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    March 5, 2018

    February 25 marked the beginning of the 2018 race season for both Norco Factory Team XC and Forward Racing in Banyoles at the Copa Catalana. Both the men’s and women’s fields were truly international, with many of the world’s top riders in attendance.

    In the women’s event, Norco Factory Team’s Haley Smith raced to a solid 6th place after yoyo-ing between 3rd and 8th for the first 3 of 4 laps. It was a respectable start to the season, and she looks to build on this momentum heading into the first World Cup this weekend.

    Haley Smith - Norco Factory Team

    “I’ve been training hard and optimally all winter, and know that I have a lot of potential in my legs. This season is going to be all about taking that training and transferring it into self-belief. This weekend’s result was a good step forward in that direction, although I think I was still too conservative in the first half. I’m really excited to take Saturday’s result and improve upon it at the first World Cup round in South Africa.” – Haley Smith

    The men’s event saw a chaotic start with over 200 racers on the start line. Luckily, the team all got going safely and were able to avoid the small kerfuffle on the start straight. Pete, racing in his Elite National Champ jersey for the first time, fought hard all race, finishing a very respectable 25th.

    Peter Disera - Norco Factory Team

    “What a great experience it was in Banyoles at the Copa Catalana. A world class field, 200+ racers on the start line and a demanding course created some very intense racing. I felt good for my first race of the year. Coming from the trainer at university I can say I am thoroughly pleased with my 25th place. Looking forward to taking my Revolver FS to Cape Town next.” – Peter Disera

    Quinton, the team’s lone U23 rider, finished 10th U23 and 41st amongst the elites. The young rider is happy with his performance and looks to build on this for his first race of 2018 at World Cup #1 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, which is the first race where U23s race separately from the Elites.

    Quinton Disera - Norco Factory Team

    “I was a bit nervous to start the first race of 2018 with 230 guys, luckily with a nice start position and good first lap I was able to stay out of the major troubles at the start. I had a bit of a mid race fade but brought it back on the last lap and am feeling good starting off the season with that race! Still some room to go up, but it’s only the beginning.” – Quinton Disera

    Andrew L’Esperance of Forward Racing had a good start to the season, mixing it up in the “mini World Cup” field of racers.

    “Just like that, it’s game on for the 2018 season! I am very happy with my first showing of the season for Forward Racing-Norco aboard fresh Revolvers. I am happy with how I rode for the first race of the season and confident ahead of the first World Cup coming up this weekend.” – Andrew L’Esperance

    Andrew L'Esperance

    The team will now put in some more work on their Revolvers before meeting up in Stellenbosch, South Africa this weekend for the first World Cup round of the year.

    Be sure to stay tuned for more news stories and race updates and subscribe to our Norco news.

    Learn more about Norco Bicycles’ elite athletes here.