Monday 10 January 2011 / Nukeproof race team launch...

2011 marks a new beginning for downhill and 4X racing as / Nukeproof launch their new race team of Matti Lehikonen, Matt Simmonds, Joe Smith, Lewis Buchanan, Lukas Mechura and Michael Mechura.

After three very successful years as the team, it was the end of an era and time for a change. While co-sponsors continue as in previous years, the team will now be riding and racing NukeProof bikes – Scalp for downhill, Snap for 4X and Mega for enduro downhill events and training.

On the downhill roster, Matti Lehikonen and Matt Simmonds continue to ride for the team, joined by two young British pinners Joe Smith and Lewis Buchanan. Nigel Page, team manager said: "Matti and Matt both had a great season in 2010 and are focussed to improve further in 2011.”

“I am very pleased to welcome two new great young UK riders to the team in Joe Smith and Lewis Buchanan. I have been really impressed with both Joe and Lewis' riding and results over the last few years and I believe they will be great for the team. I hope with the support of our team they can meet their full potential in 2011 and the future.”

On the 4X roster Lukas Mechura is joined by his younger brother, and former BMX racer Michael. Nigel Page has very high hopes: “Michael has mainly been a BMX racer all his life but after a taste or 4X racing in 2010 his is super keen to put his full efforts into 4X. I have very high hopes for all the guys on the team for 2011. They are all really talented fast guys and if they all pull together and help each other out, all of them can make it to the very top level of our sport."

Team will be competing in the full UCI World Cup series, UCI World Championships, the British Halo BDS Downhill series plus other races and events. Team mechanics Dave Garland and Carl Lottering-Geeson will be keeping the Nukeproof bikes in check.

Find out more in this video profile of Lewis Buchanan: Look out for more videos and detailed coverage of the new bikes and riders, coming soon.

2011 team sponsors include: