The past four weeks have been pretty good for Norco Factory XC Team rider Peter Disera, as he keeps his strong season rolling in the right direction. Epitomizing the theme of the whole XC team, this summer has been a story of momentum building for the Men’s Elite athlete.
The four-week run started with back-to-back wins on the Canada Cup circuit, first in Whistler and then in Canmore, for the defending National Champion.
“I used those races specifically as intensity preparations for the [World Cup’s]”, said Disera. “Therefore, it was enough to get comfortable, have some good races and get in good workouts.”
Throwing the horns or showing that its been four good weeks in a row. Why not both.
Racing in the National series right before flying to Andorra for the UCI World Cup paid off, as he posted his career best 11th
place overall in Elite Men. Disera wasn’t done there, he followed up one week later with a new career high sixth place in Les Gets, France.
Disera earning a career high and some air miles in Les Gets.
Nipping at the heels of the lead pack for most of the race in Les Gets, he finished just 1:08 off the leader after nearly 90 minutes of racing.
“I am so stoked to keep raising the bar. I know this momentum may not last forever, so I am going to roll with it and really enjoy this form for as long as I can.”
At the finish, Peter had a healthy gap on the next rider, so there was time to dish out some high fives and take in the moment to cross the finish line with a smile. Though, the always-hungry Disera reflectively wished to create a bit more of drama at the finish line, “That was nice, would’ve been nicer to have a 3-way sprint for 4th with Tempier and Cink. But, next time.”
Next time, indeed.
Thumbs up for your first career top-10.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Elite field, Haley Smith also had a solid Sunday, matching Disera with a sixth place of her own. After having an off-day in the short track event on Friday, she got back on her game and methodically worked her way through the field to get within one spot of the podium.
“I was nervous after Friday night’s short track, as it was a pretty rough race for me, but we identified what my mistakes were and committed to fixing those for Sunday. I lined up for the XCO ready to just give what I had, and it resulted in a great ride for me. Smooth, steady, and committed.”
Ready for redemption.
Though she had a similar result as Peter, her finish line approach was not quite as calm. With a competitor in hot pursuit, Smith had to put the power down all the way to the line to secure her position.
“I was ahead of Terpstra, sitting sixth with three quarters of a lap to go, but she was charging super hard. It was full gas to maintain the advantage and set myself up for the sprint ahead of her. She forced me to squeeze out every last drop!”
No rest for the wicked, Haley gives it her all right to the finish line.
Shifting to Men’s Under 23, Sean Fincham had just missed out on his first ever World Cup podium spot in Vallnord with a 4th
place. That near-miss of the podium gave him an added boost in Les Gets where he was able to push himself into a third place.
Even during a lung searing race, Sean has serious style in the air. Rumour has it he's been throwing no-handers during the race while the photographers aren't looking.
After sitting in the top 3 for most of the race, he found himself in 4th
place with one lap to go. That’s when Sean left everything he had on the course during the final lap.
“I really wanted that podium. It was tight group racing and I turned myself inside out for that 3rd step,” said Sean on the added drive on that final lap following his 4th
place the week prior.
Up on the step for the first time.
Rounding out the weekend, Andrew L'Esperance finished with a very respectable 60th in the stacked Men's Elite group, while Quinton Disera worked his way to 33rd place in a deep Under-23 field of over 100 racers.
The Norco Factory XC team resumes World Cup racing on August 4th
in Italy followed by August 11th
in Switzerland before they land in Quebec and defend home turf for the UCI World Championships at the legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne on September 1st
You can follow team updates at @NorcoFactoryTeam
Photography by Andy Vathis and Keith Valentine.