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Trek Factory Racing Team Update 2014

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |January 21, 2014 2:44 AM

Interview with Trek Factory Racing Team Manager Jon Rourke

For many years Trek Factory Racing, in itís various permutations, has established a significant presence in the domestic mountain bike race scene. After decades of dedication to cross country racing the list of current and former Trek team members is a whoís-who of Americaís best riders. Names like Sue Haywood, Travis Brown, Heather Irmiger, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Willow Koerber, Jeremiah Bishop, and more recently Sam Schultz have all called Trek home at some point in their career.

The recent announcement that Sam Schultz would be leaving to ride with Sho-Air/Cannondale in 2014 left us wondering what Trek Factory Racing has planned for the upcoming season.

Trek Factory Racing team manager Jon Rourke was nice enough to bring us up to speed on the teamís plans for the season ahead including a continued push in the World Cup arena and increased focus on enduro.

Read Jonís full interview below:

MTB Race News - Can you tell us about the decision to part ways with Sam Schultz? It sounds like it was an amicable split.

Jon Rourke - There is not much to discuss.  Racing is a business, sometimes different options and opportunities need to be explored.  We wish Sam a successful recovery from his back surgery and return to competitive cycling.

MTB Race News - With Schultz injured for most of 2013 Trek's domestic cross country presence was limited essentially to Russell Finsterwald, will that continue into next season? Can you give us a full roster for Trek's 2014 domestic MTB team?

Jon Rourke - A release detailing our 2014 squad will be forthcoming. 

MTB Race News - What does Trek have planned for it's domestic mountain bike team in 2014? Does that plan continue to include Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski racing enduro?

Jon Rourke - For a brand like Trek, with race interests globally, we raced multiple domestic circuits with our athletes, from North America to Europe/UK and Australia.  And we will continue to do so in 2014.  Trek Factory Racing is not just focused [on] one domestic series.  Moving in to 2014, we also restructured the Trek MTB race programs to include a separate Trek Factory Enduro squad that includes JHK, Heather, Ross Schnell on the North American front, as well as an international element spear-headed by EWS Champion Tracy Mosley. 

MTB Race News - Trek has traditionally fielded one of the larger domestic race teams in the US, with a laundry list of America's top riders as former and current team members, are the plans to return the team to it's former status or shift focus to European and World Cup racing? 

Jon Rourke - For 2013, the focus with Trek Factory Racing was definitely World Cups and international racing.  The program reflected that format, with a global stable of riders, as we moved away from a North American only roster and focus.

MTB Race News - If USA Cycling and its Pro XCT series started seeing a surge in participation and excitement would that impact Trek's decision to allocate more funds toward a domestic cross country team? 

Jon Rourke - Cycling is a globalized sport.  As mentioned, Trek Factory Racing is not just focused on one nationís series of races.  Simultaneously as a brand, Trek also supports a number of domestic focused teams and athletes in each region or market.  So we already allocate funds in that capacity.  In an ideal world, these regionalized programs would become the feeder to the factory team. 

MTB Race News - What are Trek's goals for the race team in 2014? 

Jon Rourke - Hopefully repeat 2013: victories and podiums at World Cups, a few National Championships, domestic victories globally as well as continue to be one of the top XC programs on the planet.  All while having fun doing it.

MTB Race News - What does the perfect season look like for the 2014 Trek team?  

Jon Rourke - Only thing missing was a womenís elite World Cup victory and podium at World Championships.  We are really excited about the riders and the momentum going into 2014.

MTB Race News - What bikes will the team be racing in 2014?

Jon Rourke - Superfly SL hardtail and Superfly SL full suspension. Both will be equipped with Shimano, FOX and Bontrager components.

Check back with MTB Race News for the upcoming release of Trek Factory Racingís 2014 squad along with the most in-depth reporting on American mountain bike racing.

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