Massive news from the ‘BIG S’, they may have lost Aaron Gwin but what a line up they have for 2016. This newly formed team of current World Champ Loic Bruni, Loris Vergier and Finn Iles will go under the name ‘Specialized Gravity Team’, but Specialized will also still have Troy Brosnan on their ‘Factory Team’.
What this means is that Specialized have some of the youngest and most exciting downhill racers on the circuit. It appears to be a real call to arms, investment in a new generation of world beating racers. Of course Brosnan and Bruni have been around for a while already on the World Cup circuit, but remember, they are still only 22 and 21 years old (respectively)… and that Vergier is only 19 and Iles only 16! If that is not looking to the future then I don’t know what is! And he may be a bit older, but let’s not forget that Specialized also recently signed none other than Jared Graves, possibly the greatest all-round off-round bike rider ever.
I suppose we also need to ask about where this leaves Lapierre after this switch for the Pure Agency run team. Here’s the Press Release.
SPECIALIZED PARTNER WITH PURE AGENCY
Jan 6, 2016
Specialized will partner with Pure Agency in 2016 to form a new Specialized Gravity Team, supporting the 2015 World Champion Loic Bruni, Junior 2014 Junior World Champion Loris Vergier and first year junior Finn Iles on the UCI World Cup circuit. The team will all be racing aboard Specialized bikes and select equipment pieces next season.
Troy Brosnan will remain and star on the Specialized Racing Factory team, a separate set up, but with the same ambition.
Loic Bruni had this to say about the change, “I’m really excited about changing rigs for many reasons, and it gives me coherence in the way I see my career. The team and I have worked hard during the past few years to reach a high level. We have all ambition and we are all able to deliver really professional work while still having fun. I was really seduced by joining such a big family. The brand already has a great history, and I’m excited about being part of it—it’s always been a dream. Reaching this step is a big satisfaction for me and the team, it is what we need and we know Specialized is the right partner for new things. I’m looking forward to ride well with my Rainbow Jersey and the Demo, of course, I’ll try to do great stuff with it. We are already working on the bike and tires to be ready for the season 2016 that is promised to be a blast.”
“I’ve been with the team since I started on the World Cup circuit, and I always thought that it was almost perfect, with good friends, good atmosphere, and good sponsors. And now, a dream came reality, riding with the biggest brand in the world with still the same crew is an amazing opportunity that I’m really proud of. Really excited for the future!” – Loris Vergier
“2015 was in many ways our best season yet,” said Benno Williet, Team Manager for Specialized’s Factory MTB programs. “The overall structure of the team finally came together and the results the guys achieved on the race course really backed that up. At the end of the season, we bid farewell to Aaron Gwin after an awesome season, but at the same time, we look forward to the future and are excited to be supporting more riders than ever before. Between Troy on our Factory Team, and then also Loic, Loris, and Finn, four of the very best riders in the world will board a Demo at the highest level of completion. It is a youthful, super talented roster throughout, so it is safe to say the future is bright!”
“This, my second year in the team (Pure Agency), is going to be exciting. I am super happy to be continuing on with such a good group of guys. Last year was an awesome experience, to see how well the team worked together blew my mind. With this upcoming year being my first year of racing junior, I am honoured to have such an amazing brand behind my back. I think this is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Heading to California in January to link up with everyone is something I’m really looking forward to!” – Finn Iles
With a full team presentation to follow in early 2016, Loic, Loris, and Finn will rely on the radical S-Works Demo 8 carbon downhill race frame with single-sided seatmast as well as Specialized 2FO shoes and full complement of Downhill Tyres.