By: Evan Guthrie, Norco Factory Team
After racing in LA at the Bonelli Park US Cup on April 9th
the team travelled north to Monterey Bay for the Sea Otter Classic. It’s one of few times where the entire Norco Bicycles family all comes together. Us athletes are treated to have such a high level of support by so many people and at this event we get to see everyone in person and catch up.
Evan G and Andrew working together in the xc, or as what we call a little Shake ‘n Bake. Photo: Chris Vezina
The Norco Factory Team once again enjoyed success and continues to improve. The team’s environment and support is allowing us all to continually improve. Four top-15 results were achieved in the pro men’s and women’s races. Haley showcased the team on the women’s side and rode strongly to take her best US results to date. Haley is now heading to Australia for her first Pro Women’s World Cup race.
On the men’s side it was tight battles all weekend and Evan G managed to ride with lead group in the short track before he was caught behind a crash and had to chase for the remainder of the race but brought home the chasing riders in 7th
. Andrew followed up just behind in the top-20 with Evan M and Peter not far behind. The xc race was quite unique this year and was all within the Laguna Seca raceway. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much mountain biking on the course as half was pavement and the other half could be described as a freshly cut farmers field before the cuttings are picked up and turned into hay bails. The group stayed positive and rode extremely well. Andrew rode in the front group and chase group for 7 of the 8 laps and finished up 13th
. Evan brought the team home in 12th
after riding with the lead group early on and was caught out behind some riders and had to do a solo chase mission all day. Peter charged hard through the field, also solo, and finished 14th
Links to interviews from Peter and Andrew can be found HERE
Photo: Chris Vezina
“Sea Otter was my very first Pro race back in 2012. We’ve come a long way as a team since then, climbing through the ranks piece by piece. I’m really happy to finish my fifth Sea Otter with 9th in the ST and 12th in the XC - and mixing it up with the leaders in the process.”
Photo: Caroline Gauthier
“Sea Otter this was amazing! After writing a final exam in the pits (Norco trailer) I was good to go for the weekend. The shorter World Cup style course made for some entertaining racing and some good battles. Super stoked to see great performances by all of my teammates in both the short track and cross-country races. Personally, that was one of the best mountain bike performances I’ve had in a while. It felt really good. And to top it all off, I double dipped this weekend with racing a little road on the Sunday! Crushing it with the H&R Block boys on our Tactics we covered everything and I WON the sprint after a great lead out by Bailey McKnight. Fantastic weekend all around.”
“This marked my fourth Sea Otter and every year it just gets better. The team was revving and the whole Norco crew helped us athletes pull out many personal bests. I’m proud to be apart of such a strong, like-minded group. On a personal level this was by far my best Sea Otter and best results in the US. Taking 7th
in the short track after being caught behind a crash and loosing the front group was a bit frustrating but it sure fueled the fire for the XC. The xc course was quite unique in that it wasn’t really mountain biking, so rolling in on all fitness, with no technical skills required, to finish 12th
was quite exciting. Lespy and Petey rolled in right behind to make three in the top-15 for pro men – a major accomplishment for our Canadian program. Sram, Stan’s, and Kenda lent us quite a few hands this weekend and we were lucky to have them there.”
“It felt great to be back to Sea Otter after a 2-year break. I had an amazing ride this year in the XC, 13th
place. For Norco Factory Team athletes to have break through races at this event represents the strength of our program and the commitment of the staff, athletes and sponsors. Onwards!”
"Now the team (minus Peter) is headed to Australia for the first World Cup of the season. This will be a new continent to check off the list for most. We are all excited to throw ourselves into the next big test against the best in the world."
The Norco Factory Team is currently in Auckland, New Zealand as they travel to Cairns, Australia for the opening round of the World Cup series. Check back next week for another team update.
Congratulations to our other Norco teammates from Team Norco International and H&R Block who stood on podiums and won a few Sea Otter titles.
The Norco Factory Team is powered by:
- Norco Bicycles
- Kenda Tires
- Wilderness Trail Bikes
- Stan’s NoTubes
- Live to Play Sports
- 3T Cycling
- Cane Creek
Andrew, Haley, Evan M, Roger from Kenda, and Evan G supporting our new (want to be) mascot for 2017. Thanks Kenda for keeping us rollin’!