23 Degrees sign Scandinavian downhiller Dennis Dertell

20-year-old will ride Trek Session 88

Rising Swedish downhill star Dennis Dertell has been snapped up by top management agency 23 Degrees Sports.

Unlike many of the other stars on the company's books – such as 2008 world champion Greg Minnaar, World Cup stars Justin Leov and Sam Blenkinsop, and freerider-cum-racer Kyle Strait – he won't be riding for a big international team.

Instead he'll be competing under the Team 23 Degrees name aboard a Trek Session 88, with kit from Alpinestars and Adidas. It'll be the first time a rider has worn the 23 Degrees colours since 2006, when Ruben Garcia and Junya Nagata competed on Honda RN01s.

The 20-year-old, who lives in Stockholm, has already won 15 national titles in disciplines including road, 4X, cross-country and downhill, and in 2008 became Sweden's junior downhill champion (there was no championships in 2009).

Martin Whiteley, owner of 23 Degrees, which runs the Trek World Racing squad, said: "I'd heard about this kid from the iXS Cups in 2008. He had a lot of success, winning junior races and finishing second overall, as well as getting a podium on scratch.

"His riding [at the World Cups] in La Bresse and Maribor was impressive but immaturity and over-excitement robbed him of some solid placings. We're keen to give him a shot and help him achieve his first World Cup top 20."

Dertell said: "I'm so excited for this, it's like a dream coming true for me. I've been working hard for this and I have a feeling that this year is going to be a great year. It's my birthday today and I received the bike and have just built it up. I'm about to hit the snow!"

Asked whether there would be any other riders competing under the 23 Degrees name in 2010, Whiteley said: "It’s possible. I'm assessing some other athletes in the coming six weeks."

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