When it comes to the Enduro World Series pits there are few teams who can offer the pedigree of the Cube Action Team. The marque from Waldershof, Germany have contested every EWS season to date and are back again for 2020 to take on their ninth.
The rider line up remains largely the same as the previous years with Sophia Wiedenroth, Zakarias Blom Johansen and Gusti Wildhaber. The only roster change remains Greg Callaghan's departure to Unior Devinci Factory Racing earlier in the transfer window. The team have signed Bitburger 0.0% beer as a major new sponsor.
We spoke to Team Manager Claus Wachsmann ahead of their team camp in Finale Ligure:
EWS: How are your preparations going for the first races of the season in South America?
CW: Our first team camp starts next week in Finale Ligure and we'll also be using it as an opportunity to put the new equipment through its paces. The riders will get back into the swing of racing at the Enduro Winter Trophy in Sestri Levante. Then we head over to our suspension partner Fox in Portugal to get their set-ups fully dialled in. After that, we've planned in some smaller races to test the legs, before the athletes head back home where they will continue their training. In mid-March, we all head to Colombia for the first major race of the season.
What do you expect from the first two races in South America?
We know from two years ago to expect two completely different courses. Manizales in Colombia usually throws up a lot of mud, rain and an urban downhill race to kick things off, whereas Lo Barnechea in Chile is an absolute dust-fest. It's a super-fast track over high-alpine terrain. In both cases, one of the biggest factors for the riders will be acclimatising to the altitude. The first two races are a great opportunity to show us whose winter preparations went well and where we stand as a team. Our motto for this year is simple: Full gas from start to finish!
Sophia Wiedenroth in action in Northstar, CA last season.
Which bike will the team be using for those first races?
The Cube Stereo 170 offers optimum performance. It handles well and really comes into its own on the high-speed courses in Chile. With the tracks getting more and more technical, we're seeing a general trend towards more suspension travel in enduro. It helps stop the arms and upper body from tiring as quickly.
What are your goals for the start of the 2020 racing season?
This kind of race really suits both Gusti and Zakarias, so the guys are definitely aiming to be at the sharp end of the action. Sofia will be looking to win as many points as possible for the team classification, which could put us on the team podium again. We'll have to wait and see!
You can find out how the team get on at round one in Manizales, Colombia 27 & 28 March.