Rocky Mountain Bicycles has announced its new Factory XC-Epic Racing Team, creating a team dedicated to non-World Cup events. The new squad will be attending epic stage races, all-mountain events, enduros and festivals.
Alison Sydor, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member, three-time World Champion, and Olympic silver medalist is returning to the Rocky Mountain team in 2009. She had an extremely successful season in 2008, winning both the Cape Epic Challenge and the Trans Alp Challenge. In 2009, she will be looking for more stage racing domination with confirmed starts at Cape Epic, TransGermany and TransAlp.
Sydor is joined by Andreas Hestler, a Canadian Olympian and three-time winner of the Trans Rockies. Hestler had a successful 2008 season, winning a stage at both the BC Bike Race and the Trans Rockies. For 2009, he will be targeting various other races and epic single day events, such as the Downieville Classic and the Fruita Fat Tire Festival.
New to the factory team are Stefan Widmer and Marty Lazarski, formerly of the Rocky Mountain-Different Bikes squad. Both have several Canada Cup podium finishes to their credit and together finished third overall in the 2008 TransRockies stage race.
Rounding out the team is Evan Guthrie, the 2008 Canadian Junior cross country and cyclo-cross Champion. Still with a year left in the junior category, Evan is poised for another stellar season.
Cross-country star Marie-Hélène Prémont, a member of the team since 2004, took two gold medals at Fort William and Mont-Sainte-Anne, three silver and three bronze medals and claimed first place overall after eight of the nine races of the 2008 World Cup season. At the 2008 Beijing Games, she was forced to retire from the race due to hyperventilation, but she will continue racing the World Cup circuit in 2009.
Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory XC-Epic Racing Team: Alison Sydor, Andreas Hestler, Stefan Widmer, Marty Lazarski, Evan Guthrie.