Multi-time Canadian National Champion Emily Batty and Canadian U23 National Champion Laurie Arsenault will be racing the World Cup circuit this season backed by some of the top brands in cycling. With big goals, from Olympics to World Championship aspirations, the Canyon MTB Racing squad needed partners that could provide top-notch support.
"We plan to document the aspirational and inspirational stories and partners involved and how products intersect with performance and lifestyle and facilitate the team and athletes' success in relatable and meaningful ways," team director Adam Morka says.
"All of our other sponsors and brands we represent are amazing," Morka notes. "From Bio-Racer, Wahoo, Schwalbe, DT Swiss, Fox, Shimano, there certainly appears to be a common theme emerging. We are attracting the right brands and the good people that represent the brands. Everyone has been so positive and supportive."
Meet the brands that will be supporting the team this season:
Since 2002, Canyon Bikes has been building a reputation as one of the top brands in the world, supporting champions on the road, cyclocross course, and of course, the mountain bike. "Canyon has been fantastic every step of the way from the time I arrived at the factory," Emily said. "I've never felt like someone has been more in my corner than those people. They have an incredible company culture."
"Emily and her entire team perfectly combine a young-at-heart curiosity for new possibilities with an incredible amount of experience at the same time," says Julian Biefang, Senior Product Manager at Canyon. "This unites us: Together, we strive to achieve the best. The passion for cross-country racing is really in each team member and that just makes our collaboration maximally authentic — and we definitely enjoy it to the max!"
"This unites us: Together, we strive to achieve the best. The passion for cross-country racing is really in each team member."
"The new bikes are amazing: I've been clicking with both the Exceed and the Lux," Emily says. "They are so well balanced from front to back, and I can push them without losing the front wheel. Most manufacturers' answer to the modern XC race bike which has been a steeper head tube angle, longer top tube, and a shorter rear triangle, but it's not as simple as that. Canyon has done an impressive job at thinking big picture on every performance attribute of their XC race bikes. There is such a performance-driven culture within Canyon, and it shows in their product lines."
(Stay tuned for a full bike profile of the Canyon Lux and Exceed models that Emily and Laurie will be racing.)
For clothing, BioRacer is providing not just basic kit, but next-level comfort, fit and design for the team. BioRacer has been a top name in clothing design for years, and even their entry-level kits are far beyond what most other brands are making as their high-end options. "When we showed Emily the model of the replica jersey that we'll be selling for the team, she tried it on and said, 'I would be happy racing in this!' And that's our $65 entry-level jersey!" says Phil Cortes, Manager at Bio Racer Canada.
"We're excited to partner with Emily as one of the top Canadian racers, and the team as a whole. I think the alignment between our company and the team is perfect," Cortes added. "The timing was perfect to start to work with the team, and I know that we're going to do really great things together."
"We're excited to partner with Emily as one of the top Canadian racers, and the team as a whole.
"I'm so excited about this partnership and our new kit design. Everyone I have spoken with says they are hands-down the best and make pretty much every top rider's skinsuit. They are the best performance cycling clothing, and hopefully, we can help them generate some awareness around their brand," Emily says.
And as for the soon-to-be-revealed kit collaboration, she adds, "It's been tough getting it across the finish line: Trying to be unique, different, and forward-thinking while meeting all of my own design goals. I think people will be shocked to see the finished design and our presence at events!"
When it comes to recovery, Hyperice is the top brand for a collection of products that keep athletes more comfortable and recovering well from head to toe. "Hyperice, which I've been with for a few years now, makes the absolute best performance recovery products," Emily says. Hyperice also includes Normatech compression boots in addition to the Hypervolt massage gun lineup.
"We've loved how organic our relationship with Emily has been over the years, and of course, we've been big fans of hers," Jessica Miller, Director of Athlete Relations & Events says. "We're really excited to take our partnership with her to the next level, working more with her and the team as a whole. Obviously, recovery is critical for top-level racers, and we're thrilled to provide the tools to help the team with that. To be able to be part of this program from its inception is extremely exciting for us, especially being able to work with Emily as she shifts into this new phase in her career."
