When our small UNION formed during turbulent times in January 2021, we never thought we’d be sat here writing this article, looking back on numerous top 20 World Cup results, surviving on a minimal budget with maximum good times and now, announcing a fresh setup with support from new friends and old going into 2022.
Unions Must Find the Balance Between Adherence and Progress and with this in mind we’re stoked to announce a handful of new but mighty sponsors, plus our two new members joining the fold. Frida Ronning (NOR) and Lachie Stevens-Mcnab (NZ)
Frida set sail for Knoxville Tennessee a few years ago now and has made a home there studying at University in, quote “Mechanical engineering with a focus in fluid dynamics and thermo. My research is electrolyzers or making hydrogen from water”. We’re confused too, but impressed. This smart and talented rider is the epitome of privateer, making the leap from World Cup XC racer to DH in 2016 and since then has been chipping away at the top 15 in between school and work, which leaves her currently sitting just shy of the infamous top 10. We hope that with a roof over her head and some spare tyres to boot, she can relax in some ways and push on in other’s come 2022. Velkommen til teamet Frida!
Lachie, the reigning NZ junior DH Champ and former BMX World champion just turned 17 after his first big summer in Europe, so he’s no stranger to what needs to be done to make it happen whilst having a good time out on the circuit. From running tyres for weeks on end, to accidentally sleeping on mountainsides overnight, all that hustling didn’t go to waste with him taking 3rd at Junior Worlds in Val Di Sole and a host of other podiums along the way in 2021. It’s only just the start for this young Kiwi pinner and we can’t wait to see what your second full season brings mate.
Returning to the picket line once again, Big Ben Zwar (SWE) and player-manager Oliver Zwar (SWE) will now just be full time ‘playing,’ with the goal to improve on his breakout 2021 with multiple top 20 finishes. Taking over his managerial and day to day leadership will be none other than Walker Shaw (USA), who many of you will know from his extensive racing background and approachable personality wherever he shows up. Even though he’ll be in the pits and on the
side of the track keeping the troops in check, he’ll be keeping things fun and no doubt pushing himself on two wheels whenever he gets a chance.
Ollie Davis was frothing this off season for another go in 2022, but whilst doing laps at his local resort Thredbo, he had a slide out resulting in a broken leg putting him in the hospital for Xmas. Being young has its perks though and even though boredom has no doubt set in, he’s on the mend and will be bringing that big old smile back out to Europe to retake his prince of pleney status this summer.
Steel City Media is beyond proud to help and hustle on behalf of this crew of riders and wider staff members, with the goal of providing a legitimate not for profit, development pathway for up-coming talent on the World stagel. We’re stoked to announce the following brands and partners share this mantra as well:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Seb Kemp - Global Brand Manager of Santa Cruz Bicycles
“I am extremely honored to deliver the Welcoming Address to the Union on behalf of Santa Cruz Bicycles.
When I was a lad, attending my first Zoom meeting, words such as 'union' rarely appeared in the discussions or texts from the proceedings of these meetings. Now they do – regularly. We’re seeing the tide shift and many comrades are banding together to support the largely untapped potential for egalitarian, sustainable, Unionized, World Cup racing.
So, to the collectivized individuals of the Union, I say strike hard at every start line and march onwards with conviction to the finish line!”
In 2022 you can still find us based out of our Bike Morzine HQ, before travelling to all of the UCI DH World Cups, Crankworx, select European/National races and more…
Our pits are always open, so don’t be afraid to come and say hello. See you all in 2022!