Graeme Mudd and Kade Edwards join the Athertons on Trek Factory Racing
There's a new coach in Nick Grantham too
Well, we didn't see this one coming! In a move that has blindsided the internet whisperers, the Athertons will have some new companions in Graeme Mudd and Kade Edwards for the 2017 season.
Photos:Richard McGibbon, Szymon Nieborak
23-year-old Mudd comes from the privateer pool and impressed the team with his strong rides this year, including an eighth in Carins. He also attended Hardline where he finished 14th, but clearly did enough to capture the team's attention. It is Muddy's first time on a factory set up and he will base himself in North Wales to train with the team.
He said: "2016 felt like a real turning point for me and I gained a lot of valuable experience but I know that with some more resources behind me I can be sitting at the pointy end of the results lists a lot more often.
"I am totally stoked to be riding with Trek Factory Racing DH, I’m beyond excited to join a team whose passion and desire for success is everything I’ve dreamed of. I’m about as good as a guy who has just landed his first gig in the World Cup team could be!"
Also new on the roster is 16-year-old Kade Edwards. Edwards first came to the team's attention on one of their experience days and has graduated from the Atherton Academy. He will be a storming prospect coming into 2017 having proven himself in the BDS.
Edwards said: “I was so surprised and totally stoked when Browny asked me to join the World Cup team. I can’t say enough what a massive learning curve the last three years with the Atherton Academy have been. Now its time to pay them back with some points for the team and I’ll be going all out to make that happen. If I can win the British National Championships and at least one Junior World Cup this year I’ll be over the moon"
The final change to the team is the introduction of Nick Grantham as a new coach. Nick has worked with West Bromwich Albion and Olympic gymnasts so will no doubt be able to bring a new philosophy to mountain bike coaching.