UK downhiller Harry Heath has signed with 23 Degrees Sports Management, who look after some of the biggest names in mountain biking, including Greg Minnaar and Sam Blenkinsop.
The 19-year-old from Congleton, Cheshire raced the 2010 season as an independent despite a promising career as a junior that culminated with him finishing sixth at the 2009 Junior Downhill World Championships in Canberra, despite crashing in his race run.
23 Degrees’ Martin Whiteley said: “We’ve been watching Harry since the beginning of 2009 and it’s abundantly clear that this guy is talented. I feel he really suffered in 2010 without having some clear direction and support, and we hope that we can help him back onto the trajectory he was on as a junior.
“He comes from a country full of talent but it’s his off-bike professionalism and commitment that’s really impressed me over the past six weeks. We’re proud to have him on board.”
Harry, who has been a regular on the race scene since 2006, said: “Knowing that I have 23 Degrees supporting me makes me so motivated for next season. Training has already started for 2011 and I’m ready to join a programme and race a full World Cup season and be a regular in the top 20.
“I was really gutted to crash at the Junior Worlds, but the sixth place finish wasn’t too bad, all considering. But I know with the right support, 2011 can be my best year to date”.
Other athletes on 23 Degrees’ roster include Justin Leov, Neko Mullaly and Bernard Kerr. In the past, the company has represented the Athertons, Kyle Strait, Cam Zink, Matti Lehikoinen, Brendan Fairclough, David Vazquez and many others.