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The Subaru-Gary Fisher MTB team for 2006

By:
James Huang
Published:
April 04, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:29 BST
Edition:
MTB News & racing round-up for April 4, 2006
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski

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The 2005 season was a big success for Subaru-Gary Fisher. Team members won national championship...

The 2005 season was a big success for Subaru-Gary Fisher. Team members won national championship titles in the USA for men's cross country and men's 24 hour solo categories, and in the UK for women's cross country. 48 podium finishes in 2005 helped Subaru-Gary Fisher end the season as the top ranked team in the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series.

Several core team members return from last season, including Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Willow Koerber, Cameron Chambers, Nat Ross, Jenny Copnall and Simon Richardson. There are key additions in Matt Kelly, Heather Irmiger, Ken Onodera, Asa Erlandsson and Dror Pekatch.

Subaru of America returns for their fifth year as title sponsor. SRAM, RockShox, Avid, Bontrager, Crank Brothers, Cane Creek, IRC and Genuine Innovations equip the team. Peak Bar, Endurox and Accelerade fuel the team. Nike Cycling provides all of the team clothing and shoes, 661 provides protective gear. Yakima equips all of the team Subaru's with racks.

The team welcomes several new sponsors for 2006. Tokyo Joe's, a Colorado based restaurant, increases their already strong cycling sponsorship program by joining Subaru-Gary Fisher. Mountain Smith, Stronglight, Light & Motion, Pedros and Brave Soldier also join the team.

The 2006 Subaru-Gary Fisher team has two categories: National Team and Global Team.

The National Team will race largely in North America with a focus on the NORBA NMBS, domestic World Cups, premium domestic events, and select international races.

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski - JHK is the most prolific American mountain bike racer of the last decade. His 2005 cross country National Championship victory was his forth in a row. His resume also includes three short track National Championships. Before turning pro in 2000 he was 4-time Collegiate National Champion and 2-time Collegiate Cyclist of the Year.

Matt Kelly - Matt Kelly garnered international attention in 1999 when he won the Junior Cyclo-cross World Championship. Matt quickly became one of cycling's brightest stars, earning a factory mountain bike contract when he was eighteen. After his early success Matt opted to take a break from the sport and set off to explore interests as diverse as surfing and organic farming. Now Matt is back, and ready to return to the top of the sport.

Willow Koerber - Willow is one of the most recognizable professionals on the NORBA circuit. Over her years as a professional she has built a solid fan base because of her refined style, approachability and winning ways. Willow first appeared on the national scene when she won three Collegiate National Championships. As a professional she has won multiple NORBA NMBS races and finished on the podium at the World Cup level.

Heather Irmiger - As winner of the 2005 NORBA NMBS cross country at Brian Head and sixth-place overall finisher in the Series, Heather Irmiger has proven herself as a capable competitor at the top of the sport. The former Collegiate National Champion spent the last two seasons racing for the Gary Fisher sponsored Tokyo Joes Team. She consistently finished on the podium throughout the season despite the fact that she was working a full time job. Now she has a full factory sponsorship and can focus completely on racing.

Cameron Chambers - Cameron surprised the endurance world in 2003 by nearly winning the gruelling 24 Hours of Moab. This breakout performance earned the young Kansas native a grassroots sponsorship with Subaru-Gary Fisher in 2004. Cameron had an ambitious first professional season, competing in a total of eight 24 hour events, winning three, scoring forth at the World Championships and second at Snowshoe. In 2005 he defeated the best riders in the sport to win the U.S. Solo 24-Hour National Championship. For 2006 Cameron has moved to Moab to train consistently on the terrain of his favourite course, the 24 Hours of Moab, which he aims to win this season.

Nat Ross - The longest standing member of the Subaru-Gary Fisher team, Nat Ross has built up one of the most impressive endurance racing resumes in the sport. The 2004 24 Hours of Moab champion and former US National Champion is one of the most consistent podium finishers in the history of 24 hour racing. His outstanding results along with his affable personality have made Nat a crowd favourite wherever he travels. For 2006 the Colorado native focuses on 24 Hour races with his primary goal is to become the 24 Hour Solo World Champion.

Athletes on the Global Team will join the team at select events. Subaru-Gary Fisher strives to work with athletes from around the world as they make their way to the top of the sport.

Jenny Copnall - Jenny returns to Subaru-Gary Fisher for her third season. She is the UK National Champion and is one of Britain 's top female athletes. She has raced bikes since 1996 and has steadily progressed. Jenny will continue to race an aggressive schedule in her native UK and compete in select World Cup events.

Simon Richardson - The 22 year old British native joins Subaru-Gary Fisher for his second season. The 2005 British Espoir National Champion is a fixture at the top of the UK mountain bike scene. He is competing as much internationally as possible in 2006.

Ken Onodera - The 20 year old professional from Japan is two time All Japan National Champion and winner of the All Asia Championship in 2004. Ken has a very easy going attitude which belies his speed and aggression when racing his bike.

Asa Erlandsson - Asa has ridden for Gary Fisher Bicycles for the last three years, competing in cross country and marathon events. The Swedish native joins Subaru-Gary Fisher this season, competing regionally with select international travel.

Dror Pekatch - Dror is one of Israel 's most successful international mountain bike professionals. He has consistently represented Gary Fisher well on the race course, and earned his spot on the Global Team for 2006.

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