German customer-direct bike brand, YT Industries, will not have an official presence at the 2022 UCI World Cup series.
YT has confirmed that it is redirecting resources, which means support for the Mob downhill team has been withdrawn. A decision that closes a six-year chapter of racing as the YT Mob.
It is understood that Dakotah Norton and Dave Trummer have secured Elite team rides for 2022. Oisin O'Callaghan and Guy Johnston’s plans are unclear but should crystalize into being during the early part of 2022.
After two years of pandemic-influenced scheduling and logistical complications, management optioned on dissolving the team, which was run by 23 Degrees, as the Mob. With YT being the frame sponsor and backer.
The brand has a strong following in the freeride mountain bike scene, and a logical outcome might be more resource allocation for riders on YT bikes, competing at Red Bull Hardline and Rampage.
The Gwinning years
The YT downhill mountain bike team had a superstar start, with Aaron Gwin being its big-name signing back in 2016.
America’s best downhill rider repaid the investment in his professional services. And then some. He won the UCI World Cup overall, in 2016 and 2017, giving YT tremendous product awareness and cachet as an ascending brand.
Since then the YT Mob has had a key presence on the race circuit, especially with the likes of Oisin O'Callaghan winning the 2020 Junior Downhill World Championships and a strong social media presence. It's unclear to the reasoning behind YT putting a pin in its downhill race program but there are likely a number of speculative reasons as to why the brand is taking a break. The general logistics and reality of a disrupted UCI World Cup circuit have been telling and redoubtable adds extra expense to an already costly endeavor, as well as significant stock shortages and supply chain delays which have plagued YT, like all brands, for the last 18 months. The resulting changing marketing priorities for many teams and frame suppliers will likely be something that we see from a few brands over the coming years as the markets continue to be unpredictable.