It has today been officially revealed that Jared Graves is joining Specialized for the 2016 EWS series.
Specialized has posted this short teaser video of Graves riding on an Enduro to confirm the Australian legend will be riding for the Big S. Graves will race alongside American athlete Curtis Keene.
Graves said: “I am so stoked to join forces with Specialized. No other brand has the full complement of top-shelf bikes and gear and the level of commitment to success. The whole team is set up really well with the best support, the best mechanics, and the best teammates. Racing with my old buddy, Curtis Keene, is going to be unreal. We have been buds forever, and now to be teammates, I am confident we can help each other and both become better riders through the process”
On Monday, Jared Graves announced he was leaving his long term sponsor Yeti, drawing to a close one of the most successful partnerships in mountain biking history.
Graves first signed for Yeti in 2004 as a four-cross racer and won four World Championships and three World Cup overalls, picking up 30 World Cup wins along the way. He also raced BMX and finished sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Graves often raced downhill in parallel to four cross and the highlight of his gravity-fed career came in 2013 when he raced a trail bike to third place in Pietermaritzberg.
Watch our bike check with Curtis Keene, will he be Graves’ team mate next year?
In 2013, Graves turned his focus to enduro. He clinched his first race win in Whistler in 2013 and went on to become the 2014 World Champion after a further three wins.
His final season with Yeti was blighted with injury but he came back strong and still claimed a victory at the final round in Finale Ligure.
The move was heavily rumoured after the Team Rumours Instagram posted the below image.
The post depicted a freshly dug grave and a headstone with the Specialized logo carved into it. The caption simply read, “Got a new pen”.
The gravestone also seems to imply that Yeti will no longer be racing. What will this mean for current Enduro World Series champion Richie Rude? A previous ream_tumours post suggested he could be headed back to downhill but only time will tell.
Graves will be back on the EWS trail in March when the Series heads to Chile and Argentina.