Just got some World Cup Team news in from Peter at 2Stage Bikes. Tom Deacon, Jess Stone and Alex Powell will be riding the possibly the only bike on the World Cup circuit with two air shocks.

For those of you who are wondering it's Jess Stone, not the Cornish chanteuse with an American accent Joss Stone. BC coach Petra Wiltshire introduced me to her at Schaldming last year and reckoned she could be one to watch.

Here's the official word:


26th February 2009 – 2Stage Bikes are promising some of the fastest action on the track this world cup season with the announcement of their official 2009 UCI World Cup trade team. The full blooded British 2Stage Factory Team is headlined by well known UK rider Tom Deacon who is expected to continue his winning form of 2008.

The 2Stage Factory Team will open their killer racing season at the Maxxis Cup round in March and continue on attending all UCI World Cups, Maxxis Cups and UK NPS rounds. The team will be racing on every DH racer’s dream bike, the New Zealand engineered 2Stage Elite9; a flat out, no excuses, no expense spared race bike that is incredibly stable at high speed and specifically built to withstand the hard knocks of DH racing.

Here is the low down on the whole team:

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Local ripper, Tom Deacon, has just come off one his best seasons, ranking tenth in 2008 BC national rankings. Preparing for 2009 with an intense off-season training programme, Tom expects to maintain his race-winning momentum that saw him become the Pearce Cycles Series Champion, Midland Region Champion and English Champion last year.

“I’m stoked to be working with 2Stage bikes this year! The bike is awesome, the first time out I knew this was it. It corners on rails, and the 2stage technology takes the bumps like they are nothing but pedals like a hard tail. It’s unreal! 2Stage is a tight knit family and I’m excited to be a part of it - this season is going to be rad!!”

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

The second team member is a superstar on the rise, Jess Stone. Jess’ first introduction to world cup racing was at Schladming last year where she pulled off 23rd placing (only eight seconds off qualifying), proving she’s a rolling stone who carries some serious speed downhill.

2009 will be Jess’ first season riding Elite, and she couldn’t wait any longer. Jess had the Junior category all sewn up last year coming in ranked at number one, and winning the British National Champs, English Champs, Hamsterley Winter Series, Midland Series overall, Decision DH and well, we could keep going on forever about her achievements. But it’s definitely time for Jess to take on some fresh blood.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Finally, aspiring young pinner 17 year old Alex Powell completes the team. 2009 will be Alex’s first year committed to full time racing due to previous year’s duties with his Loctite Formula 3 team clashing with his DH schedule, Alex is stoked on this golden opportunity to race for 2Stage and broaden his experience in international competition riding along side Tom and Jess.

2Stage Bikes broke onto the UK scene in 2007 when their NZ factory rider, Glenn Haden, won the 2007 Italian National Championship Series and Sprinte Avalanche while on a sponsored tour of Europe. Since then the company has planted its feet firmly in the UK DH scene supporting an academy team of talented riders alongside their UCI world cup factory team.

Photos:Jacob Gibbins

Tom Deacon, jess stone and alex powell on the 2STAGE WORLD CUP team