Greg Minnaar is on Norco Bicycles - The Inside Line Interview 17

The GOAT moves to Norco after 16 years with the Syndicate, and we find out why.

Downhill mountain bike racing legend, Greg Minnaar, announced that he joined Norco Bicycles after 16 years with the 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 World Championships in Fort William left Greg with a poor result and a hunger 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 with Greg about that change, the possible challenges of working with a new bike and team, as well as his expectations for the 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup DH race season.


Interview Contents

  • 0:00 - Intro / Is He on FOX or RockShox?
  • 3:31 - Any Other Sponsor Changes?
  • 4:21 - Why Didn't He Retire in 2023?
  • 7:55 - Did He Try to Stay with Santa Cruz Syndicate?
  • 10:50 - Norco's Race Engineering 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 Suspension Platform Really Matter?
  • 22:30 - The Source - Norco Junior Development Team
  • 25:29 - What If He Doesn't Get Results or Gets an Injury?
  • 30:44 - 2024 Race Goals
  • 32:48 - Insight into 2024 World Cup DH Format
  • 36:06 - Would He Wear the Fox One-piece Suit 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 as he Joins Norco.

Legendary downhill rider to develop a team and a bike for the future.


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.

GregMinnaarNorcoSigning-6 0.jpg?VersionId=NmV7wIb2slVY9RQ

“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.”


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 trail-blazing excellence. Founded as Northern Cycle Industries in 1964, operating out of a chicken coop, 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 Colombia are hard-wired into the DNA at Norco, and they will always be the ultimate inspiration for the character and performance of every Norco bike.



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