The 2017 EWS Championship winning Ibis Cycles Enduro Team returns for 2018 with some new faces but determined to hold onto the title of the ‘Best Team In Enduro’.
Team leader, Robin Wallner returns for his third season on the Ibis team hoping to build on what he achieved this past season and finally score a podium and Top 10 overall ranking for the series. The 29 year old Swede had a breakout year in 2017 with four Top 10 results, including a steller 4th in Whistler.
Joining Robin at the head of the men’s field will be newcomer Lewis Buchanan of Scotland. 2017 was a comeback year for the 24 year old Scot, after suffering a serious injury that prematurely ended his 2016 campaign. His steady results in 2017 hinted that Lewis wasn’t far off the form that previously had him in the Top 10.
“I’m honestly over the moon to be with Ibis for the next 2 years. Their bikes are proven, and I am looking forward to a really successful upcoming season. Being able to work with Fox and Shimano again was a huge thing for me, as I have good relationships with those brands, and I’m excited to carry on and have a really good season with the whole team.”
Also, joining the team this year is Rebecca “Bex” Baraona. Another 24 year old, Bex has been one of the top privateers in the EWS over the past two seasons, scoring a host of top 10 placings without the support of a team. The native of the UK doesn’t do anything by halves. Shockingly, her first ride on a mountain bike was a rip down the DH track a Fort William. With a start like that, racing the EWS must seem easy by comparison.
“It feels really crazy to have just signed my first pro contract! Pinch me! Meeting everyone at the Ibis factory in California was great! We had a good laugh, rode bikes and ate good food! Mum, I'm in safe hands for 2018! Looking forward to racing and traveling with the crew and making the most out of all the team support, as I step away from privateer racing to professional racing. 2 years as an EWS privateer got me to this point and I am ready for the next 2 years with the Ibis Cycles Enduro Team. Now let's go racing!”
Only 21, and already a veteran of the Ibis squad, Dillon Santos returns to the team with his sights set on contesting the entire EWS season. Taken under the wing of Robin Wallner and the other more experienced riders on the team Dillon has been a willing apprentice. The California based rider hopes to prove that he has what it takes to compete with the world’s best.
Rounding out the roster will be Julie Duvert of France. Winner of the 2017 French Enduro Cup and a former EWS U21 race winner, Julie is hoping to break into the top 10 of the EWS for 2018.
2018 Ibis Cycles Enduro Team sponsors: POC, Maxxis, KS, Fox Factory, Shimano, Joystick, LizardSkins, Muc-Off, Feedback Sports, Industry Nine, Honey Stinger, One-Up.
Follow the adventures of the Ibis Cycles Enduro Team through all of the Ibis Cycles channels
Nearly four and half years ago - around the time of the Sea Otter Classic, Ibis’s Swiss distributor alerted us to expect a visit from a couple of journalists. Given the proximity of Ibis’s headquarters in Santa Cruz, California to the Sea Otter race venue in Monterey these sort of visits are normal at that time of year, but this visit turned out to be anything but routine. The ‘journalists’ were two tall women who appeared to be mirror images of each other.
Months later when we were forming the Ibis Cycles Enduro Racing Team, and in the midst of the cat and mouse games that go on behind the scenes as teams try to sign riders and secure sponsors, Anita and Carolin were put forth as possible recruits.
The impression they had left in our previous meeting made the decision a no brainer, and so it was that they became the first riders signed to the new team.
And now after three successful seasons with the team, it is time to say goodbye.
Changes to team rosters are inevitable, and the whys are never as simple as they may seem. The reality is that a myriad of vagaries must ultimately conclude in a black and white decision. And so it is that only those most intimately involved can even hope to understand.
It is best then to think of change as opportunity for both the riders and the team to chart a new course by which they both can achieve even greater success. And no salutation could be more heartfelt than for us to say that wish Anita and Carolin the best in everything they do.
Starting with the foundation formed by Anita and Carolin, the Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team has evolved over these past three years to earn its place as the number one team in the Enduro World Series, and their contributions cannot be overstated. Whether it be the team’s first podium, the first stage win, or first series overall podium Anita and Carolin have authored the team’s most significant firsts.
Perhaps most notable, however, has been their incredible perseverance. Through three seasons competing at the sharp end of the results they have finished every single EWS race. Incredible.
Along the way, there has been many other races, and many more notable victories - Trans-Provence, Italy’s Super Enduro Series, and the California Enduro Series. They’ve truly done it all.
So as this year comes to end, and we go our separate ways, we would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to say “thank you”. Your contributions will never be forgotten, and you will always be part of the Ibis family.
Congratulations to our team on finishing first overall in the Enduro World Series! You guys are now world champions!
The pictures above are just a few from the race weekend.
Thanks and congratulations to our sponsors as well!