Well, usually by this time of a new year you start seeing numerous press releases, social media posts, articles, all touting how happy so and so is to be joining their new team. The usual rounds of thanks for all the great times messages are spewed forth so as not to burn any bridges with the old teams. Nothing new at all for a new race season. But in case you haven’t noticed, in the XC world of racing, there have been virtually no team changes. There’s a few U23 racers who have joined factory world cup teams, but that’s different. In fact, I can’t think of a SINGLE top 30 rider who has a new team for 2024.

The obvious reason for this oddity is that the Olympics, as usual, mess up the regular programming. Teams signed their talent 1 or 2 years ago, with a 2 or 3 year contract in the hopes they can get into the Olympics. So I have to assume this is the case again. Most of the action happened last year or 2022.

So it has been a very, very boring off season in that regards. Now, the enduro world, and downhill circuits have seen a number of teams not only quit outright, but get rid of practically their whole roster and start over. Part of this is for economic reasons. Actually, I’d imagine that’s almost all of the reason. But I’ve heard of no teams in the XC world that have folded or even tightened up a bit and let some dead weight go.

But wait until 2025! I bet you’ll see a bunch of teams changing, folding, and even some high profile retirements.

I can’t wait for the season to start in South America this year!