Video: Steps to the Top | Luca Shaw

Jun 11, 2015
by SRAM  


Luca Shaw spent his high school’s official graduation day far from the cap-and-gown festivities, six time zones ahead of his graduating class. While his classmates were
waking up and preparing for their last day as high school seniors, Luca was in Leogang, Austria, lending a hand to help set up his SRAM’s European race truck, and getting ready for the third UCI Downhill World Cup of 2015.

To be honest, the younger of two Shaw brothers, wasn’t 100-percent certain on that exact graduation date. But since he’d already completed his high school education a couple of weeks prior, and then collected a top-10 finish at DH World Cup number two at Fort William, Scotland, he could be forgiven for being focused on podium ceremonies more than the graduation kind.

Luca’s freshman year in the pros has been pretty solid so far. Finishing just outside of the top 10 at the opening World Cup round in Lourdes, France, (11th) and then ending up 10th in round two are good signs of things to come. He looks at his performances in these races with the quiet confidence of someone with a solid plan — and the ability to keep moving up through the ranks.

SRAM image by Sven Martin

bigquotesI'm not so surprised that I was actually able to get a top 10, It's more just...I'm pleased with how quickly I'm progressing. To get a top 10 in only my second pro race kind of gives me the confidence for the rest of the year to know I can do it. - explains the former Junior World Cup race winner

Luca acknowledges that for this first year in the pros, he’s not saddled with the same kind of pressure he had in his last year as a junior. Instead of concentrating purely on results, he can focus on further developing his craft. And despite the desire to make it to the podium, riding well and finding ways to improve are more important than the finishing order on results sheets.

bigquotesIt's exciting and a little bit surreal - but it's sort of set in now. Now, I feel like I am capable of doing more than just getting top 10.

En route to that result at Fort William, Luca turned in what could easily be called the most consistent top-to-bottom race run of any competitor. He clocked the 12th highest speed, was 9th after the first split, 9th after the second split and finished 10th. And while that last number is the only one you can take to the bank, Luca walked away with plenty of notes for the next time.

bigquotesI felt kind of slow at the top, and I felt like I maybe left a little bit of time up there. I rode the woods section really cautiously, and I thought I might've lost some time there.

SRAM image by Sven Martin

bigquotesIt wasn't one of those runs that I don't think I could ever do again. It was a pretty standard race run that I think I can improve on. That was big for me - it wasn't just a roll the dice kind of thing.

Luca looks forward to Downhill World Cup #3 with cautious optimism, knowing that the Leogang course will keep the gaps between riders close, meaning it will be perhaps harder for him to get a good result here than anywhere else this year. In the grand scheme of things, though, it doesn’t matter too much, because he’s already ahead of his plan.

School may be finished for Luca Shaw the high school student, but advanced studies in professional mountain bike racing are fully in session.

SRAM image by Sven Martin

Images by Sven Martin
Words by Joe Parkin
www.sram.com


MENTIONS: @SramMedia / @mindspark



Posted In:
Videos Luca Shaw



40 Comments

  • + 45
 These boys started out as #TLDgroms 5 years ago, we knew then that the Shaw bros were keepers. Cut from a neat family, good people, and we love working with them-as well as SRAM with the SRAM TLD RACE TEAM, funnest project we have done in bike for sure. Thank you to SRAM for telling these great stories, bravo mindspark, bravo Shaw boys, and Luca-great job in Scotland.
  • + 29
 I recall travelling down to Virginia for the Massanutten downhill race a few years back. We had a couple of really fast guys in our group, including at least one who'd qualified for a WC DH. Fully expecting one of the guys to win (or at least be in the hunt), yet here was Luca, maybe even as a 15 year old, utterly crushing everyone in the field. It was pretty amazing. Couldn't be happier to see the pace continued.
  • + 11
 Always good to see the "youngsters" (b/c i'm not old) continue to excel in racing. I first saw Neko Mullaly when he was 13 or 14 at Snowshoe and couldn't understand how some "random ass kid" (exact thought too (LOL)) was so damn fast. Now look at him! Obviously same goes for Luca.
  • + 11
 Nice to see another American doing well in the WC, best of luck to him.
  • + 4
 We've had the pleasure of hosting Luca and Walker at a number of our races. Great kids. Amazing bike riders. Always doing our sport and the east coast proud. Give em some this weekend Luca!
  • + 4
 Beyond stoked to see our local WNC boys working toward the top of their game. Continued success fellas! There's more to come for the both of you!
  • + 2
 Man, the real time clips really don't do how fast they ride any justice. The slow-mo clips don't do them justice. Yeah, you see the tire wobble, the chain stretched, the pedals churn, and the minute flex the camera picks up from the forces, but it's still amazing how all the sounds and film still don't capture how ridiculously fast these riders push themselves.
  • + 5
 just getting my tissues ready before i press play...
  • - 32
flag Yt-shredder (Jun 11, 2015 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 Ha GAY
  • + 23
 i'm talking more about that these 'steps to the top' video's are always really emotional...
  • + 3
 No not really,but i diddnt want to offend you,just tryed to make a cool answer,yes it went Full retard,sorry mates
  • + 5
 My boss's kid. His older brother Walker is really talented too!
  • + 3
 And I live in the same town as him.I met him once, one of the nicest guys I have ever met and crazy fast. I love western north carolina!
  • + 2
 jealous! my favorite part of the world
  • + 3
 Met Luca at the starting gate at the Massanutten race, super chill guy, hope he continues to do well this season!
  • + 1
 That kid is REALLY fast, we will definitely seem him in the top ten again! And that was a fantastic video!! Really well filmed and edited
  • + 1
 I recall reading a article in decline about these guys and how good they are going to be. Looks like the prediction came true.
  • + 1
 So smooth, very talented, should have some of the older pro's worried.
Did anyone else notice how impressed the guy in the photo wearing the red hat is!?
  • + 3
 Does anyone know why Walker didn't race?
  • + 6
 @awitt He did race, but flatted in the qualifier that morning.
  • + 2
 Already legends in my book. At least round these parts. So young with so much more potential!!
  • + 2
 "The Shaws" EP1 S1... hahaha
Beer
tup
  • + 1
 Nice for him, he has a nice style and by the way.. who know the song name? or a link to download
  • + 2
 "pedalling in the air like E.T."
  • + 2
 This vid is screamig for Flume-On top music.
  • + 2
 Gwinn also had this sort of results in his first year as elite...hmmm
  • + 1
 Homegrown Carolina backwoods boys too. I was in a race in clemson with them there, it was cool shit
  • + 2
 we got your back Luca!
  • + 0
 I will give money to the guy playing music when he will be able to write 'SpecialiZed' properly !
  • + 4
 "Specialised" is a properly "spelt" word in British English, of course that's not how the 'merican brand is "spelled", but why not being lenient with the young Scottish lad ?
  • + 1
 Seriously, how sexy those white lowers are on this frame? :O
  • + 1
 hopefully i can go there in the summer
  • + 1
 Off topic, but does the camera at 1:46 have recoil? haha
  • + 1
 Thank god his shutter speed is flying high. I noticed that too man!
  • + 1
 Lots of time spent on image selection. I used to do darkroom photography...but then again these guys take 1000x the pics that a handful of rolls would.
  • + 1
 Crazy fast Luca!!!!
  • + 1
 This kid is going places
  • + 1
 Windrock riders!!!!
  • + 0
 Awesome write up!

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