Marcelo Gutierrez: Marcelo Gutierrez is a six-time DH national champion in his home nation of Colombia. For 2017 he will again focus on major downhill races around the world including the UCI World Cup series. Cameron Baird photo.

With varying ambitions ranging from UCI World Cup Downhill races to Enduro World Series events and major XC races in North America, team riders spent time in California getting to know each other and dialing in their new bikes and gear before kicking off the race season March 25 at the Crankworx Rotorua event in New Zealand.

Rae Morrison: This year Rae Morrison, New Zealand’s top-ranked women’s enduro racer, joins the team to represent Liv, Giant’s sister brand for women. Morrison, who scored two top-5 finishes in the 2015 Enduro World Series, will race on the Liv Hail Advanced, the first women’s-specific 160mm travel trail bike. Cameron Baird photo
This year’s roster includes ten riders representing six different nations. One of the most notable changes includes the addition of Rae Morrison, an enduro racer in the elite women’s category who will represent Giant’s sister brand Liv. The team is also expanding its XC presence at the developmental level with young American riders Stephan Davoust and Tofor Lewis joining.

Eliot Jackson: American Eliot Jackson is a newcomer to the team this year. The 27-year-old former motocross racer, who scored several top pro DH results last year, is pictured here riding his local trails in Southern California on his Giant Glory Advanced team bike. Cameron Baird photo.

Other new faces this year include Jacob Dickson, a four-time junior national DH champion from Ireland; Eliot Jackson, a former motocross racer from the U.S. who scored top-10 results at two Crankworx DH events last year; and Mike Day, a former BMX star and Olympic medalist who has transitioned into mountain biking. Day will represent the team at select enduro events this year.

Returning riders include six-time Colombian DH national champion Marcelo Gutierrez; enduro specialists Josh Carlson of Australia and Canadian Mckay Vezina; plus veteran U.S. XC racer Carl Decker.

Here’s a look at the 2017 roster, and photos of the riders with their new bikes, gear and apparel from official team sponsors.

Mckay Vezina: Mckay Vezina makes the step up this year from the Giant Co-Factory Team. This past season, the young Canadian emerged as a strong contender in the Enduro World Series during his rookie year. He’s picture here riding his Reign Advanced team bike and wearing the Giant Rail helmet. Cameron Baird photo.
2017 Giant Factory Off-Road Team
Josh Carlson (Australia), Enduro
Stephan Davoust (USA), XC
Mike Day (USA), Enduro
Carl Decker (USA), XC, Enduro, Cyclocross
Jacob Dickson (Ireland), DH
Marcelo Gutierrez (Colombia), DH
Eliot Jackson (USA), DH
Tofor Lewis (USA), XC
Rae Morrison (New Zealand), Liv Women’s Enduro
Mckay Vezina (Canada), Enduro

2017 Team Sponsors

Giant Bikes: Team riders have a full fleet of Giant off-road bikes to choose from this year. Cross-country riders have the XtC Advanced 29er hardtail for fast, smooth courses or the Anthem Advanced with Maestro rear suspension for more technical terrain. Enduro riders typically choose the Reign Advanced with 160mm of suspension front and rear, or, for certain courses, the Trance Advanced trail bike featuring a composite frame and 140mm of Maestro rear suspension travel. For the World Cup downhill crew, it’s the legendary Glory Advanced, a proven DH machine that has won world championships and World Cups all around the globe.

Bike Gear: Team bikes are built up with the most innovative new parts and components from the following team sponsors:

SRAM components
RockShox suspension
Schwalbe tires
HT Pedals
Giant saddles
Giant WheelSystems
Giant water bottles and cages
MRP chain guide
ODI grips
Stan’s NoTubes sealant
Finish Line lubricant

Rider Gear: From helmets and apparel to travel accessories, the following sponsors help give every team rider a competitive edge in training and racing all year long:

100% DH and enduro kits, and full-face helmets and goggles/sunglasses
Giant helmets for XC and enduro (Rev, Pursuit, and Rail models)
Giant footwear including the Charge for XC racing
Jakroo XC racing kits
GoPro cameras
Re-fuel power chargers
Jaybird headphones
Honey Stinger nutrition
Thule travel gear

Rae Morrison will be aboard the Liv Hail Advanced for enduro racing, and will also be equipped with Liv gear including footwear, saddles and helmets.