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Greg Minnaar Lands at Norco Bicycles with Their Factory Racing Team!

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It was big news at the tail end of last year that Greg Minnaar was leaving Santa Cruz Bicycles. The downhill legend had been with the iconic brand for 16 years, in the process establishing himself as the GOAT.

There was a lot of speculation as to where he would end up, but now we know. Greg Minnaar has just announced that he has joined Norco Factory racing.

According to Norco, Greg will serve as the captain of the team where he’ll help scout new talent and work directly with the engineering team to develop the fastest bikes possible. Oh, he’ll also be racing too.

Currently, Norco doesn’t have a DH bike in its lineup, but they have not been hiding the prototype that’s in the works. When discussing the prototype with Norco, Greg had this to say, “I have been able to ride the new Norco DH prototype bike and I’m impressed with the performance so far. The engineers have created something special in that there are no compromises required on this bike. The high-pivot design is new to me and it offers some interesting advantages. I’m working closely with the engineers to optimise the bike further, not only for my riding but for my teammates too. I’m looking forward to pointing it down a World Cup race course!”

From Norco:

VANCOUVER, January 9, 2024—In a bold move, champion downhiller Greg Minnaar has signed with the Norco Factory racing team. With four World Championship victories and 23 World Cup wins, the South African is one of the most decorated riders in the sport, and he has big plans with Norco next season and beyond. Minnaar is focused on working with Norco’s engineers to develop equipment that will change the game, while also nurturing the next generation of talent. 

“Until recently, I had no idea that Norco had such an incredible engineering team,” said Minnaar. “I’ve never seen this in the bike industry, where the engineering team has a separate division to work with the race team. I’ll be lucky enough to direct this program, to be a part of a culture of performance and leverage my years of experience, while giving myself the best possible chance between the tape. This is the beginning of a new chapter for me and for Norco—we’re just getting started.” 

In addition to racing, Minnaar will lead the Norco Factory race team, joining current members Gracey Hemstreet and Lucas Cruz, while starting to build the team for the future.  

“What an honour it is to have the greatest of all time as a teammate,” said Cruz. “Ever since meeting him in my first Word Cup season he’s been such a down to earth guy and a person you can’t help but look up to! I can’t wait to get to know him better and do some serious damage on the circuit this year alongside Gracey and the GOAT.” 

Hemstreet added, “I’m super excited to have Greg as part of Norco Factory this year. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor. I believe that Greg’s experience and knowledge in the sport will take our team to the next level. It’s going to be a great year.” 

Greg will also mentor Norco’s youth development team, The Source, a program aimed at finding and fostering the future of downhill racing, giving them the support and tools they need to succeed.  

The work for next season has already begun, with Minnaar due to race on the prototype Norco DH bike, something he will be working closely with the engineering team to optimize even further over the season. “I am here to build the fastest team, with the fastest bike,” said Minnaar. 

“We can think of no better way to kick off our 60th anniversary year than to have an icon of the sport like Greg join our team,” said Gwen van Lingen, Head of Brand at Norco. “Not just looking at now, but planning for the future is exciting for Norco, Greg, and the sport as a whole.”  


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