Great performances don’t just happen.
Since releasing the world’s first mountain bike groupset in 1982, we have spent 40 years supporting some of the best athletes in the world.
We know that success doesn’t come overnight. To grow and reach their potential, athletes need the right environment, the right sustenance, and, most of all, time.
Much like a good drivetrain, we believe that our athletes shouldn’t need to think about the support they are receiving. Reliability may not grab headlines, but without that solid foundation it is hard to be exceptional. We want to let them focus on the important things - riding, racing, sharing and celebrating.
For 2022 we are proud to announce our commitment to four programmes who share our philosophy.
Thömus Maxon Swiss MTB Racing
Everybody loves to support a winner. We are enormously proud of what Mathias Flückiger and the Thömus team accomplished in 2021, but our relationship with them goes much deeper than results. Through their youth programme they do a wonderful job of getting young people excited about XC racing, they nurture riders from the junior ranks into the elite competition and, for us, that is every bit as important as a podium or title. That they have grown into a programme that can take on the bigger factory teams and emerge with victories is simply the icing on the cake and we cannot wait to share the coming years together.
“Shifting and brakes are some of the most important things for racing. They need to survive races, whole seasons even, you need to be able to believe in the components you run. To win a World Cup overall is a big puzzle, it’s not just that the fastest racer gets Shimano brakes, chains and whatever. It is more important than people think to have the right partners and products on your side to be successful.”
“Shimano believed in us as riders, in the structure we had, in the youth programme we have in Switzerland and finally it paid off. When we approached Shimano and proposed starting our youth programme three years ago, they said “Yes, we need that, it is important. We want to see future champions growing up and riding Shimano parts.” We have a very close relationship because we share the same values. That is the cool thing, that they always stood behind our team and supported us. I am proud to be blue-blooded.” - Mathias Flückiger
We don’t know another rider like Thomas Genon. His talent and unique vision for our sport allowed him to transition from a competition rider to a Rampage veteran - an incredible feat for a rider hailing from one of the flattest parts of Europe. Today his riding mixes huge tricks, speed and even art, and we enjoy every second of it.
“Shimano have the same trust in me, that I do in their product. They allow me total freedom with my creativity off the bike and allow me to collaborate in the most authentic way. On top of this, they understand my perspective at event with a balance of style and performance. I never feel pressure.”
“Knowing I can leave for a trip with what ever bike and it’s gonna hold up is takes away a lot of stress. It is important to me is also they way they encourage to me to create and support and understand my perspective.” - Thomas Genon
Dorval AM-Commencal isn’t like other downhill race teams. In just nine years they have grown from a regional cycling club to the number two-ranked team in World Cup Downhill. All of this while still keeping a family spirit in their hearts. They have never gone out and signed the biggest names, they put more resources into women’s racing than any other team, they search for emerging talent and offer them the tools and support to flourish. Their successes speak for themselves. Those are values we believe in too, and we are excited to race into the coming seasons with them.
“We are different to the bigger teams. The Dorval AM-Commencal team exists to support young riders and women, to give them the chance to race. From day one it has been in our team charter to have at least 50% female athletes in the team, we are the only team in the paddock to do this. Last year Benoit Coulanges had one of the biggest breakout rides of the year, but after talking to some of the bigger teams he understood that while we are a small team, we are doing everything right. That he is staying with us shows that we punch above our weight he would rather stay where he feels happy.”
“Shimano has been around for more than 100 years, they know how to develop products that are durable and they have been part of the downhill circuit since it began. Their products just work, and work well. You can ride the whole weekend and you know it’s going to shift and shift every times. They know what we need for racing. This is the most important thing when going as fast as possible, you do not want to have to think about a dropped gear change or a brake overheating.”. - Camille Balanche
Taking the time to nurture talent also means giving it the freedom to express itself. When dirt jump prodigy, Max Fredrikkson, burst onto the scene in 2016, few doubted that he was on track to dominate slopestyle. Life had other plans. After his career-changing injury in 2016, he had a long and difficult road back to riding, a journey he shared with his fans on his Youtube channel. He found his passion there, to share his love of bikes and riding with his fans. Sharing the joy of riding bikes is at the very heart of what we do, so supporting Max to keep on doing that was an easy decision for us.
“Ever since I signed with Shimano I’ve had the feeling that “this is home”. They support me in whatever I want to do, in wet and dry, which feels very personal and real to me. I love riding for Shimano, not only because of the great product but also because we share the same philosophy. I can’t wait to do some great stuff together in the coming years.”
“I need a wide range of products to cover what I do; durability is essential. I'm out there in all conditions, riding, creating and pushing the limits. That puts a lot of strain on me and my bikes, and the trust I have in my products is so important when setting out to a contest or with a videographer.” - Max Fredriksson
Shimano is also a proud supporter of Cannondale Factory Racing, Santa Cruz Syndicate, Canyon Collective FMD, MS Mondraker, GT Factory Racing, Kross Orlen Cycling Team, Scott DH Factory, Madison Saracen and Pivot Factory Racing plus selected domestic level teams and riders.
We wish all of our supported riders success in 2022.