We thought that we would try and find out some of the reasoning behind the decision. Kintner and Atkinson had always been great ambassadors for the GT brand, and Kintner especially had brought them a whole host of titles (World Cup, World Champs, BMX Olympic bronze). Here is the official response from GT’s Sports Marketing Manager in the US:
“GT Bicycles has made several changes to their MTB team moving forward into 2009. Jill Kintner is a talented cyclist and has had an exceptional and distinguished cycling career. GT Bicycles is proud to have had her as part of our team for the past three years; however, due to a change in the sports marketing direction, GT Bicycles is not resigning Jill for the 2009 season. We wish Jill all the best in her future endeavors.
Bryn Atkinson has been a significant part of the GT MTB Team for the past few years. We are happy for the time and effort Bryn spent racing for GT and wish him all the best in the future.”
They then go on to talk about the XC team:
“Todd Wells has been a part of the GT family for the past seven years and we regret that he has chosen to move forward with another team. We wish Todd all of the success in the future! Burry Stander has created a great career since he started with our brands when he was 15. Success has brought new opportunities for Burry has and he will be racing with another team in 2009. GT wishes Burry the best as he moves forward in his career. GT will continue to support MTB on a worldwide level into 2009 and beyond.”
In my eyes GT have always been a race brand, it is in their roots. So it is a sad day when it seems that they appear to be moving away from the race scene as this implies. Maybe we are wrong to read it like that…I guess we will just have to wait and see.
JILL KINTNER BRYN ATKINSON GT