What’s in a name? Would that which we called Intense Factory Racing by any other name would go just as fast?
Mountain bike trade news doesn’t normally rise above the level of press release hype but this year, but Intense and Aaron Gwin have made a solid effort to rise to the level of prose, if not all-out drama.
Coming into 2024, Gwin’s five-year ownership agreement of “Intense Factory Racing,” was coming to a close. The team made an announcement that the program would be coming to a close. That meant the four riders, Joe Breeden, Dakotah Norton, Squamish’s Seth Sherlock and boss-man Gwin would be moving on to hopefully greener pastures.
Then, within days of that announcement, the team page flickered back to life. Intense Factory Racing is dead. Long live Intense Factory Racing. Breeden decided life in California was good enough that he should keepthe program going and, taking over the manager/racer roll, signed on Louise Ferguson, Oscar Griffiths and Ryder Lawrence.
Norton moved on to Mondraker Factory Racing, but there was no news of Gwin and Sherlock. Until now.
A late addition to the 2024 UCI Teams List, which already had several surprises, is Gwin Racing. There’s little information about the U.S.-registered team beyond the roster. That includes Gwin, Sherlcok and fellow B.C. racer Michael Delesalle. Management adds even more maple flavour, with Todd Schumlick as team manager and Cathy Zinck signed on as assistant team manager.
Race bikes? Equipment? Program? That’s all still up in the air. But at least we know Gwin and the two Canadians will be racing and supported this season. And more Canadians getting support is always a good thing.