We are excited to announce the news that current US National Champion Dakotah Norton and UK super-talent Joe Breeden will be racing alongside returning athletes Aaron Gwin and young Canadian Seth Sherlock on the INTENSE Factory Racing (IFR) team in 2022.
IFR team owner Aaron Gwin doesn’t really need an introduction. With 20 World Cup race wins, five World Cup overall series titles and eight US National Championships to his name he truly is one of the greatest downhill racers of all time. Unfortunately, Aaron’s 2021 race season was cut short by injury, with him only being able to compete in two out of the six World Cups last year. Aaron is now in his fourth year with INTENSE and we believe that this new 2022 race team that he has created is one of the strongest teams we have ever had. Aaron is still as focused and determined as ever, and we can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for the team.
“I'm really happy with how our program is shaping up for the future. We've got some awesome talent onboard and I'm looking forward to working together to accomplish all the goals we're hoping to achieve. The team and I have put in a lot of hard work this off-season and I believe we've been able to make the gains necessary to put ourselves in a winning position. I can't wait for the race season to get started.” - Aaron Gwin
Dakotah is a regular on the top step of the podium at the US ProGRT and Downhill South East series and he is also familiar with the World Cup top 10. In the 2021 season he raced his way to three top ten finishes, narrowly missing out on a podium position at round #5 in Snowshoe (USA), and don’t forget his US Championships win at Winter Park, Colorado.
“INTENSE has been winning races before I learned how to ride, so to be joining the INTENSE family this season is really exciting for me. They’re a brand that’s not afraid to step out of the mold as a racing program to put performance first. The entire program and everyone surrounding it has such a winning history so I’m keen to put myself in a fresh environment and see what we can achieve together. I have immense respect for Aaron, and everything he’s told me prior to signing about the new plans they have for this year has me confident that I can perform at the highest level on an INTENSE.” - Dakotah Norton
Joe is no stranger to INTENSE, having ridden for the UK based team for three seasons between 2017-2019. After a 10th in Lousa (Portugal) 2020, then another 10th in Les Gets (France) 2021, Joe will be looking to build on that this year. His win in 2021 at the long and technical Crankworx BC Mt7 Psychosis finished his past season on a high note.
“Ever since I started riding for INTENSE Racing UK when I was 17 it has been my dream to one day ride for the Factory team. Five years later and here we are... and I couldn’t be more stoked. I’m super excited for the future working with everyone to see what we can all achieve together.”- Joe Breeden
The youngest on the team, is the highly skilled Seth Sherlock. Seth has ridden INTENSE bikes since he was 10 years old, officially becoming involved with the brand at 13 years old when he joined the Kovarik Racing Rider Development program. 2021 was a full-on introduction into the senior World Cup ranks for Seth and the team is excited to watch his progress as he returns to that series in 2022.
“I’m really thrilled to be continuing with INTENSE Factory Racing for 2022. I have loved the last two years with the team, and it will be amazing to have some new faces around the pits. Joe and Dakotah are amazing riders, and I can’t wait to hang out, ride and learn from them. I have a lot to prove and I’m ready to step it up in 2022.” - Seth Sherlock
The team will continue to develop and race the prototype alloy INTENSE M279 DH bike. They’ll be working closely together on some new changes and special tweaks for 2022. Further, Seth and Joe will race the new INTENSE Tracer enduro bike at select Enduro World Series (EWS) races this year.
“It’s going to be a great year for the team. With the addition of Dakotah and Joe, as well as a new downhill bike, Lourdes World Cup can’t come soon enough. Both Dakotah and Joe have had some great results the past couple of years, and for Aaron and Seth, the new downhill bike will surely elevate their performances. INTENSE, and our supporting sponsors, have provided us with a level of support that will showcase us at our best.” -Todd Schumlick, IFR Team Manager
The 2022 team is a great mix of youth and experience, strength and skill, and with new bikes being raced on both the World Cup and EWS circuits, the INTENSE Factory Racing Team can’t wait for the start hut beeps to begin and for the team to be back between the tapes.
“IFR 2022, this is a dream team program that Aaron and INTENSE have assembled with focus on the podium and product development at the highest level. I am very excited to continue to work with Aaron and Seth and new opportunities with Dak and Joe. John Hall (below) also assumes a new role as not only AG’s mechanic but also Product Technical Director to coordinate between Race team and product R&D. We now have not only an aggressive rider range but also a support program to help develop the next generation World Cup level DH bike.” - Jeff Steber, INTENSE Founder