The worst-kept secret in mountain biking has finally been confirmed – Sam Hill will be riding for Specialized in 2009.
The Australian downhill star posed for photos in his new kit and in front of his new Demo 8 bike with Team Monster Energy team-mate Brendan Fairclough.
News of Hill’s move to Specialized first leaked out at the Interbike show in September, but until today Specialized had refused to confirm the rumours.
Asked about his his decision to leave Iron Horse, the two-time world champion and 2007 World Cup champion said: “I wanted to ride for Specialized because we share the same goal and that’s to win races. They’re really capable when it comes to building and testing new products and striving to be the best. I had a good feeling about all the people there – it’s cool that everyone is into riding bikes and they are all passionate about it. I’m excited about the future and what myself and Specialized can achieve together.”
As a former junior World Cup champion and five-time British national champion, his 20-year-old team-mate Fairclough is also no stranger to the top step of the podium.
Specialized’s MTB sports marketing manager Scott Sharples said: “Sam and Brendan are brilliant riders with great track records. They’re a perfect match for the Specialized suspension engineering team and their top-notch innovative bikes. Sam has a reputation for pushing his bike to the limit and ripping up the most demanding track like nobody else. Luckily for us, he’s chosen the Specialized Demo as his weapon to win back world champion status. With Brendan also on board, ready to regain the podium for himself, this will be an awesome combo deal.”