After a long off-season, the first round of the UCI MTB World Cup is just around the corner. It’s time to put the hard work and training of the Norco Factory DH Team to the test and put some tires to the dirt. The stoke is high!
After a 9-year hiatus, the UCI MTB World Cup returns to the rugged, technically demanding trails of Maribor, Slovenia, for its first race of the 2019 season. The 2.6 km long race track will challenge the riders and teams with loose dirt, gnarly root networks and a demanding rock garden.
Norco Factory Team’s Sam Blenkinsop, Henry Fitzgerald and Elliot Jamieson have been overseas for the past couple of weeks to prepare for the big season opener. Following a week-long training camp at the Schoeckl Trail Area in Austria, the team moved on to Maribor for the IXS European DH Cup, which was held on the same trails just a week before the first DH World Cup. Lots of big names were already present to check out the course and get into race mode before the big showdown.
The team will race aboard their custom-painted Norco Aurum HSP
Photo: MTB-News / Rick Schubert
“I am looking forward to get the first MTB World Cup underway as I have been doing everything I can to be at my best, and I know that Norco have been doing everything to come up with the best race bikes out there. So, all we need to do is just ride and have some fun at the races!” – Sam Blenkinsop
“I am really excited to get into it all. It’s been a super productive winter at home, but the track here in Maribor looks unreal and I can wait to get on it. I’m too excited to get back onto a world track and trash some more.” – Henry Fitzgerald
“I'm really looking forward to getting on the track in Maribor and kicking off the season! My bike is feeling mint and I'm ready to go!” – Elliot Jamieson
RACE SCHEDULE - NORCO FACTORY TEAM:
Thursday, April 25
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Course Inspection
Friday, April 26
08:30 AM – 3:15 PM: Training
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Timed Training
Saturday, April 27
08:30 AM – 11:45 AM: Training
12:30 PM: Qualifying Junior Men
14:00 PM: Qualifying Elite Men
Sunday, April 28
08:15 AM – 09:15 AM: Training Junior Men
10:15 AM: Final Junior Men
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Training Elite Men
13:30 PM: Final Elite Men
We are excited to watch and support the Norco Factory Team this weekend. Be sure to follow along on the team’s Instagram channel @norcofactoryteam
for race results and updates this weekend and watch the live stream on RedBull TV!
Team photos: Keith Valentine