9 2022 team changes that flew under the radar

Now that the UCI team rosters are officially released and I woke up to an inbox full of panicked messages from teams who had no idea their secrets would be made public today, we were able to review the changes to team that flew under the radar this offseason. Some of the listings are not news: Miranda Miller is listed as a downhill racer for Kona (same as last year) and Dan Atherton is listed as a racer for the Atherton Clan. (Again, the same as last year, but the most exciting news is that we’ll likely see Rachel and Gee return to the race tracks this year.) Still, there were a few team changes that surprised us. Here are the names we saw (or didn’t see) on the lists that made us leave eh, interesting.
555 Raaw Gravity Racing
Ryan Brannen, Douglas Goodwill, KJ Sharp and Luke Williamson

What was 555 Gravity Racing became 555 Raaw Gravity Racing, with the makers of the Madonna and Jibb support a World Cup gravity team. This, of course, suggests there could be a Raaw downhill bike in the works. Additionally, the reigning British National Downhill Champion KJ Sharp joined the team as a replacement for Calum McBain.


Slawomir Lukasik at Canyon Collective Pirelli… Maybe?
Henri Kiefer, Antoine Pierron, Loris Revelli, Dante Silva… & Slawomir Lukasik?

This one is a bit of a puzzle, like Canyon and Pirelli announced the Canyon Collective Pirelli team just the other day with no mention of Lukasik, but he is registered with the UCI as a member of the team. The best explanation I can find is that since his the most impressive results last year were at EWS events he will mostly focus on those under a different Canyon (and Pirelli?) schedule but is still listed on the UCI roster with that crew just for when he will come to run the strange descent of the World Cup. Still, since he recently posted a goodbye to NS Bikes and has yet to announce a new sponsor, the news here is that it looks like he will be on Canyon in the future.


Jenn Jackson at Canyon MTB Racing
Emily Batty, Laurie Arsenault and Jennifer Jackson

Jenn Jackson has raced with the Norco Factory team for the past two years and has yet to announce her new sponsor, but it looks like she will be joining fellow Canadians Emily Batty and Laurie Arsenault on Canyon MTB Racing.


People
Francescu Camoin, Estelle Charles, Allan Cooke, Kevin Miquel, Charles Murray, Sofia Wiedenroth and Izabela Yankova

This one could be downright awesome. I don’t know what the big S has up its sleeve, but it looks like it’s formed some kind of development team with a collection of up-and-coming gravity riders. While most of the riders on this list focus primarily on enduro, having them registered as a UCI downhill team bodes well for seeing them compete in a variety of races. Allan Cooke is a specialist marketer as well as a great driver – will he take to the race course? And then, of course, there’s the rising star of the descent Izabela Yankova. It’s great to see all of these riders supported by this support, and it will be exciting to see where this team goes.


Jacob Dickson at MS Mondraker
Jacob Dickson, Eleonora Farina, Brook MacDonald, Toby Meek, Oliver Morris, Tuhoto Ariki Pene and David Trummer

We heard about Tuhoto Ariki Pene and David Trummer taken over by Mondraker, but Jacob Dickson has yet to announce his new team. The fast Irish rider has been part of the Giant Factory off-road team since 2017 and has collected a handful of impressive results since then. Hopefully he can keep that momentum going as he moves forward to ride with MS Mondraker.


Norco Factory Team
Peter Disera, Sean Fincham, Henry Fitzgerald, Gwendalyn Gibson, Gracey Hemstreet, Elliot Jamieson, Emily Johnston, Sam Blenkinsop, Lucas Cruz and Carter Woods

This team is a bit mixed up with the XC and DH riders listed as one team this season, but we can see there has been a bit of a shake-up. Specifically, the young British Columbia Ripper Gracey Hem Street joined the downhill team which is great news after Gracey’s strong results in 2021 in World Cup races and Crankworx events.

Haley Smith has announced his departure team and has yet to announce his next move. She is not listed in any of the UCI teams.


Jenna Hastings at Pivot Factory Racing
Morgane Charré, Jenna Hastings, Bernard Kerr, Ed Masters, Emilie Siegenthaler and Matthew Walker

New Zealand junior rider Jenna Hastings caused a stir in 2021 when she claimed a string of podium finishes at Crankworx NZ. Now she has signed with the Pivot Factory team to take her skills to the highest level alongside Morgane Charre, Bernard Kerr, Ed Masters and Matt Walker (the one from the southern hemisphere). Emilie Siegenthaler is also still on the list, but we don’t expect her to compete in World Cups this year after announcing her retirement from World Cup racing in 2021.


Propain positive supported by Vee
Phil Atwill, Anthanasios Panagitsas and Sokratis Zotos

This team is a new addition for Propain, with Phil Atwill, who raced as “free athletefor Propain last year, to which are added the young Greek grinders Ahthanasios Panagitsas and Sokratis Zotos.


Ethan Shandro out of the RockShox Trek Race Team
Tegan Cruz, Jamie Edmondson and Vali Holl

It’s unclear where Ethan Shandro has gone or if he will race this season. He had a very unfortunate concussion in 2019 which continued to cause lingering symptoms in 2020, so it’s worrying to see him out of the squad and not listed elsewhere. We hope he heals well and is able to hunt whatever he wants as soon as possible.

Wiley C. Thompson