This article was originally published on ChopMTB.com.
Sam Hill has left Specialized and joined Team CRC/Nukeproof for 2013, in what has to be the biggest team news of the year. Signing the five-time downhill world champion is a major coup for Nukeproof, who only returned to the downhill scene last year.
The switch means the legendary Aussie racer will be swapping his Carbon Demo 8 for an alloy Pulse weighing a good couple of pounds more – unless Nukeproof have something special up their sleeves.
Sam will join Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith on the CRC roster. It’s not yet known where current Nukeproof riders Matti Lehikoinen, Alex Bond and Lewis Buchanan will end up, or who’ll replace Hill on the Monster Energy-Specialized squad – if they’re still called that after his departure.
Despite riding for Specialized since 2009, Sam said it hadn’t been a difficult decision signing with CRC. “I’m very excited about riding for team Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof,” he said. “They’re very positive towards downhill racing and I know they’re going to put in 100% just like me… 2013 is going to be a great year.”
Team manager Nigel Page said “We’re all really looking forward to having Sam on board helping the development of new Nukeproof products, and hopefully helping Sam achieve his goals in racing in the next stage of his career. I can’t wait for the 2013 season to begin!”