Lucas CruzAfter a great two years racing as a Junior and securing a third place in the 2019 overall title, the young Canadian rider is set to make the move up to Elite racing in 2020. With a spot on the Norco Factory Team alongside the likes of Sam Blenkinsop, Lucas Cruz is going to a rider to watch in the upcoming season.
We caught up with the Lucas to talk about how he got started in downhill, the move to Norco and what he hopes for the future.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Pemberton BC, born and raised!
Who do you ride for?
Myself and Norco Factory racing
How did you get to be racing for Norco in 2020?
I had a couple of wicked offers but Norco really hit close to home for me. Already knowing my teammates, having a big presence in my hometown and the opportunity to represent a Canadian brand It seemed like the perfect fit. Norco has a great vision of what they want to accomplish as a brand but also with this team. I am very grateful and crazy excited to be working with these guys!
Who approached who?
Thankfully Norco approached me with an amazing deal
What are you hoping to get from riding on the Norco factory team?
Lifelong friends, amazing experiences, all the tools I need to perform at my best and some gold medals!
How much time have you had on the Norco and what do you think so far?
I got on the HSP right after I got home from cannonball in December. I've been loving the bike! It's been really fun learning a completely new bike after being on a Trek for many seasons. It's definitely one heck of a bike and I can't wait to push it to its limits.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Any time of the year I'll be looking for a place to ride my bike with some good pals. Whether it's a shuttle day or trail ride it's all good fun. Every day is always finished off with a full dinner plate, some hip mobility and maybe a DQ blizzard if I’ve earned it.
How did you get into downhill racing?
I raced a lot of BMX while I was younger and always rode the bike park during that time. I started racing Phat Wednesdays in the Whistler Bike park since it was just a natural progression for me and then eventually stopped racing BMX to focus on DH full time.
What are your strengths?
Sewing, being pretty level headed most of the time, Nosedives and one-handers.
What are your weaknesses?
Too many to list but I’ve been working on my cornering and keeping my eyes up.
What’s been the worst crash you've had?
When I was fourteen I missed my bars on a tuck-no at the riverside jumps in whistler. Knocked myself out and sprained my pelvis. Let's just say that lead to lots of acupuncture in my ass.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
I’ve been fortunate enough to ride in some pretty amazing places around the world but I have to say my favourite riding is right at home in BC. Best coast is the west coast!
How did you get into mountain biking?
My parents have always been avid mountain bikers plus I grew up in the mecca of it all, I couldn’t avoid it if I tried!
What bikes are you riding right now?
Norco Aurum HSP and the new Sight 29
Who or what inspires you?
My parents who are very ambitious and kind people that always strive to be better versions of themselves. Also all of the other Canadian downhillers out there chasing the same dreams as I have.
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
One of my favourite times of year is hunting season. Getting away from everything, reconnecting with yourself and your surroundings it's all time! I love playing basketball and skiing or working on my truck and then breaking it again! I used to spend a lot of my time in the summer at my cabin wake surfing too.
What do you do to rest and recover after a race?
Just take a bit of downtime and hit up the lakes around my area with friends. I’m going to start road biking a lot more as well.
What advice would you give to someone trying to get into racing?
Make sure you're doing it all for the fun of it and don't get ahead of yourself. Focus on your own little successes other than winning. Trust the process. Take in every new experience and really cherish it. It's a really amazing culture and community of people out there.
How do you get focused before dropping into a race run?
Listen to some Johnny Cash and then Metallica. Reminding myself that I've done the work and prepared myself as much as I can for that race always helps too.
Where do you think the future of downhill racing is headed?
I’m not too sure but I believe Canada is going to be a huge part of it. Our DH scene is alive and well but it is growing insanely fast with a big focus on Downhill racing. I am very lucky to be a part of it and can't wait for what the future holds!