and MS-Racing joined forces behind a new UCI mountain bike trade team, for Evil Bikes/MS-Racing, for 2009. Its roster includes a mix of young talent and experienced podium riders who have been selected to represent Evil in the company's launch onto the World Cup scene.
"MS-Racing has been working on building of our vision of a mountain bike team for almost five years, and we have worked with a couple of partners in the past. After we won the 4X team overall and women's 4X overall title in 2008, we felt stagnant somehow and knew it was time for a change; new partners, new visions and new input," said Team Director Markus Stöckl.
"Evil Bikes is a new company but with experts behind the scenes who have been influencing mountain biking for a while now. From our first meeting I knew they shared the same passion and vision for the sport that is needed to build a successful team."
19-year old Canadian Stevie Smith joined Evil at the New Year and since then has been putting in runs on the new Revolt downhill frame. The Vancouver Island pinner is looking to follow-up on his breakout 2008 year in the elite field and hopes to step onto a World Cup podium this season.
Another new addition to MS-Racing's roster is Filip Polc. The 26-year-old Slovakian rider has been turning in solid results for many seasons on the World Cup circuit. The Polcster is a rarity these days in that he competes in World Cup downhill and 4X events as well as the occasional Mega Avalanche event. Piloting the new Evil Faction frames in 4X events, Polc is looking to jump back into the podium mix in 2009.
24-year-old downhill ace Matti Lehikoinen returns to the MS-Racing Team for a second season. The Fin brings a strong resume to the program with two World Cup wins under his belt and a 2007 World Cup second place overall ranking. Coming off a bit of a tough 2008 season that began with broken vertebrae and ended with both wrists broken, Lehikoinen has been rehabilitating and preparing for the 2009 campaign in Austria.
The team will kick the season off in South Africa for round one of the UCI World Cup Series and it will also contest the World Championships, US Open and other select international events.
Evil Bikes/MS-Racing will compete on Revolt frames for downhill and Faction hardtail frames for 4X.