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Chipps quizzes Chris Akrigg just before he announces his new bike sponsor, GT, after 12 years on Mongoose.

I’m watching Chris Akrigg ride a bike through his local Yorkshire woods, and there’s something different about him. It’s nothing to do with his riding style – which is a mix of aggression, pinpoint accuracy and uncontrolled wildness as ever… No, there’s something about his bike. It’s not a Mongoose.

Chris Akrigg is riding a bright blue GT. For a dozen years, we’ve become accustomed to seeing Chris appearing in his self-made videos to alternately finesse and bully his way through trail features and up and over obstacles on assorted Mongoose bikes. That era has come to an end as one sponsorship finishes and another begins. Today is Chris’s first day of riding on a GT.

Our Monday-morning photo shoot in the woods is literally the first time Chris has ridden his new team bike, a full suspension GT Force. He’d spent his Sunday building it up from a large box of bits, before settling down to watch the snooker with a bottle of wine.

Wait? Is this the same young, fiery Akrigg that we’re talking about? As he launches off a chest-high drop, his version of a warm-up, that same riding style is evident. There’s still a sense of movement and urgency in his effort; always moving forward, bringing the viewer, whether that’s in person or in his many videos, with him as he moves quickly on to the next problem. However, it seems that this change in sponsors has happened in tandem with a slow move towards a more holistic view of his career. Being paid to ride bikes for a living was something he fell into in the first place and re-signing with Mongoose every couple of years hadn’t really given him a chance to step back and consider where all of this was heading.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Echo Chambers International Adventure: Folgefonna Sunrise UK Riding: Guiding Light Column: Jason Miles International Adventure: You Should Never Go Back… Or Should You? Interview: Chris Akrigg Column: Finding The Lines Classic Ride: Cornish Classic Column: Ode To Climbs Bike Test: Staff Rides Interview: Cedric Gracia International Adventure: What’s Zermatt’er With You? Column: One Last Run International Adventure: The Frigid Secrets Of Ukraine Last Word: Game Plan