TEAM UPDATE: Norco Factory Team at UCI MTB XCO World Cup in Val di Sole
July 11, 2018
By Haley Smith
After five weeks away from World Cup racing – during which the team trained hard and accumulated some wins and podiums on the Canada Cup circuit – Norco Factory Team’s Quinton Disera, Peter Disera, and Haley Smith were back in Europe for the 4th World Cup round in Val di Sole, Italy.
Nestled in the Dolomite mountains deep in northern Italy, the XC track in Val di Sole is steep, loose, and unforgiving. With 130 meters of climbing per lap, race day was ultimately decided by who could grit their teeth and get uphill the fastest.
Even the short track, a race typically contested on flat, wide terrain, boasted a doozy of a climb straight up the DH track. As usual, this event was first up on Friday with Haley lining up to fight for a front-row starting position in the XC race.
“The short track this week was a beast. The course didn’t offer much opportunity to move through the field – the only passing opportunity was on the steep climb. I did my best to move into top 16 in the early part of the race on this climb, but that extreme effort cost me later in the race and I faded to finish 22nd. Not bad, but I’m hungry for another crack at it next weekend” – Haley Smith
On XC race day, the temperatures climbed to match the elevation profile of the course. Quinton was first off in the U23 category. Battling against the track and heat until the very end, he finished 38th.
“I was a little unsure on how I would play my cards on this course. The race started off fairly well but as the race went on the hills seemed to get steeper and steeper, but I fought on and finished with a good last lap. Using this race as fire for the next couple and excited to get back out there and get fighting again!” – Quinton Disera
Haley, still a little gassed from Short Track on Friday, was apprehensive of the effort to come in the Elite Women’s XC race. She pushed hard and finished 19th.
“I gave it what I had today, but I felt like there was a governor on my throttle for the first half of the race. I’m proud that I kept pushing and eventually moved up to finish 19th. It was a race grounded in mental fortitude. Though is wasn’t my best day, I’m still pretty stoked to log another top 20!” – Haley Smith
The Elite Men’s race was furiously fast. Pete fought through traffic, but was left a little frustrated with his 78th place.
“Sunday’s race was a disappointment. I didn’t have the legs on the day and on such a physical course my hope for a good result quickly deteriorated. However, I’m looking forward to turning things around in Andorra this week. There is more to come.” –Peter Disera
The team is now on its way to Vallnord, Andorra, for the week ahead of World Cup round #5 this weekend.
Find the full results from Val di Sole here.
All images: Andy Vathis