Giant Bicycles has just announced the Off-Road Factory Race Team roster for 2019, with some familiar faces joined by fresh youth talent too. In total, there’ll be 15 riders from six different nations competing in everything from DH through to gravel.
There have also been some key changes in the kit department, the biggest news of which is that DVO will no longer be a suspension partner with the team. DVO and Giant worked together closely for the 2018 race season, having announced the news only 12 months ago, and to much fanfare we shall point out.
This partnership also saw Giant incorporating DVO forks and rear shocks into its 2019 full suspension line, including the top-end Glory, Reign, Trance and Trance 29 models.
For this year however, the Giant Off-Road Factory Race Team will be competing aboard Fox forks and shocks. As to whether we’ll see this reflected in the 2020 product line, is yet to be seen…
This year the World Cup XC riders will be competing aboard Giant XTC Advanced 29 hardtails and Anthem Advanced Pro 29 full suspension race bikes. The latter of which will be the all-singing, all-dancing ‘0’ model that retails in the US for no fewer than $12,075. This model was originally scheduled to be available in both the UK and Australia, but hefty delays with the supply of the latest Shimano XTR groupset saw this blingtastic model taken off the stock list for those two markets.
Fox Live Valve
A big contributor to the Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0’s sticker price is the Fox Live Valve electronic suspension package. This is the first World Cup XC team that we’re aware of that’ll be using the automated suspension platform.
Along with Live Valve, the team race bikes will be decked out with Shimano XTR 1×12 drivetrains and brakes, Giant-branded XCR 0 carbon wheels, Maxxis tyres, and a PRO cockpit.
Piloting these superlight race machines on the World Cup circuit will be two young guns; 21-year old Colorado native Cole Paton, and 19-year old Australian national champ Cameron Wright. After winning the World Champs in 2017 as a junior, and making a clean sweep of the 2018 Australian National circuit, Wright will be stepping into the Under-23 category for the first time this year.
According to Giant’s press release, the XC team will be “helping to develop and test new, next- generation XC race bikes and gear“, which might explain those unknown blue shoes are in the above photo…
On the Enduro side, Aussie Josh Carlson will continue his role in the Off-Road Factory Race Team, alongside 22-year old Frenchman Youn Deniad, who notched up 10th overall in the 2018 Enduro World Series. Alongside Canadian Mckay Vezina, the EWS team will be racing the Giant Reign Advanced (as above), as well as the Trance 29 at select events.
Giant has also hinted that the team will be “developing and testing next-generation bikes and gear throughout the season“. Given other Fox sponsored riders, like Steve Peat, have been talking of testing new suspension tech from Fox lately, perhaps there are some interesting new gizzards inside that 36 fork and DHX2 rear shock? Or perhaps we’re talking about a new prototype convertible helmet from 100% or Giant?
Or are we going to see a long-travel Reign 29er dancing about the EWS this year? Or a new Trance 27.5? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Eight-time Colombian downhill national champion Marcelo Gutierrez will continue to spearhead the World Cup downhill team, alongside 21-year old Jacob Dickson of Ireland. The smiling assassin, Eliot Jackson, will rounds out the DH squad for 2019.
Going for Glory
The Glory Advanced will be the team bike of choice, decked out with Fox 40 forks, Fox DHX2 coil rear shocks, Shimano Saint groupsets, and PRO finishing kit.
For those interested in what the team will be running for 2019, here are all the sponsors for the Giant Off-Road Factory Race Team;
- Suspension: FOX
- Wheels: Giant
- Tires: Maxxis
- Pedals: HT
- Drivetrain & Brakes: Shimano
- Bar/Stem: PRO/Shimano
- Saddle: Giant
- Seatpost: PRO/Shimano & Giant dropper
- Cycling shoes: Giant
- DH/Enduro apparel: 100%
- XC/gravel apparel: Cuore Cycling
- Eyewear: 100%
- Helmet: Giant & 100% (enduro and full-face)
- Gloves: 100%
- Grips: ODI
- Computer: Giant NeosTrack GPS
- Chain guides: MRP
- Other: Honey Stinger nutrition, Park Tool, Finish Line lube and cleaning products, Thule racks, Jaybird headphones, GoPro cameras, Stan’s tyre sealant