Canadian rider moves: New home for Holmgren at Pivot Cycles-OTE

Théberge joins blue train, McDowall off Devinci Factory Team, new bikes for Pendrel

January 9th, 2020 by | Posted in MTB | Tags: , , , , , ,

Several Canadian athletes will be racing in new colours when the 2020 season kicks off, both in downhill and cross country.

Blue Train gians steam

Pivot Cycles-OTE continues to expand its support of young Canadian cross country athletes. Gunnar Holmgren and Marianne Théberge both join the Blue Train for the upcoming season. Mulit-time Paris to Ancaster winner and under-23 cyclocross national champion, Holmgren joins Pivot Cylcles-OTE after years of rising through the ranks on the Hardwood Next Wave team. Théberge, who represented Canada at the recent UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in her home province of Quebec, graduates from the Equipe du Quebec / CC MSA teams.

New bikes for Catharine Pendrel

After over a decade with their previous bike sponsor, Clif Pro Team athletes will race on new bikes in 2020. The long-standing team announced Specialized as its new sponsor, starting this year. That means Catharine Pendrel will take on the World Cup’s, and her campaign to return to the Olympics this summer in Tokyo, on a new Specialized bike.

The team also added Sofia Gomez Villafane, multiple-time Argentinian XCO national champion to it’s roster for 2020.

Kirk McDowall loses Factory support

Despite having one of his best seasons internationally, multiple-time Canadian downhill national champion will no longer race for the Unior-Devinci Factory Team. The Vancouver-based rider had his best ever world championship results at Mont-Sainte-Anne in 2019, squeezing into the very select top-15 of a crowded elite men’s field.

RELATED: Interview and World’s Bike Check: Kirk McDowall’s return to Mont-Sainte-Anne

McDowall was also second at Canadian downhill national championships, at Panorama Mountain Resort in B.C., where he finished 0.73 seconds behind Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity Racing). The second follows on two years of winning the title and maple leave sleeve, in 2016 and 2017.

McDowall thanked Unior Devinici for the opportunity to race with the backing of Factory Team-level support. It sounds like he will continue with Devinci, including with a more limited World Cup program, but with a reduced level of support from the team.