Current Junior European and British National Champion Bernard Kerr (Norco) has signed a multi-year management deal with 23 Degree Sports, run by Martin Whiteley.
"In the past it’s just been me and my Mum working things out and getting it done, albeit a bit hit and miss," he told BikeRadar Friday. "But now I’ve got someone with experience."
Kerr, 18, joins a stable of athletes which includes multiple world downhill champion Greg Minnaar, Cameron Zink and Kyle Strait, gaining additional support as he moves into the elite ranks for the first time in 2010.
"I was very impressed by Bernard's character and skill and after watching him on the World Cup circuit this year I knew he would be someone that would fit in well with our group of clients," Whiteley said. "His ride for next year is sorted, thanks to Fionn Griffiths, who's an ex-client of ours, and we have been very proud to see her build that team.
"I'll be mainly focusing on developing Bernard's co-sponsor portfolio, developing his international media and fan base, and giving advice where I can on improving his results so that he's knocking on that top ten door even more in the future," he added.
The Surrey native not only won the 2009 British National Championship, he took it a step further and won the European Downhill title in Slovenia. In World Cup racing he was the fastest junior at Schladming, and he also scored the best junior result all year in World Cup racing with an 11th in qualifying at Maribor. Despite crashing and other mechanical issues at other rounds, Kerr finished second overall in the Junior World Cup series.
He’s also a two-time Junior National Champion in 4X, and he backed those titles up with his first ever World Cup semi final in Mont-Sainte-Anne earlier this year. His 2010 schedule is already taking shape.
"I’ve normally done the Maxxis Cups at the beginning of the season and I’d like to do them again," Kerr added. "Other than that, a full World Cup schedule and hopefully Crankworx at Whistler.
"(My training is) going to include a lot more riding, especially XC for fitness, and preparing properly for the World Cup season as an elite," he said. "In the past I just rode whenever I could, kind of sporadic, and mainly just at weekends.
"This winter I will do more XC as I have a bike for it now, and I’ll get on my downhill bike a lot more, as well as hitting the moto hard!"