by Ben Haworth
March 18, 2011
The Madison Saracen Downhill Team will be making their first team appearance this weekend as they compete in the first of the British Downhill Series races at Nant Gwrtheyrn.
The team was unveiled last month and there is much anticipation around the team’s first race, particularly as Jack Geoghegan is last year’s reining expert champion.
Madison CEO Dominic Langan said: “Having a DH team was part of the Saracen brand acquisition plan but we didn’t know how long it would take us to get there. We had to be confident of having a bike fit for purpose. Saracen has a race history but we know we need to cut it in a race environment at the highest level in order for people to recognise that Saracen has moved on under Madison ownership and is a credible brand with a credible range of bikes that can win races. Now that we are there we are really excited and can’t wait. It is a long old drive to Nant Gwrtheyrn but I really want to be there for the first real team race and I am very optimistic and proud of them all.”
The red team-issue Saracen Myst may have the same frame as the £2,300 production bike, but it’s decked out with some much higher-spec gear, including a Fox 40 RC2 fork and DHX RC4 shock, Shimano Saint groupset and Funn finishing kit.
Manon Carpenter: “Nant Gwrtheryn, along with Llangollen, will be the most technical tracks on the line-up and I love them both,” she said. “Nant Gwrtheryn has lots of slippery rocks and roots to look out for so should be a good track for me. It should be a good race.”
Josh Lowe: “I am definitely very excited and very enthusiastic about this season! I have seen the tracks and am very confident about how well i can perform. I feel that I will be able to do very well at the more technical tracks specifically Nant because it is steep and looks like a lot of fun!”
Team’s manager Andy Ayers: “We expect that the riders do try the best they can. The first race as part of such a big team can be quite a daunting prospect for some people, but as long as they are enjoying the race and being professional, I am happy. Jack has moved up to Elite this year so it will be a lot harder for him to achieve this. Fingers crossed through!”
Madison Saracen Downhill Team features: Manon Carpenter, Harry Molloy, Jack Geoghegan, Philip Atwill, Josh Lowe, and Will Weston.