Propain suspends its Factory Race Team for 2023

Propain will join Norco on the growing list of companies not building factory teams for the 2023 season.

Next Announcement from Norco in October that it will skip next year’s race, Propain has announced that it will take a break from building a factory team in 2023, although it looks like there could be a return in the future .

The squad hiatus means Henry Kerr, Luke Meier-Smith and Remy Meier-Smith could be on the lookout for a new squad, although Propain said “it goes without saying for us that we care about the members of our team and keep them on track for 2023 through our relationships with industry partners and co.”

It’s sad to see another top team pull out of next year’s race and we hope there isn’t too much news to come.

It really pains us to say this, but the Propain Factory Racing team will be taking a break in 2023. It was certainly not an easy decision, and we want to explain why we have to do it.

Since 2016 we were part of the Downhill World Cup with our first professional team, “Propain Dirt Zelvy”. Still driven by the thrill of competitive racing, three years later in 2019 we had big plans for this team and we took it more seriously than ever. We changed the team structure to operate under the name “Propain Factory Racing” with the main objective of becoming a Top 10 team at World Cups.

Three years later, the whole world has changed again. We don’t want to blame everything on the pandemic, but it is an important part that has changed not only our environment but also Propain itself. We are a growing, owner-managed company in southern Germany and are just starting to get our hands on markets outside of Europe. Over the past three years, times have been hectic and stressful as we tried to conquer the growing demand for bicycles and simultaneously increasing delivery times for all kinds of bicycle parts. At that time our minds weren’t focused on a World Cup downhill team, but we pushed on and 2022 has proven to be one of the most successful years for the team.

It certainly didn’t make the decision any easier, but with better riders it also means more responsibility, time and effort to invest. The competition for good riders is always high, and in the end we couldn’t keep the existing team in its current configuration.

In 2023, the Mountain Bike World Cup will change with more stops around the world in a shorter period. We made this strategic decision to take this time to build a strong team for 2024 and focus all of our energy and power on our customers to ensure we are building the best bikes for ourselves and our friends. We will spend the coming year recalibrating and setting the stage for 2024 to return fully recharged.

We would like to thank our athletes, the whole team with team manager Ben Reid, our sponsors and of course all the fans for the last seven years of racing downhill world cups with Propain. It goes without saying for us that we care about our team members and keep them on track for 2023 through our relationships with our industry partners and co.

This is not a goodbye, we will be back!

propane
great quotes I can honestly say it has been a pleasure leading the World Cup team for Propain over the past 7 seasons. Meeting company owners Robert and David for the first time in 2016 and seeing their passion for building the best bikes for their friends was immediately something I felt proud to be a part of.

Two extremely hard-working, down-to-earth mountain bike riders who run their business on fairness and loyalty and it’s really no surprise that their business has become what it is today. It was an easy partnership because our goals of developing the best race bike for the team were very aligned and everything the team needed was achieved.

As I prepare for the 2023 season, this news came as a shock at first, but after chasing the World Cup circuit for the past 21 years of my life as a driver and manager, I welcome this opportunity to focus on other projects and although not as a team manager I hope to stay involved with the brand as the Propain guys have really felt like family and there really isn’t other bike that I prefer to ride. From the riders we have had over the years, staff and sponsors, thank you all for being a part of it.

Ben Reid, team leader