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World champion Ragot signs with MS Mondraker Team

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World Champion, Emmeline Ragot (France)

World Champion, Emmeline Ragot (France) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Damien Spagnolo (France)

Damien Spagnolo (France) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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20-year-old Brook Macdonald is a promising downhill rider

20-year-old Brook Macdonald is a promising downhill rider (Image credit: 23 Degrees Sports)
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Markus Pekoll would ride fast enough to take the overall series

Markus Pekoll would ride fast enough to take the overall series (Image credit: Thomas Dietze)

Mondraker and the Austrian Race Team MS Racing owned by RedBull athlete Markus Stöckl have joined forces for 2012 to form the MS Mondraker Team, a UCI elite mountain bike team. The newly structured downhill team takes over from the previous Mondraker Factory Team after previous star and team leader Fabien Barel retired at the end of 2011.

The team signed downhill world champion Emmeline Ragot of France. She makes the move from Team GR and will race with teammates Brook MacDonald, who earned three podium spots at the UCI World Cup in 2011. Damien Spagnolo, who won silver at the downhill Worlds in 2011 and a former Mondraker Factory Team rider, will also be on the team along with European iXS Cup champion Markus Pekoll.

"We are very proud to represent the new Mondraker Factory Team. Already at my first visit at the Mondraker office we found a good base for our program," said Stöckl.

"The team is very sad that we had to let some of our riders go but also happy about the new riders Damien and Emmeline and about Brook and Markus to still be with us. Each of them is a great rider and has a cool personality, so we are looking forward to some successful and fun race weekends. It is quite a busy time for us because of the change of our main partner there will be some more changes down the road, but we are stoked about the new opportunities which are coming."

The team aims to be one of the best downhill squads in 2012 and to continue the legacy of the Mondraker Factory Team of previous seasons.

The riders will be on the Mondraker Summum Pro bike, which Spagnolo rode to his silver medal in Champery last September.

The team will begin international competition at the UCI Downhill World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on March 17-18