By Steve Medcroft
Early this week, GT Bicycles announced the re-signings of U.S. Cyclo-cross National Champion Todd Wells and mountain-biking patriarch Hans Rey and the signing South African Burry Stander to their 2006 MTB roster.
Stander rides cross-country and short-track MTB and 2006 will be his first year as a pro. Career highlights include being the South African Junior XC champion in 2003, 2004 and in 2005. Also in 2005, Stander took first at the Sandpoint XC and STXC races as well as the Snowmass STXC competition.
"My highlights in 2005 were definitely the three NORBA Junior races that I won on my first trip to the states," Stander said. "In 2006 I hope to finish in a top 5 position in the NORBA STXC or XC Series." Stander announced that he will be racing "all the NORBA's, Sea Otter, Commonwealth Games, South African Championships and a few World Cups."
Wells returns to GT after a season capped by a win at Cyclo-cross Nationals and with an ambitious schedule for 2006. His 2005 highlights (as well as the 'cross championship) include first at the Park City NORA short track, third at the Brain head short track, second in both the U.S. cross-country and short track national championships, second overall at the Tour of Connecticut Stage Road Race, first in the Tour of the Gila criterium and first at the USGP 'cross race in San Francisco. Whew!
Hans Rey, the consummate performer and the Godfather of Freeride, returns to the GT squad in 2006 for his 20th year. Rey was also featured on 20 magazine covers in 2005 and launched his charity, 'Wheels 4 Life'. "My other 2005 highlights were my two main Adventure Team trips to Copper Canyon, Mexico and the Alta Rezia (in the Swiss/Italian Alps) Freeride," he said.
Rey's plans are to focus on Adventure Team trips in 2006. "I'm looking at several possible destinations, including the Philippines, Greenland, and Turkey," he said. "I will also continue working closely with my sponsors, doing trials shows, workshops, and other PR-related stuff."
For more information on GT's athletes and bikes, visit their website at www.GTBicycles.com