The highlight of the cycling industry calendar is almost upon us, the Design & Innovation Award 2015. Starting next week our team of 25 will be riding, testing and analyzing the most exciting products currently on the market on the incredible trails of South Tyrol. Our mission is to award the world’s most innovative products and technologies, and joining us will be a select jury of six of the most skilled, influential, and analytical minds from the cycling industry.

Our second jury member is one of the new school of XC riders, a rider who can put down max power lap after lap, and then throw down the biggest whips off a kicker. He has been German XC champion for many years and has stood on the podium at more World Cup XC races than he can remember. Let us now introduce Elite XC rider Manuel Fumic.

Manuel Fumic, one of the new breed of riders with XC fitness and DH skills.
Manuel Fumic, an elite XC racer, and one of the new breed of riders mixing extreme fitness with incredible skills.

Manuel rides for the Cannondale Factory XC Team and has been a dominant force on the XC circuit since he started racing at an elite level in 2002. The 32 year old lives in Stuttgart and is passionate about design and innovation. To an elite level racer performance and design are everything; a product that is designed well can save valuable seconds, while a poor product can lose a race. Coming from a discipline where super light bikes are tested to the absolute limit, Manuel will bring an expert opinion to the judging process.

As XC gets tougher and tougher, the bikes and products have to adapt.
As XC gets tougher and tougher, the bikes and products have to adapt.

Manuel’s thoughts on the Design & Innovation Award 2015:

“I’m really excited about the Design & Innovation Award 2015, especially about the test rides with the new gear and products, and the following discussions with such a multifaceted jury.”

“I believe that the award’s results will help to bring forward the entire bike industry. It is important, even for us being ultimate racers, to not forget about what really matters: The normal rider and end consumer. And to create products that respect their needs and meet their expectations in terms of style. This is why I think there is still a huge potential in XC and trail riding to get more people out on bikes if we work on the whole appearance and look of mountain bikers.”

Manuel is just as happy throwing whips, as smashing out fast laps.
Manuel is just as happy throwing whips, as smashing out fast laps.

“I want people to look at mountain bikers and say: “Hey they look cool, they are cool — I want to try this too!“ If we achieve this and can overcome the sometimes crazy, flashy or nerdy look, I’m sure we will have many more people riding bikes and respecting mountain bikers. I think the Design & Innovation Award is a powerful tool to showcase new trends and push developments in the right direction.”

Find out more info about the Design & Innovation Award 2015 and the other 5 members of the jury on our micro-site:

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