When the Saracen brand was relaunched earlier this year, the new owners told us they would be signing a "top dirt jumper". Well, it's now official – mountain bike front flip pioneer Lance McDermott is their first team rider.
McDermott, a former BMX rider who stunned the crowds at the Adidas Slopestyle in Austria in 2006 and went on to win the 2008 Nissan Qashqai Challenge, will be riding the new Saracen Amplitude bike, in both aluminium and chromoly steel versions.
He'll be using kit from his existing componentry sponsors, including Gusset and Alex Wheels, but his frames will be the same stock models you can buy in the shops (complete bikes start at just £359.99). The 23-year-old from Manchester, England will also work with Saracen on developing his own signature model as part of the three-year deal.
He told BikeRadar: "Signing with Saracen was a big decision for me because I've had such a good time with [previous sponsors] Scott, but the bikes ride really well, the build quality is good and the brand has really been turned around. I'm proud to put my name to it."
McDermott said he was planning to compete at all the major comps in 2010, including Crankworx, and he'll also be launching a 'how to' series of videos on YouTube.
Saracen say they are intending to sign other key riders over the next year, with the intention of having a "World Cup-level downhill presence" in the 2011 season.