We’re in the thick of 2019 Team Rumours, with riders finally announcing that they’ll be leaving current contracts and are heading to pastures new.
In this post before the New Year, we talked about some of the possible 2019 Team Rumours and changes for the coming season, but since then more rumours and speculation has bubbled to the surface, and more importantly, there have been some confirmations.
Below we’ve listed 8 riders that have confirmed they will be moving to new teams in 2019, followed by a handful of top riders we expect to make big announcements in the days/weeks to come.
Miranda Miller Leaves Specialized – Confirmed
Miranda Miller announced yesterday that she is parting ways with the Specialized Gravity Team for 2019. Miller joined Specialized back in 2017 and has played an integral part in the development of Specialized’s 29er DH bike.
“There’s a time and a place for everything. For me to have not only time, but a place with the @specializedgravity and the Specialized Enduro Team has been an honour & a privilege.
I found companionship in @finniles that created some of my fondest memories to date and an irreplaceable friendship. @loicbruni29 remained a hero but became a brother who I love dearly. @lacrete5, Laurent and especially @kevjoly gave themselves entirely to me before they even got to know me. That is something I will always remember and try to pay forward.
My story has often been one told around broken bones, surgeries, crashing and burning and comebacks. But it’s time for a new story, a new time and a new place. Thank-you for having me along! “
We expect to hear where Miranda Miller will be headed to shortly, but rumour has it that she’ll be riding and racing for a Canadian brand in 2019, possibly either Devinci or Kona.
Reece Wilson Off Commencal – Confirmed
We mentioned the possibility of Reece Wilson leaving Commencal in our original team rumours article, and we were correct. The young Scot has announced that he won’t be riding for the Andorran brand in 2019. On top of leaving TEAM Commencal 100% it also appears that Reece won’t be sponsored by Afton Shoes for the coming season either.
“The team would like to thank @reecowilson for this amazing season and his incredible style! Good luck for the future mamene!”
We expect Reece Wilson to announce his new home soon and believe he’ll enjoy the “trek” into 2019 with them.
Kate Courtney Off Specialized After 5 Years – Confirmed
Another top female rider leaving Specialized for 2019 this time from the XC squad. Kate Courtney has been racing Specialized bikes for the past 5 years, but that half a decade partnership comes to an end in 2019. Specialized put together the following “farewell” video for Kate which has already raked in more than 40,000 views!
We’re unsure where Kate will end up in 2019 but the rumour mill is suggesting another big bike brand which also starts with an ‘S’ has signed her (it’s Scott, shhhhh).
Graham Agassiz Leaves Kona After 12 Years – Confirmed
After 12 years of hucking to flat on all shapes and sizes of Kona bikes, freeride legend Graham Agassiz has announced he is parting ways with the brand.
In a few hours that chapter will be over, but I’m so excited to soon reveal what’s next!
Aggy’s Instagram account is where the news broke and contained a very long post describing his history with Kona and how he joined the original Clump team back in the day. While some commenters have suggested that Aggy will announce his retirement we expect him to keep shredding but for who? YT, would be a great fit for him, but they already have a good sized freeride team, perhaps another direct to consumer brand like Canyon might snatch him up?
Dean Lucas Off Intense – Confirmed
Dean Lucas will be leaving Intense for the 2019 season. Dean had a pretty good season last year despite being plagued with injuries, despite this he has confirmed he will be leaving the Steber family.
“All good things must come to an end at some point and god this was a good thing! From being on a team with a close mate I grew up racing with since we 14 to being surrounded by young positive America teammates, we had a lot of good things going.
It definitely became more of a family than a team and that’s why it saddens me to say that 2018 will be my last year with @intensecycles “
Could Intense be making way for Aaron Gwin?
Charlie Harrison Off Intense – Confirmed
Ok, things are really being shaken up at Intense. First Dean Lucas and now Charlie Harrison! With two big holes now in the Intense roster, it’s looking more and more likely that Gwin could be onboard a Steber Special for 2019.
“Thanks to Intense, I was able to reach the next level in my racing and progress as an athlete. My gratitude goes beyond words. With that being said, I have decided to move on for 2019 and beyond.”
It’s believed that Charlie Harrison could be joining Reece Wilson over at the Trek camp, but only time will tell.
Phil Atwill Off Propain – Confirmed
Phil Atwill is easily one of the most entertaining riders on the World Cup circuit today. Not only is he an amazing racer, and skilled jibber he likes to cause a bit of a stir too, remember when he rode his hardtail at Leogang in 2017?
“New, but not my last @propain_bicycles Tyee edit just dropped! Link in bio @grshindig Been a crazy 3 years with Propain and 5 years with the Dirt team! Been through everything with these guys from my first podium to wrecked knees you name it. Memories have been made that will never be forgotten not to mention some of the footage @tommyc_insta must have on his hard drive that will probably never see the light of day. But all good things have to come to an end! “
With his relaxed attitude and serious skills, we would love to see Atwill and Bryceland on the same team, both riding Cannondale’s latest Habit, but it seems much more likely that Atwill is heading to Cube for 2019.
Other movers and shakers in 2019 Team Rumours land include:
Aaron Gwin Off YT – Headed to Intense, Specialized or KHS?
Yes, everyone is talking about Gwin and his split from YT is no longer headline news, but there is still a lot of speculation where he might end up.
Intense is the brand that keeps cropping up in rumours, but the U.S brand isn’t the only possible suitor for the American. KHS has been mentioned more than a few times as have Specialized. In fact, Gwin’s latest Instagram post is a look back at him racing onboard a Specialized. Is Gwin giving us a nod and a wink or is he just trolling us?
Joe Barnes Off Canyon?
We had spotted Joe Barnes’s post on Instagram back when it was posted on Christmas Eve, but we weren’t convinced that it was a “good-bye” message from the Dude, but upon rereading the post it does give the impressing that Joe won’t be riding in Canyon colours for 2019.
“Merry Christmas and a huge thank you to @canyon for the past 6 years. It has been a thrill to ride for such a passionate company and travel the world with friends. So many good memories and opportunities from the beginning of the EWS until now!
. Next year, next dream come true.”
Top Chief is another ride we would love to see alongside Ratboy in 2019. Fingers crossed.
Athertons Off Trek?
We’re still waiting to hear Rachel and Gee’s big news that they keep hinting at, but we and many of you are pretty sure they will announce their split with Trek. It looks really likely especially with rumours that Reece Wilson and Charlie Harrison have already signed to Trek for the coming season, there just won’t be room for them all.
There are wild rumours floating about that Gee and Rachel could be racing on Merida branded Specialized Demo’s in 2019, or even Marin branded Polygons. Whoever they end up riding for, they’re still likely to be a force to be reckoned with for the 2019 season.
Ratboy To Cannondale? Yes, but still not official
Ah, and finally! Can we finally put these Ratboy to Cannondale rumours to rest? It appears so judging by the latest social media posts, but nothing is official just yet!
Keep posted to Singletrack for more 2019 Team Rumour news.
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