Mark Weir – Team WTB/Cannondale/Fox Racing Shox/Shimano
Described as a well-rounded rider who specializes in suffering, Mark Weir, 41, has become a successful and dominant force in professional downhill endurance racing. The Novato, California native believes in hard work and fair play without compromise—values he will undoubtedly pass along to the kids he coaches on his backyard pump track, his son Gus included.
In terms of mountain biking, having these values means developing the skills, fitness, and technologies necessary to compete against the world’s best riders on any dirt, anywhere. And they don’t come easy, the skills and fitness that is… Mark explains, “I do the best I can with the skills I don’t have but the will that I do.” Not bad considering he’s “willed” himself to winning the Downieville Downhill eight times; climbed a million vertical feet in one year; and earned a top-10 spot in the NORBA National Series on a six-inch travel bike—all of which has helped to define the all mountain category of the sport.
As far as technology goes, Weir’s relationship with WTB’s R&D began with his namesake tire line, the WeirWolf, launched in the 1990s. Nearly a decade later, the tire tread pattern was updated and re-launched with the added feature of WTB’s new TCS (Tubeless Compatible System) technology that Mark also worked to advance with product developers. He devoted endless test ride hours specifically to rim/tire bead retention, resulting in a high-performance system with phenomenal flat resistance—something he’s been working towards since he stopped using tubes 10 years ago.
Despite the suffer fests and challenges that come with pro racing, Weir continues to be inspired by the people he meets and competes against as well as the amazing places mountain biking takes him.
Jason Moeschler – Team WTB/Cannondale/Fox Racing Shox/Shimano
Jason began racing bikes at age 14 and over the course of his racing career has become a three-time Mountain Bike World Championship Competitor, ‘97 US Junior National Champion, as well as a three-time Downieville All Mountain Pro Champion. Now the 35-year-old races the clock for daylight to ride. It’s a constant battle to balance the demands of his full-time job as WTB’s OEM sales manager with traveling to races and trade shows, training, not to mention being a dad, husband, and all around good guy who’s always willing to help someone out.
From coaching mtb skills clinics for NorCal kids, wrenching on bikes for old friends, to giving away all of his firewood to the old lady next door—you get the picture. Yeah, he's a nice guy but rest assured—not all nice guys finish last—least of all Moeschler, who might possibly be the nicest guy who’ll ever pass you.
Moeschler prefers epic rides with friends to racing but manages to remain a threat on the emerging enduro scene and especially in all-mountain and XC events with nasty climbs and technical descents. Among other things, he says pro racing keeps him motivated to stay fit and live healthy.
Ben Cruz, WTB/Cannondale
Ben Cruz pulled himself up from his bootstraps. The kid who wouldn’t excuse himself from Weir’s garage, wouldn’t stop ankle biting, wouldn’t stop yapping, made it happen. From hand-me-downs he went straight to hauling ass. It’s almost as though he funneled his trouble into speed.
Ben is nonstop on and off the bike. Relentless, full-on, committed, fearless… any of these can be aptly appropriated to the man who broad chests it down the mountain. Any mountain. Ask Ben to recount a course he raced and you’ll invariably hear about a section where, “You have to let your bike do the talking,” and that pretty much describes Ben too – he lets his bike do the talking.
Ben’s talents have been rightfully recognized and 2013 pretty much marked the year Ben marred the European gentleman’s sport of Enduro with sheer American muscle. They seemed dumbfounded by the brash American who wouldn’t step aside off the podium. He couldn’t, top 5 all year. In 2014, Ben battled Lyme’s disease but didn’t let any fans down, he flew down courses. 2015’s open, he’s strong, and it’s hunting season for the Novato native – watch out for Ben Cruz!
Marco Osborne, WTB/Cannondale/Shimano
Marco joined Team WTB with tall white tube socks and a heavily borrowed and forgotten bike that Mark Weir had once upon a time abused. Marco hadn’t ever flown in an airplane.
So what happens when you give the quiet fast kid a chance? A fresh Jekyll frame, some breathable bike socks, the ability to piggyback on Jason, Mark, and Ben’s allotted travel stipends? A few leftovers from unused sponsorship product?
A borderline appalling winning streak.
Marco has proven to the world that he’s serious and that he’s unapologetically fast. But the most boggling part of his rise to glory has been the manner with which he has done so. Calm, poised, calculated yet quietly modest, silent and unsuspected. His hunger for speed is without boastful roar. The third Novatan to grace Team WTB, Marco embodies the hardworking talent the Northern Marin town has become known for along with the attentive conviction of a seasoned professional beyond his years.
Team WTB is proud to call Marco Osborne one of their own and a member of the closely-knit family. Here’s to witnessing Marco’s growth!