Irish National Downhill MTB champ Jacob Dickson will spearhead Giant Bicycles downhill mountain bike team for 2020 as he chases top-10 results.
All racing for the current season might be on hold, but when it does get going, Jacob Dickson will lead Giant Bicycles out of the starting gate.
Quietly earning his stripes for the last few seasons behind Marcelo Gutierrez and Eliot Jackson, the 21-year-old now steps up to the plate for 2020.
Last year was incredible run for Dickson carding a career-best 13th overall in Andorra, leading Ireland to the DH World Championships in Canada and claiming his third straight national title.
Along with a podium result at the USA nationals in Windrock, those efforts were rightfully recognised.
Things might be on pause right now, but Dickson has his sights set on what he wants to achieve when the call comes to go racing.
Fighting for top-10
“I’m looking forward to progressing at the big races this year,” said Dickson.
“I hope to be consistently fighting for top-ten finishes on the World Cup if and when it gets started and I’m also prepared to again defend my national champion’s jersey back home in Ireland.”
Dickson is joined on the DH squad by the young American recruit Matthew Sterling and returning rider Eliot Jackson.
Sterling is the 2019 U.S. DH national champion in the junior men’s category and finished fourth at the final round of the 2019 UCI World Cup series (junior men).
Dickson, Sterling and Jackson will all compete on their Glory Advanced race bikes.
This year’s Giant Factory Off-Road Team lineup consists of 15 athletes competing in five disciplines: downhill, enduro, XC, gravel and E-MTB.
“The team has been busy these past few months preparing for the upcoming season,” said Team Manager Sebastian Boyington.
“At this point we know the start of the season is delayed due to coronavirus concerns and postponed events, but all of the athletes and staff members are still focused on getting ready to compete at the highest level as soon as the races begin.”
The enduro team sees the return of Youn Deniaud, a top talent from France who finished sixth at the final round of the 2019 Enduro World Series and had three top-20 finishes overall.
Some familiar faces are also back with the enduro squad, including 24-year-old Canadian Mckay Vezina, who won the North American Continental Enduro Series title last year.
Also returning this year is 20-year-old American Tyler Weyman, who will focus on U.S. enduro events.
Carlson goes e-bike
Rounding out the enduro squad is Australian Josh Carlson. The 34-year-old has new goals for 2020 as he transitions to E-bike competition.
With a number of top finishes in the EWS over the past few years, Carlson began training and competing on the Giant Reign E+ Pro E-bike last year and won the first Australian E-Enduro national championship.
Carlson also scored his first big win of 2020 when he won a national title in the E-bike XC race at the 2020 Australian MTB nationals in March.
“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge,” Carlson said. “I am excited to help expand this new category, and to support development of future E-bikes and gear.”