Trek Factory Racing has bid a fond farewell to 20-year-old Taylor Vernon after four years on the team.
Vernon joined forces with the Athertons after graduating from their academy at age 16 along with Martin Maes.
Tay rode alongside the Athertons and Marc Beaumont for GT Factory Racing in 2013 -15 as a Junior and first year Elite then stayed on when the family moved to Trek Factory Racing in 2016.
Despite having an injury strewn introduction to racing, Vernon has still pulled out some great results including winning a junior World Cup in Windham. His final year with the team was his best as he twice managed to break into the top 30 Elites.
Taylor said: “I’ll miss these guys, it feels like I grew up here. I can’t begin to thank Brownie, Dan, Gee and Rach enough. The whole team, mechanics Pete, Joe, Will, Lloydy and Gill all looked out for me, it really is like family. I’m excited about the future but I won’t forget where I started out.
Team Director Dan Brown said: “I know that I speak on behalf of all of us when I say how much we will miss having Tay on the team but sometimes change is needed to propel a rider to the next level and for Tay that time has come.
“We’ve watched him mature from a gifted grom into a confident and stylish rider whose hard work on and off the bike is starting to bring in the results he deserves. We wish him the very best of luck and I’m sure we’re going to be hearing a lot more from him in 2017.”
From the Atherton edits and social media it really felt like Vernon was almost a part of the family. Rach said: “Taylor Vernon is a tough cookie, our little brother and we’re going to miss him loads.”
Best of luck to Taylor in the future, we hope he has a sweet ride lined up for next year!