The MTBing youngster - an Olympics what-if superstar - is joining the Specialized Factory MTB Race Team.

Liam Killeen waves goodbye to Gary Fisher, says hello to Mike Sinyard

He will focus on the UCI World Cup, Commonwealth Games, and Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008.

Killeen will campaign the 2005 season aboard a host of Specialized goods: 2005 S-Works Epic, Specialized tyres, Decibel helmets, Pro-Carbon shoes, Body Geometry gloves, and apparel.

In a phone call to Specialized founder and president, Mike Sinyard, the two-time Under 23 World Cup Champion Killeen said:

“I’m truly honoured to be a part of the Specialized family. To continue in the racing legacy that Specialized has created is not something I take lightly. I’ve always admired Specialized and their products and now that I’m riding for the team and alongside a legend like Ned is simply incredible! Also, I’m so pleased that Specialized has such a strong presence in Europe, especially in the UK, my home country.”

Sinyard said: “Liam is a tremendous person and an incredible athlete with massive potential. I’m so proud that he’s chosen to lead our brand to further success in our MTB race efforts.”

Killeen will make his competitive debut with Specialized in January 2005 at the British National Cyclo-Cross Championships. For contractual reasons there will be no pic of Killeen in Specialized kit until January.

Kevin Franks of Specialized said:

"Liam left Trek/Gary Fisher on good terms."

Franks added: "The new team has no connection with Filip Meirhaeghe. Neither he nor Susan Leonard will be affiliated with this new team."

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