The rumours were true: Mitch Ropelato has been confirmed as the first signing by the new North American 'chapter' of the Steve Peat Syndicate race programme.
The 19-year-old, from Ogden, Utah took second in the Crankworx dual slalom last year and in 2009 took silver in the four-cross at the Bromont World Cup round and won national titles in both four-cross and (junior) downhill.
In 2011 he'll be competing on a Santa Cruz V10 Carbon decked out with SRAM and RockShox kit. Team mentor (and downhill racing legend) Steve Peat said: "It's awesome to be able to include Mitch in our first year of the SPSNA. The programme is designed to help any level of rider raise their game on the race circuit and in their riding.
"Mitch has already turned some heads out there and impressed lots of people. We feel we can offer him great support, a relaxed but professional setup and help him achieve his potential quicker for the 2011 season. Welcome aboard Mitch."
The Steve Peat Syndicate of North America are still looking for riders. For more information, visit www.stevepeatsyndicate.com/us.