Fabien Barel leaves Mondraker – but where’s he going?

Fabien Barel has announced he’s leaving Mondraker after five years with the Spanish brand. The big question is, where’s the three-time downhill world champ off to? The word on Twitter is that he’s joining Joe Barnes on Canyon. That’s yet to be confirmed, though the UK enduro racer has said he’s expecting a French teammate.

Wherever he goes, Fab’s going to be a real asset. He helped Mondraker develop the awesome Summum downhill bike and introduced the radical Forward Geometry concept. So while his World Cup days may be over, we don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. A little birdy tells us he might be getting serious about enduro racing – apparently the French are fairly good at that sort of thing!

Mondraker’s farewell press release doesn’t give much away, simply saying that “due to different priorities and to be able to both give 100% to their 2013 goals” they’re amicably parting ways. There’s no word yet on who’ll replace Fabien on the Mondraker Factory Team for 2013.

Fabien retired from World Cup racing at the end of the 2011 season. Picture from Mondraker

Fabien retired from World Cup racing at the end of the 2011 season

He last stood atop a World Cup podium in 2009, at Maribor in Slovenia, where he beat Sam Hill and Greg Minnaar. Picture from Mondraker

He last stood atop a World Cup podium in 2009, at Maribor in Slovenia, where he beat Sam Hill and Greg Minnaar

During his early years with the team he rode a Mondraker Kaiser. Picture from Mondraker

During his early years with the team he rode a Mondraker Kaiser

He then helped develop its successor, the Summum, into a World Cup winning machine. Picture from Mondraker

He then helped develop its successor, the Summum, into a World Cup winning machine

But it's his radical stretched-top-tube-plus-short-stem Forward Geometry concept that really got tongues wagging. Picture from Mondraker

But it’s his radical stretched-top-tube-plus-short-stem Forward Geometry concept that really got tongues wagging

Fabien's pretty handy on an all-mountain bike so there could be a shock in store for the enduro big guns. Picture from Mondraker

Fabien’s pretty handy on an all-mountain bike so there could be a shock in store for the enduro big guns this year

Head to our Fabien Barel homepage to see him in action.