Boardman announce new mountain bike team

Last, Fletcher and Ferguson will race top-end Elite EM 1.7 hardtail

Boardman Bikes today revealed the three cross-country riders who will make up their 2011 Elite Mountain Team. The trio all enjoyed major success last year; Annie Last is the reigning Elite national champion, David Fletcher is the current U23 champion and Grant Ferguson placed second in Juniors.

Last and Fletcher, who both rode for the Boardman-sponsored Team Halfords Bikehut in 2009, will compete in the full World Cup racing programme as preparation for next year’s Olympics, while Ferguson will continue to race as a junior. They'll all ride the new Elite EM 1.7 carbon hardtail, which was unavailable to view at the time of Boardman's 2011 launch earlier this month.

Andy Smallwood, Boardman's director of operations, told BikeRadar: "We've been supporting Annie and David for the last few years, so the decision to create the Elite Mountain Team was the next logical step for us. They're both real prospects for the Olympics next year, so this funding is important. They both rode prototypes [of the EM 1.7] during testing and had input all the way along, so they've played a fundamental role in its development."

Last said: "The bike handles really well on technical sections and trails, and the new design of the 2011 race bike has moved the machine on again to another level, coming in even lighter than the prototype I was racing on in 2010."

Smallwood expects a small number of the bikes to be available from the company's still-to-be-confirmed independent bike dealers in May, for between £4,000 and £5,000. For more information about the Elite Mountain Team, visit Boardman's website.

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