Some great news out of the Middle East
If we were to guess where the newest World Cup downhill team was to come from, Iran would be pretty far down that list.
Against all odds though, the Fastos Development team will take to the slopes of the World Cup circuit next year with a roster of young riders hoping to take on the big boys.
At the end of last season, Cycling Federation of Iran, its head mountain bike coach Harry Hendriks (from the Netherlands) and Iran’s National Olympic Committee wanted to create an international mountain bike team to help raise awareness of the sport in the country.
Watch our pro bike check with World Cup rider Joe Smith
The team will be sponsored by Fastos, a distributor based in Iran, and will race on KTM bikes. Hendricks said: “The whole plan was started to improve mountain biking in Iran. Fastos provides the team with world class equipment. For many riders in Iran it’s a big step forward using bikes provided by Fastos.”
Alongside racing, Fastos will be providing workshops for women on mountain biking, bike school weeks in several states of Iran, talent identification programmes and coaching education.
Fastos entered a cross country team to the UCI last year but this is the first time it will enter the downhill World Cups. The downhill team is currently ranked 38th in the world with 160 UCI points (Trek Factory Racing DH currently tops this list with 3194 points), its leading rider is Amin Najafi Bazi with 90 UCI points.
Click here to see the full UCI team listings.