For the past several years, Windham, a small town in the Catskill Mountains has been welcoming the best mountain bike athletes in the world to come shred on their mountain. This marked another week of Norco Factory Team and Norco Factory Racing sharing the pit along with the stoke of racing our bikes. At team dinner we got to know each other a little more and it is nice to have a connection with this team though our sponsor, Norco.
On our side of things we had an awesome weekend of racing that would not have been possible without the help from Jon Duncan and Kevin Haviland who are always in our corner. Haley had a break-through ride to 5th place, and Peter showed improvement which he will no doubt carry into his next block of racing.
At the end of the day we were all tired, covered in dust and had a smile on our face. World Cup racing is hard, but it is what we love and we’ll always come back for more. Enjoy these rider perspectives and the brilliant photos from Jonathan Duncan.
Peter Disera – Full-time
“Windham is an interesting World Cup in and interesting little town. The single large climb has always been terrible in my eyes but the changes to the course this year made it a little more bearable. The additions of switchbacks cut out some of the dreaded steep climbing and the descent was treated to a nice new rock garden. This made for a wonderful race on my re-found legs and put me just outside of the top 20. Pleased with this performance to be on the up-and-up again but looking forward to really showing my stuff a few weeks from now in Val di Sole, Italy and Vallnord, Andorra.”
Evan Guthrie – Downhill Specialist
"Windham is a unique course with an 'old-school' layout of an ~8 minute climb and steady 5 minute descent. I definitely enjoy that kind of riding, as it's the style of my home trails. After a decent ride in MSA I had my sights set high for Windham and things didn't pan out. Don't really know what happened. I used the descents to leap frog through groups and would just hang on for dear life on the climbs. 57th isn't anywhere near where I want to be, but its great motivation for the Canada Cup in Whistler on Friday. Our team had phenomenal support with Kevin Haviland, Jonathan Duncan and Josh Toohill keeping us in great shape."
Andrew L’Esperance – LESPY
“Progress; I am constantly working towards getting faster, stronger and smarter when racing my bike. Although my end result doesn’t show exactly what I want I know that there were moments of brilliance throughout my race. Off the start, despite not being able to see in the dust storm, I smoothly made my way up to 50th place after getting 85th call up; SOLID. It’s the small things and soon I will put them all together for a World Cup ride worth talking about. Onwards to the Whistler Canada Cup at Crankworx to finish off the season.”
Evan McNeely – Tongues out, guns out
“Hot and dusty. The red dust of Windham Mountain completely coated my face and lungs within 3 minutes of the gun going off. I started near the back of the field but moved quickly through the field. Over the first 4 laps of the race I had moved from 72nd to 41st and felt good. But maybe feeling good was just an illusion because I blew up faster than a Space X rocket. The last two laps were miserable as I fought to turn pedals and breathe air, falling back to 60th place. Still good enough to finish on the lead lap.”
Haley Smith – Top fiver
“Sometimes I think we must be crazy…. XC racing really, REALLY hurts, and yet we keep coming back for more. But then I remember how rewarding the sport is. The feeling after a race where you’ve laid it all out there simply can’t be beat. You don’t get that feeling all the time, but when you do…. Oh man, is it ever awesome! Windham brought these feelings for me this past weekend. After 80 minutes of unbearable intensity, I came away feeling absolutely satisfied. To top it off, I logged my best World Cup finish - 5th place!"
Andrew Watson – Watty
"While I was bummed to be missing out on the Windham action, I had a great weekend coaching and racing closer to home on the techy rocky, rooty trails of Buckwallow. My athletes had a great races and at 1:30 it was my turn to race and I managed to squeak out a win as my fuel gauge was reading really low by the end. Huge props to my teammates for their performances in Windham."