The new season brings exciting new changes for the Pearl Izumi/Pivot Cycles Mountain Bike Race Team. A new team member and new title sponsor promises to make 2018 a special year for the team that’s been winning races across the country and now has teamed up with cycling gear superpower Pearl Izumi.
Pearl Izumi has come on board to provide the finest threads and performance gear to keep the team performing at the highest level. The 4-person team will be competing in the Team Training Jersey from Pearl Izumi featuring P.R.O. Transfer In-R-Cool fabric to keep the team cool whether racing in the heat of the desert southwest or thick summer air at Trans-Sylvania Epic. Italian nylon in the Elite LTD short will be keeping riders comfortable racing hundreds of miles of dirt and singletrack.
For the first time in team history riders will be trusting Pearl Izumi with the single most important piece of equipment to any cyclist, shoes. The connection between a rider and their bike, riding shoes, are the most critical piece of riding apparel. Riders will compete in the X-Project P.R.O. shoe that combines a rigid carbon sole that stays stiff while pedaling and flexes while walking, this combined with dual BOA closures makes the Project X the best shoe for marathon and stage racing.
“I’ve never sought out a shoe sponsor for our team in the past,” team director Shannon Boffeli shared. “It’s such a deeply personal and significant piece of equipment. But the X-Project is such a unique and comfortable shoe I knew all our riders would love it. I can’t wait to get everyone in them.”
The team will also be using the Divide glove to stay connected to the bike as well as Pearl Izumi’s full line of performance baggies and comfort-fit riding tops providing the best blend of style and function.
Pearl joins a long listed of trusted sponsors including Pivot Cycles, producer of the most advanced mountain bikes in the US. Riders will be competing on the Pivot Mach 4 and Mach 429sl as well as the Les 29 and 27.5.
Stan’s NoTubes has been a team supporter since the very beginning. The team will be competing with only Stan’s sealant rolling in NoTubes’ Valor carbon wheelset, a lightweight wheel strong enough for the most punishing ultra-endurances races in the world.
Rotor bike components are providing the highest end cranks, powermeters, and chainrings. Riders will be racing and training with the Inpower Rex powermeter and groundbreaking, leg-saving, Qring oval chainrings.
Nutrition will be provided by Carborocket drink keeping riders hydrated with their stomach-friendly race hydration and Rehab recovery drink to keep racers strong during the longest events while Honeystinger great-tasting organic waffles, energy chews, and gel will power riders.
Ergon will be keeping riders comfortable and connected to the bike providing new innovative designs with their saddles and grips.
The team will be rolling on Continental tire rubber a proven winner with the durability to get their riders to the finish line.
Xpedo pedals will provide the platform for thousands of miles of racing from the Pearl Izumi/Pivot team this season continuing to produce some of the lightest and positive-feeling pedals on the market. Riders will be using the ti body and spindle of the Xpedo M-Force 8 ti for all their racing and training this season.
In addition to a change at title sponsor this year’s Pearl Izumi/Pivot race team is losing a longtime member and adding a new face. After 6 years on the team, east coast superstar Karen Potter is taking some time away from racing opening a spot that will be filled by 2017 National Ultra Endurance marathon series champion Jen Toops.
Toops, from Marion, Ohio, had a phenomenal 2017 with wins at NUE events, and 3rd at the Ruta de los Conquistadors in Costa Rica. She’s excited to join one of the top ultra-endurance teams in the US and looking forward to taking another big step in her racing career.
Jen will again be tackling the NUE marathon series as well as trying her hand at some stage races including Trans-Sylvania Epic.
Toops will be joining returning team members Marlee Dixon, Jen Hanks, and Shannon Boffeli. All of whom are coming off successful seasons of their own including wins at bigtime events like Firecracker 50, Titan Tropic Stage Race Cuba, 12 Hours of Mesa Verde, and Hanks’ 3rd at the Rotor Big Race in Madrid, Spain.
Together the Pearl Izumi/Pivot team will be conquering some of the toughest mountain bike events in the US and beyond. The team will be focusing on the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, Epic Rides events, and stage races including Moab Rocks, MITAS 4-Islands, in Croatia, Pisgah, Trans-Sylvania, and Breck Epic. And as always they will be publishing full reports of each event on MTBRaceNews.com. Please follow along with them as they embark on an exciting new season of mountain bike racing.