In just a few days we’re going to be saying goodbye to 2018 and some World Cup riders will officially be saying goodbye to their old teams and hello to their new ones. In fact, we’ve already seen a few riders confirm that they’ll be moving away from their current home, but where will they end up?
Below we discuss a few of the major 2019 team rumours, some of which are all but confirmed and others that we’re still scratching our heads about.
Aaron Gwin And Neko Mulally To Intense?
What’s known, 100% for certain, is that YT has parted ways with Aaron Gwin and Neko Mulally. Word on the grapevine is that Gwin was either asking for too much money or wasn’t very happy with YT’s development time. The split was confirmed last week, but so far there is no confirmation where the duo will end up for 2019, but that hasn’t stopped speculation.
Obviously, Aaron Gwin is pretty hot property and there could be any number of brands after the American, but one company that keeps cropping up in rumours is Intense. Intense is based close to Gwin’s home, the company has a proven record of getting prototypes built and tested in record time, and many would love to see Gwin on a U.S brand.
Speaking with our contacts, we know for sure the Intense is interested in getting the Gwin and Mulally show on their bikes, but the last we heard a contract hadn’t been signed, but that was a few months ago and plenty could have changed.
- Aaron Gwin and Neko Mulally to Intense? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Matt Walker Off Cube heading to?
Using his personal Instagram account, Matt Walker has confirmed that he won’t be riding for the Cube Global Squad for 2019. His post also confirms he is parting ways with the Cube brand, and he’s also saying goodbye to Bliss protection too.
We currently don’t have any clues to where the Kiwi is headed to in 2019, but we do know that he will continue to race in the UCI DH World Cup, but who with?
- Do you guys have any ideas where Matt Walker will end up?
Athertons off Trek and heading to Cube, Marin, Merida or YT?
Atherton Racing has been around for years and the trio, made up of Rachel, Gee and Dan, have raced aboard Commencal and GT bikes in the past and are currently on Trek, but not for much longer, at least that’s what the rumours are saying.
Atherton 2019 Team Rumours
Keeping an eye on Rachel and Gee’s social media accounts certainly suggests that the Atherton team has some big news to reveal to fans, but at this point, nothing has been confirmed.
Brands that could be after the triple threat include German brand Cube, U.S based Marin or the Taiwanese giant Merida. Of those 3 companies though, only Cube have a downhill bike available for the Athertons to race on, but that doesn’t count the other two out. Marin is owned by Polygon, and Polygon has a proven DH bike which Marin could easily brand up as their own. Similarly, Merida owns almost half of Specialized and we suppose that they have the assets to build a DH bike if they wanted.
Another option could be YT, who we know have spaces opening up for 2019, in fact, Rachel could make the perfect mentor for Vali Höll. What do you think?
Discuss the Atherton rumours below.
2019 Team Rumours: Josh Bryceland To Join Cannondale And Race World Cup Again?
The Ratboy/Santa Cruz split is old news, as is the fact wherever the Rat ends up in 2019 he’ll still be running Santa Cruz’s carbon wheelsets. What’s not confirmed is where he will ride for in 2019 nor what his plans are.
Although Josh confirmed he would stop riding Santa Cruz bikes a few months back, his contract doesn’t end until 2019 so he has remained on his trusty 5010 for the winter. We have a feeling that this will change very soon as a recent social media post again says goodbye and thanks to Santa Cruz hinting that a final confirmation will be revealed soon.
The same post received a comment from Brendan Fairclough, either letting slip that Ratboy will be racing in the WC for 2019 or trolling us too.
The general consensus is that Cannondale is the team who have snapped up the Rat, but they don’t have a downhill bike which dampens those WC racing comments. To further fan the rumour flames, Marco Osborne has announced he will leave Cannondale after 5 years racing for the team, creating the perfect place for Bryceland to fill. The plot thickens.
- Discuss the Ratboy rumours in the comments below
Jackson Frew To Kona in 2019?
Jackson Frew is a young gun from Australia who has been piloting Commencal’s for the past year, but 2019 could see this part-time racer go full time with a factory ride from Kona.
Need some proof? Well if you check out Jackson Frew’s latest Instagram post you can just make out the downtube of his new bike, one that looks suspiciously like the 2019 Kona Carbon Operator, not a Commencal Supreme. Judging by his camo helmet, we can expect a new protection or clothing sponsor for the 20-year-old too.
If this turns out to be accurate then Jackson Frew will race alongside Connor Fearon who has resigned for Kona for 2019.
Did we imagine it or is that n Operator? Discuss below.
Reece Wilson Moving From Commencal To Trek?
Speaking of Commencal, what’s happening to the plucky Scot Reece Wilson for 2019? Anyone following Reece on social media will know that he’s up to something. He’s riding a bike that he cannot show us and he’s not out training with the rest of the Commencal team so where will he be racing in 2019?
Apparently, Wilson will be taking Gee’s spot at Trek and will race alongside Charlie Hatton and Kade Edwards in 2019. We’re fairly certain about this one and expect confirmation pretty soon, after all, he does ride a Trek dirt jump bike already.
Discuss Trek Factory Racing 2019 team rumours below.
2019 team rumours: Amaury Pierron Off Commencal?
Nope, we don’t actually think this is going to happen. Despite Amaury stoking the rumour fire with #teamrumour posts on social media, we believe the fast Frenchman is just playing games and will remain with Commencal for 2019.
In fact, except for the departure of Reece Wilson, we don’t expect much of a change for the Commencal lineup for 2019 and believe the Amaury Pierron, Myriam Nicole and Remi Thirion will continue to upset the world rankings for at least the coming year.
- Are we wrong about the 2019 Commencal teams for 2019? Discuss in the comments below.
Sam Hill To Race World Cup DH Again?
Nukeproof have returned to the WC in 2019 with Hope sponsored rider Adam Brayton, but what about a 2nd top class rider to really shake things up? Sam Hill has been concentrating on the EWS for the past few years, and basically dominating the series, but he has never ruled out racing downhill again.
In fact a recent Instagram story on posted by Sam Hill even polled fans asking if they think the mountain bike legend should jump back on a downhill bike for 2019.
- Do you think Sam Hill could return to WC DH racing?
Well, those are all the rumours we have for now, how do you think we’ve done? Did we get them completely wrong? Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments below.
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You missed Top Chief leaving Canyon too…
Josh Bryceland said in his Instagram post that he’s not racing again. Sadly. For us, not him.