Exciting news for two of our favourite professional racers Andrew L'Esperance and Haley Smith!
We are crossing our fingers to see them both on the East Coast this season - perhaps a return to L'Esperance's home province of Nova Scotia for the Kentville Canada Cup?!
Read the full Press Release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
From: Maxxis International
Dept: Marketing Department
Re: Maxxis Fields New Factory Team for 2022
In more than 50 years of producing bicycle tires, Maxxis has been honored to support some of the world’s best teams and athletes across every discipline of the sport. Working with these talented athletes is critical to developing and testing the world’s best mountain bike tires. It’s now been 11 years since the end of the last Maxxis factory-level racing program, and the cycling landscape has changed a bunch. With more ways than ever to go fast off-road on a bicycle and tires playing a crucial role in those pursuits, Maxxis is excited to introduce the multi-disciplined Maxxis Factory Racing team.
Maxxis Factory Racing will compete primarily in North America in disciplines ranging from XC and gravel to enduro. Look for endurance athletes Haley Smith and Andrew L’Esperance to be battling for podiums at the likes of Epic Rides, Life Time GP and the UCI World Cup. Gravity-based athletes Colton Peterson and Sophie Allen will be testing the limits of their Minions at events such as the Big Mountain Enduro, North American EWS and EWS qualifying rounds. The team will be headed up by manager and lead mechanic Drew Esherick, who previously worked as the national events manager for Stan’s NoTubes, with the Canadian National Team in support of their cyclocross athletes, and his mechanical experience includes working for various World Cup and Domestic teams, as well as neutral service for Shimano.
“We couldn’t be more excited to finally share the news of our new Maxxis Factory Racing team!” said Maxxis Bicycle Tire Division Assistant Manager Duncan McGuire. “Many months of work went into finding the perfect partners and the perfect athletes to launch this project with, and we can’t wait to finally see their tires hit the dirt!”
Drew is ready to go: “I’m super excited to work with all of our athletes this year. We’re going to go out and compete with some of the top riders in the world. This is a big change for me to be running this program. Duncan at Maxxis and Dave McLaughlin from the Clif program were both instrumental in helping to put this team together. I don’t think we’d be here without them.”
L’Esperance and Smith have each ridden as pros for over a decade. Lately, the pair (married in 2020) have been looking to expand their racing horizons beyond XCO
L’Esperance and Smith have each ridden as pros for over a decade. Lately, the pair (married in 2020) have been looking to expand their racing horizons beyond XCO, and riding for Maxxis Factory Racing will give them that chance. Smith, a 2020 Olympian, has stood atop World Cup, National Championship, and Commonwealth Games podiums. L’Esperance has multiple UCI Stage, Canada Cup, and Sea Otter podiums to his credit, as well as representing Canada seven times at the World Championships.
On the gravity side of the team, Colton Peterson has been all over the podium and in the top ten at some of the world’s biggest enduro events for almost five years. Recent accomplishments include being the #7 Overall Pro Men’s rider at the Big Mountain Enduro in 2021, the 2020 Revolution Enduro Race #2 winner, and Big Mountain Enduro Race #1 winner in 2019. Watch out for Colton this season with more support and training than he’s ever had.
Riding for Colorado Mesa University in the collegiate cycling scene, Sophie Allen has earned strong results in a variety of mountain bike racing disciplines. After recently turning her focus to enduro, she became the #3 Overall U21 Women’s rider at the Big Mountain Enduro in 2021, earned multiple podium finishes in that same series, and successfully competed at the Maxxis Eastern States Cup race series. With the sky as her limit, Sophie will be exciting to follow this year.
The best tires are nothing without having some of the best bikes and wheels to mount them on. That’s why Maxxis Factory Racing is excited to have strong support from Ibis Cycles and Stan’s NoTubes. The team will be riding Ibis’ new Exie for cross-country, Hakka MX for gravel, and Ripmo for enduro. Ibis Cycles President Tom Morgan said “Maxxis has been a fantastic partner for Ibis both with our EWS team and as an OE supplier for many years. When they invited us to become part of the team, I was happy to pay it back. Also, it was an opportunity to get involved again in the North American racing scene in a big way. We're looking forward to seeing what Haley, Andrew, Sophie, and Colton can do this year.”
The team bikes will be outfitted with a range of the tried-and-true Stan’s NoTubes XC, gravel, and enduro wheels. The tire and wheel pairing will be completed with Stan’s sealant to ensure the best tubeless setup and protection against punctures. Of the new partnership, Stan’s NoTubes Creative Director Chris Currie had this to say: “Like Stan's, Maxxis has a genuine love for racing and supporting the riding community, so we are super-excited to be a part of this team. With great support from other friends in the industry, a range of events from enduro to gravel, and an incredibly talented group of riders, this is going to be a team to watch both now and in the future.”
Maxxis Factory Racing sponsors include: Maxxis Tires, Ibis Cycles, Stan’s NoTubes, Enduro Bearings, ESI Grips, Smanie, Sock Guy, Shimano, Wahoo, Fox Racing, RaceFace, Giro, 4iiii, HyperThreads, Flow Formulas, Better Bolts, Tannus Armor and Pedro’s.
Maxxis is looking forward to the official team launch party and kit reveal at Sea Otter in April. Follow the team’s 2022 racing campaign using these channels: