After plenty of speculation, we are excited to officially welcome the GOAT himself to the Norco family. Hello, Greg Minnaar.
With a racing career spanning more than two decades, Greg has won a record 23 World Cup races, collected three World Cup Series overall wins and four World Championship titles making him one of the most decorated athletes in men’s Downhill Mountain biking. He’s not only the best racer of his generation, but multiple generations and he’s bringing all that experience and expertise to Norco Bikes via the Team Director role for Norco Factory Racing, starting from this year.
In his multi-faceted role with the Norco Factory Racing Team, Greg has big plans. Not only is he focused on working with the Norco engineers to develop equipment that will change the game, he is committed to building the fastest team between the tape. Mentoring the current members of the team and finding and nurturing the next generation of talent for the Norco youth development team, The Source – the future is bright.
We sat down with Greg to dig in on his decision and chat plans for the future.
Why Norco and why now?
“I had an amazing run with my former team, but it became clear that it was time for change. I was looking for a brand that aligned with my values and would share my vision for the future, both as a racer and in a team directorship/mentorship role. I had a great initial meeting with Gwen van Lingen (Head of Brand at Norco), but what really convinced me was when I met and did some bike testing with Adrian, Colin and Kirk, the Norco engineers. They are so impressive – probably the best, if not the only, bike engineers I have ever encountered on a racing course. We have already spent many hours together, planning and testing the new Downhill bike. It’s 100% clear that they share my ambition to build the fastest bike in the world.”
It’s 100% clear that they share my ambition to build the fastest bike in the world
– Greg Minnaar
How much longer do you plan on racing?
“I’m as passionate about racing as ever. The competitive fire is still burning strongly and I plan to keep racing for at least 2024. Every season brings new challenges and opportunities and as long as I’m enjoying the journey and feeling competitive, I’ll keep striving for success as a racer. So definitely another season, maybe more.”
What do you think of the Norco DH bike?
“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!”
What are your plans beyond racing?
“Off the track, I’ll jump right into getting to know the other riders and mentoring Gracey and Lucas. The plan is to create the environment for the riders to shine and that requires having the best staff in place. The team members – racers and support – all need to have the right balance between skill, camaraderie and a commitment to excellence. I’m excited to work with young athletes and help them achieve their potential. The overall goal is to help Norco Factory Racing become the fastest DH racing team on the fastest bike!”
As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, adding Greg to the team is another important milestone for the Norco brand. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!
We’re just getting started.