Norco took their left foot out, put their right arm in… and now they’re back racing Downhill World Cup. You do the hokey-cokey and you turn around… Having barely just announced that they’re not running a Downhill Factory Team next year, Norco has had a change of heart and is back in the game. Will we see an about turn from Propain too? Or will some more brands give up playing the waiting game for info on the new World Cup season and switch focus to something else, at least for 2023?
With so much information about next season still up in the air, riders and teams are certainly getting antsy. How do you train if you don’t know when or where your first race will be? How do you book travel and accommodation, or plan a budget for it all, if you don’t know when or where you’re going? Be sure to listen to what Bernard Kerr had to say about all this uncertainty in the Making Up The Numbers podcast:
Here’s the Norco press release in full – who will be this Elite DH vet yet to be revealed?
Norco Bicycles will reinstate its 2023 Norco Factory Team program focused on the UCI World Cup DH series. Almost immediately after taking charge, newly appointed CEO Sean Sullivan reversed last month’s decision to pause the program.
“It’s impossible to quantify the inspiration and pride Norco has felt in supporting these talented athletes for the past
30 years, and pausing the team didn’t reflect that commitment,” he explained. “These riders play a huge role in the development and testing of our bikes and technology, and they are the embodiment of what drives us.”
The team will challenge a full international DH calendar with a three-rider Elite roster featuring:
- Gracey Hemstreet – 2022 World Cup Junior Women Overall Champion
- Lucas Cruz– Following his best-ever Elite season
- A yet-to-be-named Elite DH veteran
“At the end of 2021, we decided to prioritize DH, so the XC team was informed before 2022 even started that they’d need to find a new home by the end of the year,” said Team Manager Kevin Haviland.
“This wasn’t a decision we took lightly, but building a DH team around some of the best riders in the sport lets us continue our legacy of fostering talent, while developing, testing and proving technologies that benefit every rider on the trail.”
Additional announcements regarding full rider roster, team co-sponsors, race schedules and other details will be made available as the re-booted Norco Factory Team takes its final form in time for an exciting 2023 season!
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