Swedish champion Dennis Dertell signs with 23 Degrees

20-year-old aims for top 20 in World Cups

Swedish champion downhiller Dennis Dertell will race under the Team 23 Degrees name in 2010, aboard a Trek Session 88, and kitted out by Alpinestars and adidas eyewear. Dertrell joined the list of athletes managed by the Spanish-based agency 23 Degrees Sports for 2010 including South African Greg Minnaar, Americans Kyle Strait and Neko Mulally, New Zealanders Sam Blenkinsop and Justin Leov and Great Britain's Bernard Kerr.

The Stockholm-based Dertell turns 20 years old today. Despite his youth, he has already amassed 15 gold medals at Swedish National Titles in various age categories and disciplines including road, four cross, cross country and downhill.

"I'm so excited for this, it's like a dream coming true for me," said Dertell. "I've been working hard for this, and I have a feeling that this year going to be a great year. To be racing on the full World Cup tour with support and the knowledge that 23 Degrees can bring will make a huge difference," said Dertell who got the perfect birthday present in the form of a new Trek. "I have just built it up. I'm about to hit the snow!"

In 2008 in Gesunda, he was crowned the junior downhill national champion of Sweden, in a time that was nearly a second faster than elite champion and World Cup perennial Robin Wallner. No Swedish Championship was held in 2009, but Dertell rode for a Swedish-based team and competed in a number of World Cups, qualifying at round one, but unfortunately crashing out in round two.

On his return to fitness and racing in Maribor, he was 23rd at the final split before crashing and breaking his foot in two places and ending the season, but not without catching the attention of 23 Degrees owner, Martin Whiteley.

"I'd heard about this kid from the iXS Cups in 2008. He had a lot of success winning junior races and finishing second overall, as well as getting a podium on scratch. Sweden has been a powerhouse nation in the past for downhill, and there is a fresh new generation coming up through the ranks.

"His riding in La Bresse and Maribor was impressive but immaturity and over-excitement robbed him of some solid placings. We are keen to give him a shot and help him achieve his first World Cup top 20".

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