Chain Reaction Cycles have unveiled their 2011 downhill and four-cross squad, along with a change of bike sponsors from Intense to Nukeproof. Finland's Matti Lehikonen and Britain's Matt Simmonds remain on board, along with Czech four-cross racer Lukas Mechura, who raced under the CRC/Nukeproof banner last year.
Joining the new team are Lukas's younger brother Michael, plus downhillers Joe Smith, from Wales, and Lewis Buchanan, from Scotland. Chris Kovarik, Claire Buchar, Julien Camellini and Ruaridh Cunningham are off the squad. The ChainReactionCycles.com/Nukeproof team will ride the Nukeproof Scalp for downhill, Snap for four-cross and Mega for enduro downhill events and training.
Team manager Nigel Page said: "Matti and Matt both had a great season in 2010 and are focussed to improve further in 2011. I'm very pleased to welcome two new, great young UK riders to the team in Joe Smith and Lewis Buchanan. I've been really impressed with both Joe and Lewis's riding and results over the last few years, and I believe they'll be great for the team. I hope with the support of our team they can meet their full potential in 2011 and the future.”
As for the four-cross side of the team, Page said: “Michael's been a BMX racer all his life but after a taste of four-cross racing in 2010 he's super-keen to put his full efforts into four-cross. I have very high hopes for all the guys on the team for 2011. They're all really talented, fast guys and if they all pull together and help each other out, all of them can make it to the very top level of our sport."
The team will compete in the full UCI World Cup series, UCI World Championships, the British Halo BDS Downhill series plus other races and events, with backup from mechanics Dave Garland and Carl Lottering-Geeson. You can check out a video profile of Lewis Buchanan below.