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Greg Minnaar is on Norco Bicycles – The Inside Line Interview – Mountain Bike Feature

DOwnhill mountain bike racing legend Greg Minnaar announced he is moving to Norco Bicycles after 16 years with Santa Cruz Syndicate. Minnaar has more mountain bike World Cup downhill victories than any other elite male racer. While 2023 was supposed to be his farewell season after two and a half decades of racing, a flat tire at the World Championships in Fort William left Greg with a poor result and a desire to end his competitive career on a high note. When Santa Cruz decided to let Greg go, he found a new home at Norco. In this interview we talk to Greg about this change, the potential challenges of working with a new bike and team, and his expectations for the 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup DH racing season.

Interview content

  • 0:00 – Intro / Is it on FOX or RockShox?
  • 3:31 – Any other sponsorship changes?
  • 4:21 – Why didn’t he retire in 2023?
  • 7:55 – Did he try to stay with the Santa Cruz Syndicate?
  • 10:50 – Norco’s racing technology program
  • 13:09 – How will he adapt to the Norco prototype DH bike?
  • 16:17 – From VPP to high pivot to DH bike
  • 20:20 – Does the suspension platform really matter?
  • 10:30 p.m. – The Source – Norco Junior Development Team
  • 25:29 – What if he doesn’t get results or gets injured?
  • 30:44 – 2024 race goals
  • 32:48 – Insight into the 2024 DH World Cup format
  • 36:06 – Would he wear the Fox onesie like Christian Craig?
  • 36:58 – What will he miss most about the Syndicate?

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Official Norco press release

Photographer: David Nogales Tarragó

Greg Minnaar is just getting started when he joins Norco.

Legendary downhill rider develops a team and a bike for the future.


VANCOUVER, January 9, 2024 – In a bold move, downhill champion Greg Minnaar has signed with the Norco Factory racing team. With four World Championship victories and 23 World Cup victories, the South African is one of the most decorated riders in the sport, and he has it

Big plans with Norco for next season and beyond. Minnaar is focused on working with Norco engineers to create devices that change the game while nurturing the next generation of talent.

GregMinnaarNorcoSigning-6 0.jpg?VersionId=NmV7wIb2slVY9RQ

“Until recently, I had no idea Norco had such an incredible engineering team,” Minnaar said. “I’ve never seen this before in the cycling industry, where the technical team has a separate department that works with the racing team. I will be fortunate to lead this program, be part of a performance culture and utilize my years of experience while giving myself the best possible chance between the bands. 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 racing team, joining current members Gracey Hemstreet and Lucas Cruz as he begins building the team for the future.

“What an honor it is to have the best teammate of all time,” Cruz said. “Ever since I met him in my first World Cup season, he has been such a down-to-earth guy and a person to look up to! I can’t wait to get to know him better and do some serious damage on the track alongside Gracey and the GOAT this year.”


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

Greg will also oversee Norco’s youth development team, The Source, a program designed to find and nurture the future of downhill racing and give them the support and tools they need to succeed.

Work for next season has already begun and Minnaar is expected to ride the Norco DH prototype. He will work closely with the technical team to further optimize it as the season progresses. “I am here to build the fastest team with the fastest bike,” Minnaar said.

“We can’t think of a better way to start our 60th anniversary year than to have a sports icon like Greg join our team,” said Gwen van Lingen, Head of Brand at Norco. “Not only looking at the now, but also planning for the future is exciting for Norco, Greg and the sport as a whole.”


About Norco Bicycles

Norco is a global leader in high-performance mountain bikes known for its commitment to innovation, quality craftsmanship and the pursuit of groundbreaking excellence. Founded in a chicken coop in 1964 as Northern Cycle Industries, the brand has evolved over the years, but hard work, passion and commitment to innovation have always been at the forefront. The mountains and trails of British Columbia are ingrained in Norco’s DNA and will always be the ultimate inspiration for the character and performance of every Norco bicycle.

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