Saracen's new downhill bike, the Myst, is one hell of a lot of bike for the money. Now the company who've resurrected the classic British mountain bike brand, Madison, have launched a team to show just what it's capable of.
Unveiled yesterday at the iceBike trade show in Milton Keynes, the Madison Saracen squad is a development team made up of six riders under the age of 21. The most famous face is probably 17-year-old Manon Carpenter, from South Wales, who came 11th overall in the women's UCI World Cup last year and finished sixth at Champery despite being a first year junior.
Harry Molloy, 19, from Kent, also had success on the world circuit in 2010, with a 35th place at Leogang being his top result. They're joined by reigning national Expert champ Jack Geoghegan, 20, from Hertfordshire; English champ Philip Atwill, 16, from Hampshire; PORC series winner Josh Lowe, 16, from Kent; and 14-year-old Will Weston, from Wolverhampton, winner of the Juvenile category of the 2010 Halo British Downhill Series.
Madison's CEO Dominic Langan said: "The first year, it's mainly a development squad, with a couple of people riding the World Cup series. In years two to three – it's a minimum three-year programme, and hopefully we'll be doing much more beyond that – the aim is to get more riders into the World Cup series. We hope to build that up, and hopefully we can get some champions... We just want to get good British riders out there."
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 fancier kit, including a Fox 40 RC2 fork and DHX RC4 shock, Shimano Saint bits and Funn finishing kit. The squad may be young but they'll have full factory support, with a massive team truck, their own mechanic and coaching.
You can watch the Madison Saracen team in action below, along with videos of Carpenter and Molloy:
Madison Saracen team