The other day we showed you Team Wide Open’s new Lycra kit that an un-named XC racer was going to fill. As of today we can tell you who, it’s none other than ex-Wellington now Rotorua based whippet Samara Sheppard. The talented cross-country rider has just been added to Team Wide Open. Run by Wide Open Distributors, Team Wide Open has a long history with top downhill and freeriders in New Zealand including Sam Blenkinsop, Matt Scoles, Brook McDonald and Kelly McGarry who have all gone on to secure lucrative contracts in Europe and the US.
“We have wanted to add an XC rider to the team for a while and Samara fits the bill really well,” said Matt Whitaker, Director of Wide Open Distributors. “We are excited to have someone of her talent and personality on the team. It is going to be great to be a part of her rise over the next few years.”
“The goal for Wide Open is to follow the same strategy which has been so successful with our downhill and freeride competitors and to help Samara when she is racing both in New Zealand and abroad,” Matt added.
A very excited Samara commented, “It is awesome to be part of Team Wide Open. This is the best support foundation to help me crack the international mountain bike scene. The opportunities Matt and his Wide Open team are offering me both nationally and internationally are unreal and I would have never expected to get this level of help from New Zealand. Now I just can’t wait to get overseas and start racing.”
Samara leaves for Europe on 4 July to race the last few World Cups and the World Championships in Quebec, Canada in September. This will give Samara valuable experience before returning home to race in the New Zealand Nationals and other big events.
You can follow Samara’s progress at www.wideopen.co.nz and www.samarasheppard.com