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Gravity School Racing Supported by RAAW for 2024

Gravity School Racing Supported by RAAW for 2024

It’s no secret that we love downhill at RAAW. It’s properly ingrained in the company and the people. Every one of us owns a downhill bike. Give us half a chance, like a mild winter with minimal snow coverage, and it’ll be the thing we go straight for in the garage over a pair of skis.

Since developing the Yalla!, it's been a dream to support racers at World Cup level, be part of downhill racing and have our bike competing at the highest level. Over the past few years now, it’s been a heartwarming project to support and work with privateer racers at the World Cups and help out in any way we can. Our budgets aren’t so big that we need to handcuff a briefcase to our wrist, so we’ve always looked to provide support where we could, even if it was just a friendly face at the races or a quick chat about how cool downhill bikes are.

For 2024, our list of privateer downhill and enduro racers is bigger than ever. But when Jack Reading got in touch, it really piqued our interest.

Jack’s been racing bikes since 2007, the last 14 years being at a World Cup level. And if that wasn’t enough plate-spinning, he’s owned and managed his own race team since 2015. At the end of the 2023 season, he announced his retirement to focus on his race team and coaching athletes. But a true racer never really retires, and he’ll still be racing at a national level.

Since 2020, the focus of Jack and the race team grew to fostering racers with potential and giving them a stepping stone to success, all with sights set on the top tier of downhill racing. He endeavoured to craft a professional and supportive environment that took away a few of the multitude of tasks that go along with simply riding a bike at the races.

This really struck a chord with us at RAAW. And when good people do things for the right reasons, you can’t help but want to get involved.

We’re immensely proud to announce that for 2024 we’ll be partnering with Gravity School Racing and their impressive roster of riders will be sending it aboard our Yalla! frame.

A full European Cup and Portugal Cup season is on the cards, as well as select World Cup and UK National events. Next to the races, multiple coaching camps are organised throughout the year, both in the UK and the team’s second home, Portugal.

The camps are designed to craft an environment for the riders to develop outside of the races, pushing their speed and skills through professional coaching in all aspects of racing, so that when they show up between the tape, they’re ready to perform at their absolute best.

Key to providing this environment is the terrain. Pre-season preparation on a track that replicates a World Cup on a Sunday afternoon is mightily tricky. Many travel to the other side of the world during winters, but Jack’s team have an ace up their sleeve.

Situated in Portugal, the team has opened a bike park in conjunction with Trail Tools, who also support the team. This asset gives them the ability to curate specific tracks and features to replicate the ferocious World Cup tracks, and means that come race season, it’s not a shock to the system as you try to piece together the puzzle in record time while your eyes are on stalks.

At the races, Jack’s focus is on providing the riders with a professional pit setup and support that simply leaves the riders to just focus on riding their bike. Mechanical support, nutrition, organisation and track-side advice are all taken care of under his watch and guidance.

As is always the case in the off-season, we’re excited like a kid at Christmas for the coming year’s intense racing, how the stories unfold and seeing riders do incredible things on the best type of bikes. But for this year, we’re even more excited to see Jack and his team of racers flying past at warp speed aboard our Yalla!, and how every one of them develops and progresses as riders and racers.

Without further ado, here is the Gravity School Racing roster.

Jack Reading                                  Nuno Reis                                        Rueben Taylor                              Finlay Sykes                                   Oscar Hakes
Theo Goodsmith                            Thomas Westgate                        Haydn Fletcher                               Josh Wood                                      Seb Sumner
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