|Christophe Dupouey, "one of the mostpowerful and|
accomplished cross-country racers in the sport," says a press release from Giant,
ended months of speculation this week when the 98 World and 96 World Cup Champion
signed with Giant’s Global Mountain Bike Racing Team.
Joining a diverse and respected squad of international racers at their spring training
camp in Cannes, France, Dupouey received his new Giant uniform and full-suspension
XTC Team bike just weeks before international racing begins in Monterey, Ca. at the
Sea Otter Classic. His arrival to Team Giant brings the teams cross-country ranks
to six men and removes any doubt about Giant’s aspirations for 2000.
"I’m very happy to have him on the team," said Global Team Manager Johan
Lammerts from the training camp.
"Christophe is a wonderful rider and has proven his talent over the years second
in 97s world cup, World Champion in 98 – and also with how impressive he was in the
Houffalize finals last season."
Dupouey had been riding for Team Sunn since 1995 until the team disbanded last season,
leaving one of the sports top riders with new possibilities. He took that opportunity
to join a world-class program in Giant, bringing so much experience and speed to
an already-talented crew.
"It’s obvious that having such a strong rider on the team can be very beneficial
for Giant," continued Lammerts. "We’re proud that hes chosen our team he
feels the structure and organization is good."
That organization is important to Dupouey, who has spent his career at the front
of the pack and thrives on the camaraderie in racing with teammates and countrymen.
"I had several offers," Dupouey said "But I wanted to be on a well-structured
team, with a good bike. Thats one of the reasons I chose Giant. Plus they’re one
of the biggest teams in the scene."
With the addition of Dupouey, Giant now has six world-class riders on the cross-country
squad alone, which includes Dominique Arnould, Johann Vachette, Tom Larson, 96 World
Champion Jerome Chiotti and multi-World Cup winner Rune Hoydahl.
"Of course it’s nice to be on an international team," says Dupouey. "There
are three other French riders, and Ive known Rune for four years. Ive always been
respectful of his efforts, and I find it’s a good opportunity overall."
Dupouey made a name for himself in 1996, when he won the world cup title. It was
the first time France won the overall title, and in 1997 Dupouey almost did it again,
finishing second overall. Then, at the 97 World Championships, he nearly won the
rainbow jersey but was thwarted by a double-flat tyre.
In 1998 Dupouey redeemed himself, becoming European Champion (for the second time),
French Champion and then at Mont Sainte-Annes season finale – he finally became World
Christophe and the rest of his team will be riding Giants much-vaunted XTC Team bike
this season. A full suspension cross-country bike utilizing the computer-designed
NRS (no resonance system), Giant’s XTC bike has proven itself in world cup competition,
and illustrates the companys tradition of race-proven technologies.