Race day with Sam Blenkinsop, Joe Smith and Henry Fitzgerald

 


'Once you win a World Cup, nothing else can compare.' ~ Sam Blenkinsop

It is the dream of many racers, to win a World Cup. With times tighter than ever realizing this dream has become incredibly hard, but that does not stop Norco Factory Racing riders Sam Blenkinsop, Joe Smith and Henry Fitzgerald from trying. As Joe puts it: 'Every year, every time I race, I try as hard as I can.' 

2018 has been a strong season for the team with Sam and Joe both having one the best starts to a season ever with a 4th and 15th place at the first round of the World Cup in Losinj, Croatia. Additionally, Sam last week also claimed the King of Crankworx title and won the Oceania Championships. In the meantime, young gun Henry Fitzgerald has been climbing the ranks fast claiming his first top-25 at a World Cup this year and got on the podium at the Canadian Championships. A fresh World Cup win, however, is yet to be taken. 

In Norco Factory Racing’s latest video Race Day we follow Sam, Joe and Henry in their pursuit of the top step at one of the hardest races of the year, Val di Sole, which this year proved even more challenging due to the treacherous weather conditions. The team gives a detailed look into their preparation in the days leading up to the race and talks about all the things that have to click in order to win a World Cup: from line choice to mental state and from training to bike set-up. Because like Sam says: ‘It can be a click here or a click there and you’ll be on the money. Winning.’

Sam was battling both his set-up and a pair of gloves in Val di Sole, but still looked fast all week and finished 14th.

Joe had a super fast top section, but fatigue cost him some time in the lower part of the course. Nevertheless, 'it was the best I felt here in a long time', he says, finishing in 29th place.

Henry had a great weekend in Val di Sole and so far is checking both his goals for the season: a top-30 at a World Cup and to qualify for World Champs.

Joe flying towards the finish arena.

Henry getting his lines dialed.

Sam passing the crowds to finish 19th in Andorra, just a week later.


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