Norco Factory Racing - Vallnord 2017

Jul 2, 2017 at 1:23
by Thomas Gaffney  
Following the Crankworx Innsbruck, the team was immediately off to Andorra for round 4 of the UCI World Cup series.

This would be the first World Cup of season with a double event (DH and XC), so it's always exciting to have the extra riders, staff, pit set-ups, and fans. We also had Norco Bicycles Factory XC team as neighbours, so lot's of good team vibes in the pits!

If anyone remembers last year's World Cup here in Vallnord, then you might remember Sam's little trip in a helicopter to the emergency room. Here we are a year later, and Sam was ready to prove this place was still one of his favourites. For Joe and Henry it was much the same, one of their favourite DH tracks of the year.

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From day 1 of practice, all was looking good for the team, including Sam going 8th quickest in timed training. The weather was pretty much was on and off rain showers throughout the first couple days. But conditions remained fairly ideal. For day 2 of training and qualifying, Sam ended up 13th with a ’safe run’, and Joe 42nd, also playing it safe and saving his shoulder for the finals. For Henry, it was a very strategic day, as he once again logged some timed runs with his LIT GPS during morning training, and focused on elevating his performance to what seemed to be a time needed to qualify for the finals. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, and he ended up about 4 seconds short of required qualifying time. His closest gap of the year.

For Saturday finals, conditions looked good. Both Sam and Joe started the day with great training sessions, and were ready to let loose in the finals. Ultimately, the guys targeted to better their qualifying performance. First up was Joe, and with what he described was a steady and smooth run, ended up finishing 39th on the day. A decent finish, all things considering. Next was Sam. Coming through splits 1 and 2, he was back about 3 seconds from the guys on the hot seat. But in usual fashion, he then put down what ended up at top 5 performance through the second half of the run, and finished 12th overall. Sam best World Cup of the season, and great progress forward.

The team is now off to Lenzerheide, Switzerland for round 5 of the UCI World Cup series. Everyone is looking to continue the forward progress.

- Norco Factory Racing


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