Introducing Propain Dirt SixPack
Dirt team gets pumped
New year, new team! Well... New year, same dudes with a few sponsor changes. Team Dirt announce their new sponsors. Read more...
Words: Ben Reid
Cant believe it's almost March already! Seems like only yesterday we were packing up the pits for the last time in Val Di Sole and heading for home. Since then until pretty much now I've been wearing the buttons off my key board putting together a package that would reflect the season we just had, particularity in relation to our man Phil Atwill and his impressive string of results with his 16th in Leogang, 9th in Vallnord and his first ever World Cup podium with his 5th place in Lenzerheide.
An impressive string of results like this doesn't go unnoticed and, despite other offers coming in, myself and Phil worked together and made sure this team was his best option.
Where Phil is arguably one of the fastest and most likeable UK DH racers, Austrian rider David Trummer is currently the second highest ranked German speaking rider and would undoubtedly be the highest ranked too... if it wasn't for two mechanical's early in his 2017 season forcing DNFs both in Lourdes and in Fort William. Something tells me 2018 is going to be an exciting year for king David!
Let's not forget our Scottish duo the Kerr Twins, after learning the ropes of the World Cup circuit last season the boys are expecting big things from themselves and with their father Greg at hand along side the team support they really can't ask for a better opportunity.
Huge thanks to Propain for believing in us and working with the team to help strengthen any partnerships they could for us. I know I get paid to say nice things about our sponsors but there is honestly no other brand I'd prefer to run a team for.
They are the most professional yet most down to earth bunch of dudes I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with. They show appreciation for everything that we do which only inspires us to dig deeper and do the best we can. It's really no surprise that Robert Krauss and David Assfalg have built the company from nothing to what it is is now in under 10 years. There can not be too many out there who have started a bike company and launched a World Cup team in such a short space of time never mind built a bike fit for the elite World Cup podium!
I'd like to thank past sponsors and welcome new ones as we go..
Funn has been a great sponsor and in the short space of time we all became very fond of the people behind the brand, they've always went over and above for the team and did a great job.
It has been on the cards for a while especially as the team has continued to grow and it was only a matter of time before Propain's main OE supplier Sixpack Racing would step up to the plate and become a serious sponsor of the team supplying us with most of our components this year in way of bars, stems, grips, pedals and wheels and sharing the title with Propain Bikes I'm stoked to announce team Propain Dirt Sixpack!
Markus Zander, Managing Director Sixpack Racing, said: "It has been a big dream for me since the founding of Sixpack Racing to sponsor a World Cup team. That's why all of us at Sixpack are of course super happy with the Propain Dirt Sixpack team and being the title sponsor along side Propain. Already with the first discussions with Ben I noticed that we are on the same wavelength and have the same idea of a racing team. professionalism, passion and a good dose of fun!
Of course we will work closely with the team to improve our products even further and put it on its heels again. The Downhill World Cup is the Formula 1 of mountain biking, where riders depend on reliable high end products. We face this challenge with great confidence.
I think it's great and I'm proud to be able to support a young team with so much potential. Phil Atwill, with his unmistakable style and relaxed manner, is one of the most likeable guys in the World Cup circus for me. His podium placement in Lenzerheide was simply outstanding, he just begrudge it to stand on top. David Trummer and the Kerr brothers also showed what they are made of last season. I'm really looking forward to our first World Cup season and I'm convinced the boys will be on one or the other podium. "
Suspension and brakes:
The changes don't stop there.. the team signed with X-Fusion suspension back in 2015 and we had an amazing relationship with those guys and feel like we did a lot in those 3 years to prove their product as an alternative to some of the more expensive options, we cant thank them enough for their support but things cant stay the same forever.
I know I speak for everyone on the team to say how excited we are to be working with Formula on suspension and brakes this year. We tested their new Nero R air sprung downhill fork in Switzerland last year and were blown away by its performance. We also worked with Formula testing the early stage Cura brakes and even in prototype form these were more than fit for the job and a huge step forward in brake technology.
With Formula's event attendance and on site support this package was a no brainier for us. Along side Formula the team will partner with EXT Racing Shox, a brand who specialise in high end suspension shocks from car racing to ATV to super bikes with a list of results to their name across a wide range of sports such as 8 times World Rally Car Championship, Formula 1 World Championship, WTCC Championship, Le Mans, GT, Superstar and many different Formula Championships.
