Samara Sheppard on Wheeler iXS XCO Pro team

New Zealand's up and coming cross-country rider Samara Sheppard has just signed a contract with Wheeler iXS XCO Pro Team, basing in Switzerland. Samara will join team member Esther Süss (World XC Marathon champion, 5th over all 2010 World Cups XCO) to compete in the coming World Cup and Swiss Cup circuit. Daniel Wyder - product manager of Wheeler: "I am very proud that the Wheeler iXS XCO-Team will be enforced by an international upcoming racer like Samara."

Through the contacts of Matt Whitaker - director of Wide Open Distributors, Samara was given the opportunity to meet the Wheeler iXS team on her international campaign last year. She fitted in really well with the team and formed a great relationship with the team's supporting managers which have lead to this signing.

A very excited Samara commented, "The contract seams so unreal. I have always wanted to be on a pro team and now I am! I almost can't believe it. It's a big opportunity for me to step up my racing another level and see how much faster I can go. This wouldn't have happened tough, if it wasn't for the extensive support Matt and Wide Open have given me and Waiariki's Academy of sport for taking care of my physiological development. I am really looking forward to this upcoming international season."

Samara leaves for Switzerland at the end of May to race Swiss Racer-Bike Cups, the final four World Cups and the World Championships in Champery, Switzerland in September. This will give Samara valuable experience before returning home to race for Team Wide Open back for the New Zealand summer.

You can follow Samara's progress at www.wideopen.co.nz & www.samarasheppard.com