Devinci have launched a new World Cup downhill squad headed by 2010 World Championships silver medallist Steve Smith.
The Canadian, who previously rode for Evil and sprang to fame with a part in the Seasons DVD, will be joined on the Devinci Global Racing team by 18-year-old George Brannigan from New Zealand.
Branningan had a promising year as a junior in 2010, finishing fourth at the World Champs at Mont-Sainte-Anne and being crowned Oceania champion. The pair will ride Devinci’s new Wilson downhill bike, which uses Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot suspension design.
“I’m stoked to have a strong Canadian bike company like Devinci backing me with the bikes I need to win,” said Smith. “I know Devinci will be able to offer what I need to achieve all of my goals I have set.”
The 21-year-old’s move to Devinci follows the appointment of Gabe Fox – whom he previously worked with at Evil, and before that Cove – as the brand’s marketing manager last year. “We’ve assembled a great program under the DGR banner – riders, co-sponsors, support staff,” said Fox. “It’s the foundation for a strong future and I envision seeing our programme with some great results.”
The team will compete in the World Cup, the US Open, Crankworx and at “other select Canadian, North American, and European events”. “I’m excited to be making this commitment to World Cup racing, and having Steve Smith on the program is the perfect fit,” said Devinci president Felix Gauthier. “Smith shares many of Devinci’s core values and I’m looking forward to the season.”
As part of the deal, Smith will run SRAM (including RockShox, Avid and Truvativ) equipment and will join the brand’s BlackBox product development programme. Other sponsors include Fox clothing, ODI and Schwalbe.