For next season.....
For next season.....
Last edited by Topperharley; 22-09-2015 at 07:18 AM.
Pretty heavy re the Athertons, got a source? Or just speculating?
Also, Loic and Blenki back on the same team. (According to an ambiguous post on Loic's IG)
Will YT really want to spend serious money on a DH team? I didn't think that would fit with their low cost business model.
That's the question indeed, & it'd be a long shot they'd pick up the Athertons. But I have been wondering how long it'd be before YT activated a big-hitting DH team that were genuine contenders on the WC- YT wouldn't aim for anything other than the cream if trends to date are to go by.
In the absence of having a model & subsequent range like conventional manufacturers or even Canyon or Polygon, what YT have done over the last few years is a heck of a lot of product refining & effective marketing as a polished lifestyle & big-hitting brand, which has then been supported by rave product reviews, accolades & seemingly translated sales. And to YT's credit, as much as it frustrates the shit out of long list of consumers falling over each other to get a bike, they seem to have done really well at shoring up & ironing out the respective geographic direct-sales markets they enter with their 'niche' mtbs- they're the Intense of the DMS model. YT Industries are one of the more product & brand focused companies out there & seem to really seek out riders from their respective geographic markets that are in line with the YT Industries brand identity (Zink, Lacondeguy, McGarry, Granieri & Regnier- all pretty darn cream riders at the pointy end of their games), yet they haven't ventured into the WC DH competition sphere with a factory team. I'd say it's only a matter of time before YT are bursting onto the circuit.
The Atherton's would be an almost ideal fit for the YT Industries brand, but as to whether YT could afford it? I'm sure the bean-counters at YT have been onto it to see if their sales projections over the next 3-5 years would accommodate the investment & expense. They'd sure love to get a World Champion DH rider on their roster, particularly now that their DMS competitor Canyon no longer have a former WC on their mtb roster. Then again, who knows, Canyon's also another DMS brand that'd be looking to increase their profile, but from a product stand-point alone it wouldn't make a great deal of sense (you only need to look at the Torque DHX to see Canyon aren't investing in development of their products in the gravity range of bikes).
Given they're clearly very astute & driven, none of the Athertons come across as the types who would rely on the industry to see them into life beyond their prime. Given Rach (27) & Gee (30) are at their peak & haven't anything left to really prove (nor have for a while), I wouldn't at all be surprised if they step back/pursue something other than rainbow stripes within the next 5-6yrs. Given their loyalty to brands I imagine whoever they're signing with will be another long-term deal that would go close to seeing them out, or at least with room left in their careers to see out their racing days genuinely on their own terms, on their own independent non-manufacturer team. Looking back across their careers the Athertons as a package have always secured quite unique brands & deals to go with their unique 3-pack "all of us or none of us" contracts. Either way I'll be looking forward to hearing where they go & whether it'll be back to a strictly Atherton Racing scenario i.e. just Rach & Gee racing DH & Dan continuing with the EWS, without the Maes/Vernon-esque tag-alongs filling the ranks. Dan's genuinely competitive days are well & truly numbered & with blood being thicker than water I wouldn't be surprised if whatever deal comes about does so with the Athertons closing ranks & reducing their team structure to give Dan some degree of extra longevity in what has been an otherwise cut-short career for him. Based on Dan's history then if it is a trio deal, there'll also probably be a 4th satellite rider from the enduro side of the field to balance out Dan's DNFs, injuries & building/event commitments.
Naturally it's nothing more than speculation & armchair theories from this end though. Gotta love the silly season.
Last edited by shake_rattle_and_ roll; 18-09-2015 at 01:41 PM.
Rumor is Gwin wants off specialized factory racing, but still wants to ride their frame.
Word is he was asking 500k just to ride their frame and then persure other sponsors... maybe like a TLD / spec team or something
I like bikes
Bruni seems very chummy with the Santa Cruz guys in videos, speculate away