Vittorio Platania, Formula Marketing Manager, said: "Being part of team Propain Dirt Sixpack is so exciting for us. We wanted to be part of a top-notch World Cup program and this team is just the perfect fit for us. They’ve an incredible roster of riders and we can’t wait to work with them on the race fields. We want to prove that our fork can make a rider faster and claim a spot on DH World Cup podiums. We’re confident that together with team Propain Dirt Sixpack we can achieve outstanding goals. It’s going to be a hell of a season."
EXT said: "We are glad to be part of Team Propain Dirt Sixpack and to help these stunning riders to increase performance on their bikes. As EXT Racing Shox our goal will be to provide the best shock absorbers because everyone knows that DH is a sport where the quality and the performance of the suspension are essential. Our engineers and technicians will work tirelessly with this exceptional riders throughout the season. Working with Team Propain Dirt Sixpack will play a crucial role in EXT product development and innovation. To me the teams are much more than a marketing tool and working with World's fastest riders help us to develop the best damping system for each one of EXT's customers."
We are also very excited to announce a new partnership with VEE Tire Co. While VEE Tire Co. is relatively new on the scene, they have some amazing new treads and compounds, and we’ve already begun working closely with them on new tire designs that we know will give the team a competitive edge.
On a personal note, this has been somewhat difficult for me with Schwalbe having been a sponsor of my own for the past seven years. But we thank them for their support as we begin a new chapter.
We now welcome VEE Tire Co. to the team and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. We are a valuable R&D resource to them and will assist them in growing in the market as they help take us further toward our goals.
No more Bliss for team Dirt, its been a blast with those guys but since starting their own team which has been a huge success for them we have had to put the team out to tender and are pleased to partner with Alpinestars for race kit and protection a brand well known in the sport.
Last but not least we're proud to partner with Praxis Cycles who are well known for their very high end crank sets, we will also be working closely with Praxis on new product development.
With all the changes out of the way, we would just like to say a huge thank you to those who have continued with us and upped their support to keep this team heading in the upward direction. I'm very pleased we have been able to continue with Bell helmets, Giro shoes, Juice Lubes and X-Force eye wear.
Keep an eye out for our team launch feature in the next few weeks for a first look our new bikes, trucks, kits and all things shinny in black and yellow, black and yellow ;) BR
Words from riders:
Phil:"Stoked things worked out with the team and i'm all signed in for another year! We've got some solid support and new sponsors on board including: Sixpack, Formula, Vee Tire and EXT which i'm chuffed to be working with. Cant wait to swing a leg back over my DH bike and go get me some more podiums."
David: "I’m really proud to continue with the team in 2018 and looking forward to have a good time and fun with the boys this year. Preparation is going well so far, I’m training hard every day and I'm trying to spend as much time as possible on the DH bike if there are a couple of days without snow here in Austria. Last season I was a bit unlucky, but I think this year is going to be a good year. My goal is to finish Top 20 in the World-cup, become Austrian Champ again and get a few IXS European-cup Podiums and I think with the new Sponsors behind us I can reach these goals."
Henry: "Training is going well as we look to increase the intensity as we come to end of February. We have decided to concentrate on strength this year and try to increase our muscle mass to try and create some more stability for the incoming season. Really looking forward to the upcoming season especially starting in A practice (for the first time) in Croatia and getting off to a podium start. Goals for this year would be to target Fort William and hopefully get a win there and then just put in as many consistent race runs as possible to take the overall series win. World champs in Lenzerheide is going to be interesting but have some great memories from last year in Oz so will relish the challenge.
"I cannot wait to get my hands on our new Propain bikes, kitted out with new suspension, wheels and tyres. This is going to be a big year for me so am delighted to get the full support and backing of Formula/EXT (suspension), Vee tyres, Sixpack Racing, Alpinestars and Praxis cycles."
George: "The start of 2018 saw an noticeable increase in the intensity of our gym sessions and Scott Muir is continuing to drive us hard as we try to build strength and stamina. This week we got to try out some pedals (Sixpack) and tyres (Vee) which are a fantastic addition to the team this year. We are both very excited to have Formula provide the front suspension and EXT to provide the rear shocks with Sixpack providing the wheels. Also new this year will be Alpinestars and Praxis Cycles and am delighted to have them on board, which at first chance appears to be a well balanced set up.
"Our first race in Croatia is not too far away and I am hoping for a top 10 finish to get me into A practice for Fort William where I think I can achieve a top 5 or even a podium. For the rest of the races I just want to be consistently top 5 and try to reach a top 3 overall in the series. As for World champs I have unfinished business there, as crashed out at the beginning of my race run last year!"