Joining the 2011 Specialized USA Factory Team for mountain bike cross country will be Canadian MAX PLAXTON and 5-time US National Champion LEA DAVISON. Plaxton comes to the team after two years on the Sho-Air program and finished a successful 5th place overall in the 2010 Pro XCT standings as well as representing Canada at the World Championships. Davison returns to elite level mountain biking after an year off due to injury and has been training with vigor anticipating her return.
When asked about joining Specialized Plaxton said, “I am extremely excited for 2011 race season and look to improve on the last 2 years where I feel I have shown steady progression. I couldn't be luckier continuing on the Specialized S-Works bikes and equipment and the family style environment that encompasses the company. It's sure to be a great year and the season preparation has been solid here at home in Victoria-BC."
Plaxton will focus on the US Pro XCT race series and will look to go one step better at the Canadian National Championships in July after last year’s second place. Currently training with the Canadian National Team Plaxton is poised for a great 2011 season.
Davison returns to elite cycling in 2011 with a renewed energy and when asked about joining Specialized she commented, “I'm so psyched to be riding with Specialized in 2011. I approached the 2010 season as an opportunity to get stronger and faster than ever. It's great to be on board with a company that has a phenomenal woman's line that has the same goals as I do; to get more women on bikes.”
Davison will continue her advocacy work with Little Bellas (http://littlebellas.com/) promoting cycling to girls and is committed to a full schedule of US Pro XCT races as well as UCI World Cups with a goal of returning to the World Championships to represent the USA.
Davison will be riding the S-Works Era as her race bike and will use the completely redesigned 2011 Safire PRO for training and selected Super-D races. Plaxton will upgrade to a new 2011 S-Works Epic 26” and S-Works Epic 29” depending on the race conditions and course topography.
The US Factory Team is just one part of our RED Thread of mountain bike development. Starting with NICA – high school mountain bike racing and Whole Athlete / Specialized, our elite junior team, building with Durango Devo and other U-23 programs, and creating a US based PRO team will allow us to offer Specialized sponsored athletes an opportunity for support from their first junior race all the way to the World Cup.
For 2011 the team will focus on the US Pro XCT races, the US Cup Triple Crown and the North American UCI World Cup races.