Norco Factory Team is adding even more Canadian talent to its roster. For 2020, both the cross country and downhill teams will have a new young Canuck lining up at the World Cups in the team’s colours.
Pemberton’s Lucas Cruz is the latest signing for the downhill squad. Carter Woods joins the already-stacked NFT cross country roster. Jenn Jackson will also be receiving support from the team for XC and cyclocross.
Norco Factory Team – Downhill
Lucas Cruz joins the Norco Factory Team after a standout year in 2019. In his final season as a junior, Cruz landed on two World Cup podiums and finished third overall in the junior men’s World Cup standings. The Pemberton, B.C.-based junior was second at the World Cup in Vallnord, Andorra, and third at the final round in Snowshoe, W.Va. Cruz was just 0.01 seconds away from adding a world championships medal to his palmares, finishing fourth by that razor-thin margin at Mont-Sainte-Anne in September 2019. Closer to home, he notched wins at the Canadian Open DH and Fox Air DH at Crankworx in August.
For 2020, Cruz graduates to racing in the elite category. He’ll make the move alongside fellow Canadian junior and Norco Factory Team rider Elliot Jamieson. Jamieson, from White Rock, B.C. also enjoyed a very successful junior career. Jamieson stormed onto the international scene with a third-place finish at 2018 world championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. He was sixth behind Cruz at Mont-Sainte-Anne worlds in 2019. At Canadian DH nationals in Panorama, B.C., Jamieson was second.
Sam Blenkinsop, the 2018 King of Crankworx, and Canadian downhiller Henry Fitzgerald are also returning to Norco Factory Team for 2020. All four riders will take on the World Cup series aboard Norco’s Aurum HSP downhill bike.
Norco Factory Team – XC
Norco had its most successful season ever in 2019, taking World Cup podiums and with all athletes pushing further up the international rankings. In 2020, they’re aiming for the next level.
Carter Woods, the Canadian junior men’s XCO champion, is the latest addition to the team. Along with his national title, Woods finished fourth at world championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne last September. The Vancouver Island racer was also second at the Albstadt World Cup junior event, in Germany. For 2020, Woods moves up to the under-23 category.
Woods already has his first race with the new team under his belt. The Cumberland, B.C. racer finished 11th in the elite men’s race at Salamina Epic, a UCI C1 race in Greece. Racing continues this week with the Salamina four-day stage race.
Norco Factory Team continues to be led by Haley Smith and Peter Disera in the elite categories. With the 2020 Olympic Games headed to Tokyo, Japan this July, the team will be looking to build on last year’s successes. There are just two women’s Olympic spots, and one for Canadian men. Under-23 national champion Quinton Disera returns to the team, as do Sean Fincham (under-23) and Andrew L’Esperance.
Ontario’s Jenn Jackson will also be supported by the team for cross country and cyclocross racing.
Norco Factory Team XC will continue to race on the Revolver FS and Revolver HT in 2020.