British cross-country mountain bike racer Oli Beckingsale has just signed a new two-year contract with Giant.
The deal, which includes a two-year extension option, will see Oli riding Giant’s new Anthem X bike during the 2009 season.
Alongside fellow Brit Liam Killeen, Oli has been one of the top UK racers since turning professional in 1998.
Strong performances in World Cup and World Championship races were topped by a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
“I’m really happy to have signed with Giant after a good year in 2008,” said Oli. “Giant have been good to me in the last three years with the bikes and mechanic support.”
Oli will race the full World Cup next year as well as the new British Mountain Bike race series, formerly known as the NPS.
The two-year extension option would take him to the 2012 Olympics, when the cross-country race is set to be held at the seemingly ‘flat’ Hadleigh Farm in Essex.
Oli said: “I’d rather have a flatter course near to the Olympic Games in London than a hilly course further away.
“People said the course in Beijing didn’t look difficult, but if you’re going up the same hill so many times, believe me it’s hard.
“Mountain biking is a relatively marginal sport as it is, and if you move it further away from the hub of the Games, you’re going to marginalise the sport even more.
“The course in Hadleigh is being built by the same person who improved the one in China, so it’s definitely not going to be easy.”