The Canterbury mountainbiker Anton Cooper has signed a two-year deal with the Cannondale Factory Racing team.
The 18-year-old won the world junior mounatinbike title this year.
Cooper will be based in Germany for five months each year during the New Zealand winter, racing UCI cross country World Cups across Europe and in North America.
Cooper says it'll be good for him to be riding more of the European season rather than in the US, because for him to keep improving, he needs to be in Europe.
Cooper is moving up to the under-23 race category next year with confidence, having dominated the international under-19 circuit in 2012.
This announcement follows a spectacular year for Cooper after becoming the first ever New Zealander to win a UCI cross country Mountain Bike World Championship in September, and this week being named as 2012 BikeNZ People's Choice Award winner and Male Mountain Biker of the Year.
Cooper was forced to explore alternate options after his previous Trek World Racing team decided to forgo their cross country commitments to focus solely on downhill racing.