Trek World Racing announced its line-up for this 2013 season including World Cup podium riders and up-and-coming talent. The Kiwi duo of Brook MacDonald and George Brannigan headline the team.
MacDonald is the 2009 junior world champion and has scored his first World Cup win in 2012 at round 6 in Val d'Isere, France, bringing his World Cup podium tally to four so far.
"Being on Trek World Racing represents a fresh start for me, and I'm looking forward to all the new things I'll experience," said MacDonald. "I'm really excited to be joining this team for the next three seasons and working with my new teammates and new bikes."
Brannigan had his first taste of the World Cup podium when he finished second at round 7 last year in Hafjell, Norway, just missing the win by 0.4 seconds. His current UCI world ranking of number 9 is a testament to his 2012 season of consistent results.
"I'm so excited to be a part of Trek World Racing," said Brannigan. "This feels like the opportunity I need to improve my results and still be consistent. I know any team run by 23 Degrees has produced real talent, and I want to make the most of this opportunity to get where I want to be. The group of teammates will be great and Im sure the support will be top notch. I cant wait for this season!"
MacDonald and Brannigan join American Neko Mulally, who is entering his fourth year with the program, and his second as an elite rider. Last year was Mulally's most successful year to date. He broke into the World Cup top 15 and is knocking on the door of the top 10. Even though he is still the youngest rider on the program, turning 20 next month, he carries a wealth of experience for his age as he enters the new season.
Scottish talent Greg Williamson is making his debut on the pro team. He impressed a number people with his recent results, most notably a number of top 20 World Cup placings despite very little support. His 15th in Hafjell after qualifying 19th, and a 17th in Fort William, shows he has strength on different styles of tracks and can earn points for his team.
"For me, joining Trek World Racing is a dream come true," said Williamson. "I've been working hard for a long time to get onto a professional team like this. The roster this year is awesome, theyre all hard workers and dont do anything half-heartedly, so I'm really looking forward to learning a few things and stoked to get back racing."
The four full time downhill riders will be joining Justin Leov of New Zealand, who will be racing enduros. Leov will do selected downhill events as well, as acting as a mentor to the team. At 28 years of age, 10 years on the World Cup circuit and entering his fifth year with Trek World Racing, Leov will be a role model for the other four riders.
The team was recently informed by the UCI that it had successfully completed the registration process for 2013, and will be informed on February 7 whether it has been awarded one of the 15 elite team spots.
In recent weeks, the team lost its star rider Aaron Gwin, who moved over to Specialized Racing's downhill program for 2013. Trek World Racing had expected Gwin to extend his contract with them after signing a letter of intent in August, but contract details were never finalized between Gwin and his old team.