INTRODUCING: THE 2022 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM
Posted by Eric Roque on
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2022
With the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series set to kick off this week in France, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team unveiled its full roster of XC, downhill, enduro, gravel and E-bike athletes for the new season.
“We head into the new season with incredible commitments from riders, staff and partners to compete at the highest level in all disciplines,” said Giant Global Marketing Director An Le. “From UCI World Cups and EWS/EWS-E to XC marathon and gravel races—if there’s dirt, most likely we’ll be there to aim for the podium.”
Boasting a strong group of World Cup contenders and national champions, veterans and rising stars, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is already off to a successful start, riding a wave of momentum following race wins, podiums and national championships in the early part of the season.
Cameron Wright and Josh Carlson both earned multiple national championships in Australia earlier in the year. Wright won gold in the Under-23 XC and short track events, while Carlson won the E-XC title in E-bike competition. Carlson is also the two-time defending E-Enduro national champion in Australia.
The core of last year’s team returns, with a total of 12 riders representing five nationalities.
“Last year really strengthened our team bond and development, and I’m excited to carry that positive momentum into 2022,” said Giant Factory Off-Road Team Manager Sebastian Boyington. "The energy is high, and it’s great to have a new look that matches our vibe, courtesy of Cuore of Switzerland.”
2022 Giant Factory Off-Road Team
Josh Berry (USA), Gravel
Josh Carlson (AUS), E-bike
Stephan Davoust (USA), Gravel/XC
Carl Decker (USA), Gravel/XC
Youn Deniaud (FRA), Enduro
Reto Indergand (SUI), XC
Antoine Philipp (FRA), XC
Matthew Sterling (USA), DH/Slalom
Rémi Thirion (FRA), DH
Cameron Wright (AUS), XC
Mckay Vezina (CAN), Enduro
Luke Vrouwenvelder (USA), XC
2022 Giant Factory Off-Road Team sponsors
Suspension forks/shocks: FOX
Drivetrain & Brakes: Shimano
Seatpost: FOX dropper and PRO seatposts
Chain guides: MRP
Tire insert: CushCore
Cycling shoes: Giant
Race kits: Cuore
Cycling eyewear: 100%
Helmet: Giant & 100% (full-face)
Other: Honey Stinger nutrition, Park Tool, Finish Line lube and cleaning products, Stan’s tire sealant, GoPro cameras, Thule gear
DH and Enduro
Rémi Thirion returns to the team this year as the leader of the World Cup downhill squad. In 2021, his first year with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team, the 31-year-old Frenchman scored three top-10 finishes and finished 11th overall in the elite men’s DH World Cup standings.
“There were some definite highlights during my first year with the team, and I can’t wait to build on that in 2022,” Thirion said. “I’ll be aiming for podiums in the World Cup, and my goal is to be consistently competitive with the best downhill racers in the world.”
Thirion is joined on the downhill squad by American Matt Sterling. The 20-year-old is the 2019 U.S. junior men’s DH national champion, and last year he won a collegiate national championship in the U.S.
Thirion and Sterling are racing on their Glory Advanced DH bikes with FOX suspension. Both work closely with Giant product developers and the team’s technical staff to develop and test next-generation DH bikes and gear.
The enduro squad is led by Youn Deniaud, who had a strong 2021 season that included several stage wins in the Enduro World Series. The French rider had consistently high finishes and ended the season ranked 14th overall in the EWS.
Joining Deniaud on the enduro squad is Canadian Mckay Vezina. The 26-year-old won the North American Continental Enduro Series in 2019, and last year he competed in a full EWS season. Vezina kicked off his 2022 season last month with a win at a regional enduro race in California.
Deniaud and Vezina will have their Reign Advanced Pro 29 bikes with FOX suspension setups, along with shorter travel Trance X Advanced Pro 29 trail bikes for select events.
Rounding out the enduro squad is veteran Josh Carlson, competing primarily in E-bike races. The Australian has won the past two E-Enduro national championships in Australia (2020, 2021) and has his sights set on this year’s Enduro World Series E-bike competition. Carlson races primarily on his Reign E+ Pro, as well as the Trance X E+ Pro 29 for certain events.
Reto Indergand of Switzerland and Antoine Philipp of France are representing the team in elite men’s World Cup XC racing, while recently crowned Australian Under-23 national champion Cameron Wright returns to race in the U23 category.
Indergand, a two-time Swiss Bike Cup series winner (2016, 2017), brings a strong résumé of international experience to the team. His 2022 season is already off to a strong start with a win at the Karaburu MTB Cup in Turkey and a podium finish at the opening race of this year’s Swiss Cup series.
The 24-year-old Philipp is coming off a strong debut season in the elite ranks, when he had several podiums at the national level and top-20 finishes in several World Cups and at the 2021 MTB World Championships. Wright, 22, won both the XC and short track events in the U23 category at the 2022 Australian Mountain Bike National Championships and looks to carry that momentum through the rest of the year.
In addition to the three XC World Cup racers, U.S.-based riders Stephan Davoust and Luke Vrouwenvelder will represent the squad at North American XC events. Davoust had a solid 2021 season that saw him win a U.S. title at the MTB marathon national championships and score silver medals at the XC and short-track national championships.
Vrouwenvelder, a six-time collegiate national champion, had a breakout season last year, his first with the team. He won silver at the MTB marathon nationals and bronze at the XC national championships.
All the XC athletes will compete primarily on their XtC Advanced SL 29 hardtails and the all-new Anthem Advanced Pro 29 full-suspension XC bikes.
This year’s Giant Factory Off-Road Team sees the return of its gravel racers Josh Berry and Carl Decker. Berry is a former winner of gravel races including Rebecca’s Private Idaho and Belgian Waffle Ride, and a podium finisher at Unbound Gravel. Decker is a three-time winner of the Lost Sierra Triple Crown, a series of endurance events in the U.S.
Along with fellow endurance racer Davoust, these U.S.-based riders are targeting major gravel events in North America including the Lifetime Grand Prix series. All three riders are competing on their Revolt Advanced Pro bikes with CADEX WheelSystems.
On the technical front, the team welcomes back most of its sponsors from 2021 including FOX suspension products, Maxxis tires, Shimano drivetrain and brake components, MRP chain guides, HT pedals, and PRO cockpit components. Additional components and gear include Giant WheelSystems, saddles and dropper seatposts, plus accessories including the Clutch tool system.
On the apparel side, the team continues its partnership with Cuore of Switzerland, which will supply race kits for XC, gravel and gravity racers. The team also continues to work closely with Cuore to develop and test next generation performance apparel. 100% will once again supply full-face helmets, body protection, eyewear and gloves, while Giant supplies other helmets including the Rev Pro and Pursuit models for XC and gravel and the Rail SX and Realm for trail/enduro. Giant also supplies footwear including the Charge Pro XC shoe, Line trail/enduro shoe and the Shuttle DH shoe.
You can follow the Giant Factory Off-Road Team all season long on Instagram and Facebook.