Big news for Team Wideopenmag as we launch for our grand finale, 11th year running.
Ladies and gents, boys and girls. Pandemics and viruses be damned, we’re running a race team this year!
That’s right, virus or not, we’ll be running Team Wideopenmag for 2021 and once again supporting fast, young and talented riders (all in a socially distanced, mask-wearing, safe as possible way, of course!).
That’ll be for the 11th year in a row. And, that’s right, our final year.
Team Wideopenmag is our way of investing in talented British mountain bikers and the British mountain bike racing scene.
We’ve always believed that the sharp-end of the sport is the lifeblood of the sport. It’s the hardcore race scene that creates the best riders in the UK and sets our little island apart as one of the most exciting and talent-filled places to ride mountain bikes in the world. We want to help foster that.
The race team started 11 years ago with a chance email to Nukeproof and a few other companies. They believed in our idea to support a crew of fast, grassroots UK racers and it grew from there.
In our time we’ve supported some amazing riders that were, at the time, relative unknowns. Many of them have now gone on to race as professionals and ride at the very top of the game. Our roster has included Laurie Greenland, Charlie Hatton, Mark Scott, Kelan Grant, Kye Forte, Joel Anderson, Veronique Sandler and many others. Sponsors have come and gone but Nukeproof have been with us since day one.
As the team has grown, we’ve supported riders of all ages and abilities. We’ve helped raw-recruits through their first National race and veterans of the sport take their riding to the next level at World Cups or Enduro World Series events. A few of those are now the very best riders on the planet.
Over time though, we’ve realised that our passion is in supporting the young guns. It’s the youngest, least experienced riders that can benefit the most from what we offer and it’s those wet-behind-the-ears youths that are the most fun to work with and have the furthest to go. It’s not always easy but it’s super rewarding to see them go far.
So, for 2021, we’re focussing 100% on the young guns.
For 2021 we bid a fond farewell to our elite enduro racers Christo Gallagher and Chris Hutchens and we’re running a team that’s squarely focussed on grassroots, up-and-coming talent. We’ll miss Hutch and Christo but we’re stoked to see them head on to do their own thing with the Contour Collective at a time that feels perfect for them to fly the roost.
Our 2021 line up will be Scottish DH racer Andrew Georgeson, Welsh DH racer Elin Berry and West-Country sender Natasha Bradley.
Andrew and Elin are insanely talented young racers that are champing for their first stab at National races. With a little help, we’re absolutely sure they’ll be incredible racers. Natasha is a little older but is a crazy fast and completely fearless rider that’s as talented on a 4X bike as she is on the dirt jumps. She deserves a bit of support and we’re stoked to have her in our camp.
This all comes with a slightly bitter-sweet taste though.
Yep, that’s right, 2021 will be the final year we run Team Wideopenmag.
We’ll talk more about why in a follow-up story but, for now, the short answer is simply that we’ve seen the sport change. Investment and support for racing is changing and we feel that it’s time for us to do the same before we get left behind.
Our sponsors have been incredibly supportive for over a decade and invested huge amounts of product and finance to the team. They’ve allowed us to offer our riders a no-compromise package of support and get something that most young racers can only dream of.
We don’t want to offer our riders anything less than the best support that we can. It’s all or nothing. And so, we’ll give it our all and we’ll end on a high, without compromise.
2020 was a real downer for British mountain bike racing.
We all sat at home and kept to the no-car, no-far, no-gnar mindsight. We ended the year frustrated that we hadn’t given our riders much of the face-to-face support that we’d hoped. We never quite got them to a race and onto a podium. That made us more determined than ever to set up a team for 2021 and give them the shot we know they deserve.
So. We’re back. 10 years of racing deep, 1 to go. Nukeproof are with us. FunnMTB, JuiceLubes, 661, Leatt, Hayes and Granite Design are with us. We’ve got a few more in the wings that’ll also join us soon.