Since the pandemic, Wahoo trainers have made their way into the homes of cyclists around the world, thanks to their fantastic direct drive smart trainers. But Wahoo also makes cycling computers for outdoor riding, in addition to accessories that make riding indoors much easier, from fans to props to lift up your wheel to simulate climbing to desks that allow you to type while you pedal.
"One of the reasons we wanted to work with Emily and the team is that they're taking on some new challenges. Emily starting into this new frontier, and at Wahoo, we really believe in being able to examine yourself and explore what you're capable of," says Matt Porter, Content Director at Wahoo. "It's why we love endurance sport and working with motivated athletes like the ones on this team."
For over 100 years, Shimano has manufacturing components, and has nearly 50 years in the cycling industry. "I'm finally back on Shimano, which is fantastic," says Emily. "I think you're starting to see the consumer switch back to Shimano engineered products more in coming years."
"Emily is a perfect example of somebody who's not just a pure racer, she's got a lot of other stuff going on," says Joe Lawwill, MTB Marketing Specialist. "She loves adventure, and does so much to support cycling, in general. All those things are so important and make for a great partnership."
A bike's touchpoints—the grips and saddle, specifically—can make a huge difference to a racer's comfort and ability to produce power. Saddles designed for women's bone structure and soft tissue are hugely important, and Ergon has put significant time and energy into developing different options for female racers .
"We are thrilled to be working with the team, supporting women racers like Emily and Laurie," says Dirk Juckwer, Ergon Team Manager. "It's exciting to be part of the team from the first year."
Abus might be best known in the US and Canada as a company that makes top-notch bike locks, but their helmet offerings have been built up over the years and now, they have some of the top road and mountain bike helmets available on the market, being worn by dozens of top professional teams.
"I am excited about working with Abus because their helmets check all of the boxes," Emily says. From fit to aero capabilities to air flow to comfort (especially for women—and men—with ponytails), Abus's Gamechanger and Stormchaser helmets will be sporting Red Bull logos for Emily and a team-branded style for Laurie.
"It's a pleasure for us to work with Emily and the team, especially since we know that Canyon is a top bike brand. Emily is renowned, popular and fits perfectly with the other athletes we sponsor," says Martin Böckelmann, Sponsoring Activation Manager. "To see this team growing and the Canadian cycling market growing, it's very exciting. Emily has been one of the best cross-country riders for years now and we're very excited to see what she can do with her new team. We love her positive attitude."
Even if you haven't heard of 4iiii, you've likely used technology designed by the brand's cofounder: ANT+. Since developing that technology, the 4iiii brand has focused on bringing affordable, accessible power meters (both dual-sided and left-side only options) to the market. Power meters becoming accessible to the masses is a major part of the 4iiii brand—especially as more and more women get on bikes.
"Being able to support top Canadian women racers is great for us as a Canadian company," says Andreja Grenier, Marketing Specialist. "Our values line up so well with the values of the team and what they want to do. We really believe a lot of what Emily stands behind. And I think it'll be a really strong partnership for us: sponsoring the team just felt like a really great next move."
For mountain bikers, the tires on the bike are nearly as critical as the bike itself, since optimized contact with the dirt is the difference between winning and losing a race. "Having Schwalbe tires on-board means we're riding on some of the best rubber on the market, if not the best," says Emily.
"We are very excited to be a part of the Canyon MTB Team. Emily Batty is an outstanding athlete with an amazing list of titles on her palmarès and we are very proud that she will trust on Schwalbe tires from now on, especially as it is an Olympic season," says Doris Klytta, Head of Marketing & PR. (Excited to see which tires Emily and Laurie will be choosing to race? Stay tuned for the full bike preview!)
