The team rumours continue, and we’re all watching social media for clues, and tapping up our contacts in the hope they’ll reveal a scoop or two. One name we’ve been watching is Cody Kelley, who we know is leaving Alchemy bikes, but where is he off to? We’re beginning to think the answer might be bigger than we suspected.
Now let’s be clear, before anyone accuses us of having inside info: Cody and his dad Mike ‘Ol’ Dog’ Kelley are being tight lipped on this, even to friends (and don’t think we haven’t tried to get them to talk!). We’re putting this together via social media sleuthing, so join us on the trail and see if you think we’re putting two and two together and getting five…
We know Cody has left Alchemy, so we’re watching his Instagram feed for clues and news. He’s been quite quiet on his main feed, but his stories are are pretty actives with rides with others. There is a clue though: ‘Stoked to be spending a little more time on a hardtail this year for some events’ … followed by a little winky emoji. So, a team with a hardtail? Or a BMX? Or a dirt jumper?
Cody’s Instagram stories show him riding with a bunch of folks, including Richie Rude, Maxiums Sedlak, Jakob Snow, and Paul Serra. Sedlak is with Specialized, Jakob Snow was with GT but has announced he’s leaving (where to…?) and Paul Serra left Ibis, has been seen on a new Specialized Enduro, but hasn’t announced Specialized as a sponsor. Hmm…
Paul Serra has posted a picture with Richie Rude saying he’s excited for what the next couple of weeks have in store. He’s tagging other sponsors, but not Specialized.
Cody Kelley is in the comments of the photo implying that he took the picture ‘Wonder who took such an awesome photo?’
Richie Rude has posted on Instagram using the hashtag #thebandisbacktogether – so who would the band be? Comments speculated that he could be going to Specialized, having been spotted with a branded water bottle, but a subsequent press release from Yeti confirms Rude remains on the Yeti/Fox EWS team. He’s tagged Cody Kelley and existing teammate Shawn Neer in this post.
Richie Rude and Paul Serra are both coached by PerformX Training, who also coach a bunch of other rides, including Aaron Gwin, so the fact that Rude and Serra are hanging out together could well be explained by their coaches rather than their bike sponsors.
So we can tie Richie Rude to Yeti, for sure. And we think Rude is going to be joined by some old friends – although Rude is barely old enough to have old friends. Who has Richie Rude ridden with before, that could be ‘the band’ he’s referring to? Kelley was on the team with Rude in 2016, and Serra was there in 2017. Rude has been with Yeti since 2011, and can also count Jared Graves as a past team mate, as well as Jack Moir, who we know has left Intense, but has yet to confirm where he’s going – and his Instagram is currently all off-season chilling.
We know Jared Graves is leaving Specialized, but we don’t know where he’s off to, although buried in the comments of some posts are suggestions that maybe he’s heading to Yeti.
Four past team mates all without confirmed new contracts, plus young gun Jakob Snow hanging out (possibly a relation to former Yeti team member Josh Snow?)
Hmm… Kelley is hanging out with Rude, so that seems to be a good shout, maybe Serra too if the Specialized is a red herring… but then let’s go back to that first clue: a hardtail? If we’ve got the team mate right, could Yeti be bringing back a hardtail? They had a Dirt Jump bike in 2010 for the World Championships, and back then they also had the ARC hardtail up until 2014. Since then, it’s all been full suspension bikes. Could that be about to change? Or is Cody joining someone else entirely – maybe in fact going with Paul Serra to Specialized?
What do you think? Are we on to something, or just chasing rainbows? Watch this space!