The weight of milliseconds

Imagine being on a bike at the top of a steep descent and letting gravity take over.

As you release the brakes, the change of pace is immediate and exhilarating, providing a rush of uncontrolled air and adrenaline.

But then your instincts fight back and take over to bring you back under control.

It’s hard to fight thousands of years of evolution and self-preservation.

Tuning in to the power and advantage that gravity offers whilst never letting it get out of control can be an uncomfortable place, a fine line.

And it’s the line where Downhill mountain bike riders excel.

DH or Downhill mountain biking is still a relatively young sport. But take a look at early races on Mammoth mountain, when early pioneers wore lycra shorts, had no protection or suspension to talk about, and had handlebars so narrow they had the control of a supermarket shopping trolley. Today’s DH equipment looks light years ahead.

Much like racing in formula 1, DH is considered by many as the pinnacle of the sport, where milliseconds matter. Its relatively young age has only given it an even greater openness, willing to explore all new ideas and innovations.

POC started in DH mountain biking very early, and it’s been an essential aspect of its history, mission and award-winning innovation. This makes the return to the World Cup DH competition with the Norco Factory DH team, as the official kit and protection partner for the Canadian-based team for the 2021 race season, all the more pleasing.

“Partnering with POC for this season was an easy decision. Norco is dedicated to providing the very best technical products available to our team, and we’ll work closely with POC to provide regular feedback for product development.” says Kevin Haviland, Norco’s Sports Marketing Manager.

“Our joint goals are to be at the forefront of racing and innovation, to help our athletes perform and go faster, but always be better-protected and safer.”

Team members Sam Blenkinsop, Henry Fitzgerald, Lucas Cruz and Elliot Jamieson will challenge the World Cup kitted out in POC apparel, including the Essential DH jersey, Resistance Pro DH pants, and Signal all weather jackets for those colder and wetter race weekends.

On the protection front, the team will have the Coron helmets, the new Oseus line of kneepads and the VPD system torso back and chest protection. The team will also use Ora Clarity goggles on gravity courses and Devour and Aspire glasses on lower-key rides.

“Our mountain bike roots are firmly established in protecting gravity-based riders, and we are excited to partner with Norco and support their ambitions at the highest level of the sport.” said Oscar Huss, head of product at POC.

“The team will race in the unique and intense World Cup environment, where the difference between winning and losing is often measured in milliseconds, and we are looking forward to providing the riders with all the advantages and protection from our years of research and development.”

“POC is a company that I have been trying to work with for a few years, so having this opportunity now is awesome,” Sam Blenkinsop said from the team training camp in Andorra. “I have always liked what they make, and it’s really cool to be able to get in their gear this season.”