A bike is only as good as the tuning that's done to it, and the team's mechanics—including Emily's brother Mark, who's joining the team as the lead mechanic—are thrilled to be working with Unior. The brand has a long history of crafting top-quality tools, from basic Allen keys to full workstations that can turn any garage into the ultimate bike repair zone.
"We're excited to work with this new program and support the mechanics and athletes, with our tools!" says Tine Mahkovec, head of Unior's bicycle tool division.
"DT Swiss wheels, which everyone knows, are so well engineered, and they have the lightest, most reliable hubs, period," says Emily. For over 25 years, DT Swiss has been continuing to innovate in their wheel technology, and as the team pushes the boundaries of what cross-country bikes can do, having wheels that can withstand riding technical terrain in BC to sprinting against world-class competition in short-track events, wheels that can hold up to anything are crucial.
“When it comes to wheels, DT Swiss is one of the most experienced companies in cycling. The same is true when it comes to racing for Emily," says Friso Lorscheider, MTB Marketing Manager. "We are happy to get to support her and the Canyon MTB Racing Team in the upcoming seasons with our wheels.”
When it comes to suspension, no brand is as dialed or as focused as Fox, and the team bikes will all sport Fox forks. "Fox is excited to be back working with Emily Batty and supporting her new women-focused mountain bike team,” says Brand Director Craig Richey. "With so much turmoil in the world striking out her own is a bold move and we’re confident it will pay off her. Emily has assembled a great collection of partners, and Fox-equipped Canyon bicycles have a habit of winning races."
"Fox suspension is fantastic, and I'm thrilled to be back with the brand. Initially, I played a significant role in developing the original Fox Stepcast 32," Emily says. "So I can't wait to get back to riding with their support."
High-end chain lube might not seem like a critical addition for a bike, but it's an unsung hero and best-kept secret of the cycling world. Momum's wax and oil-based lubricants are used by Pro Tour teams and top-level riders looking for the ultimate in smooth pedaling. In fact, Emily has been using it for years already to keep her chain in top shape.
"At Momum, when we decide to go for something, we go to the top level, so when we learned Adam was creating this team, it was a natural fit," says Eduard Aguilera, Momum's Owner. "We knew Emily had used and loved Momum before, so there was no question that we wanted to be involved."
For off-bike clothing, there isn't a brand that's better for athletes than lululemon. Emily has been supported by the Canadian-owned brand for years, and now, they've stepped up their partnership to work with the team as a whole.
"We are excited to continue our support of Emily in the pursuit of her goals both on and off the bike, and look forward to seeing what she and the new team can accomplish in 2021 and beyond," says Todd Kupke, manager of global sports marketing.
Emily has been using 100% eyewear for a while, and is thrilled to have the brand step into a bigger role with sponsorship of the team. 100% started with motocross, but shifted into the cycling scene with their signature big, bold lenses and frames. Since then, they've been steadily building up for the last few years, focusing largely on off-road disciplines but also working with the occasional top-level road rider like Peter Sagan. Joining the team with big plans to push boundaries in the women's sport glasses market, 100% is all in.
"We've seen incredible growth in recent years, and we're looking forward to keeping that rolling," says Herve Orny, International Sales & Marketing Manager. "And we're stoked to have Emily and team on board. It's exciting to work with such high-level women racers."
Vital Performance—the athletic arm of Vital Proteins, best known for their protein-packed collagen peptides—provides pre- and post-workout nutrition for athletes as well as a nighttime blend designed to promote repair and recovery in addition to boosted performance. Using blends of collagen peptides, glutamine and vitamins B and C, their drink mixes (and bars) allow racers to easily get all of the nutrients they need to stay racing and training hard—even on hectic travel schedules.
"Working with authentic athletes is critically important to us," says Zach Astran, Vital Performance's Influencer Marketing Coordinator. "We're excited to be branching out and working with more endurance athletes."