Junior downhill sensation Mulally signs with 23 Degrees

American star looks forward to first World Cup season

Rising American downhill star Neko Mulally signed an agreement to be represented by 23 Degrees Sport Management this week. The 16-year-old Mulally from Reading, Pennsylvania, had an impressive 2009 season despite not being old enough to race the World Cups.

Mulally was a dominant figure at the American Gravity East Series, in which he took victories and the overall win among the elite men. He turned heads at the Crankworx in Whistler when he finished fourth in the elite men's dual slalom - behind Kyle Strait, Brian Lopes and Johannes Fischbach. Then, in the Canadian Open Downhill, he was fifth, just seconds behind World Cup stars Brendan Fairclough and Steve Smith. Finally, he won the finals at the US ProGravity Tour.

Mulally is keen to hit the World Cup circuit for the first time in 2010. The young rider is currently a member of Team Specialized America, but is open to racing a new program for 2010. He raced BMX since 1999 and began mountain bike racing in 2006. He excels at long, muddy wet tracks that require pedalling.

"Next year is a really important year for me. I want to build on the experience I gained this year with my current team, and chase down my goals of being one of the top juniors on the downhill circuit next year and hopefully gain a medal at my first World Championships," said Mulally. "It was really cool to see the Mont-Sainte-Anne course this year, and it's one I'm really looking forward to racing in 2010." Mont-Sainte-Anne will host the World Championships in 2010.

"Neko's been well known in the US for a little while now and he's been getting some pretty impressive results for his age," said Martin Whiteley of 23 Degrees Sports Management. " His skill level is right up there and since one of our other clients, Kyle Strait, is on the same team, we got to spend some time with Neko in Whistler. He impresses me greatly. He is a grounded young man who clearly comes from a very supportive family."

"We haven't signed any new athletes to our management program for more than two years as we've been waiting for just the right rider to come along and Neko fits that bill. I'm very excited by what the future holds for this young talent".

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