Reigning junior mountain bike downhill world champion, Scarlett Hagen of New Zealand, has announced that she will ride this year for the US-based Iron Horse/Mad Catz team.
"It's totally awesome to have the backing of an international team, especially Team Iron Horse/ Mad Catz." Hagen said "They're a smart but funky team with innovative bike technology and a top notch racing programme. A dream come true for me."
The team includes other talented young riders including Australian downhill champion Sam Hill, twice junior world champion and bronze medalist at the senior level in 2004. "I know riding with Sam will elevate my level of skill," said Hagen. "He's a very cool guy and a hugely talented rider."
Hagen acknowledged that it was unusual for a major mountain bike team to sign such a junior female rider. "I feel very privileged to have had a choice," she said.
Hagen will leave New Zealand in April to spend five months with the team racing in Europe, Canada, South America and the US. She will compete in US open and NORBA races, the World Cup and the world championships in Italy.