Words: Mike Rose 
Photos: Nathan Hughes 

I’ve almost got no words… Dak Norton just got second place at the Loudenvielle World Cup! 
I sit here writing this on Sunday night after the race, and I honestly don’t really know what to say. When one of your team riders puts in a performance like this it kind of leaves you lost for words. It can stop you in your tracks. 
It had been an odd old race. The track was loved by everyone, a stunning location and a real test, but the weather had been playing around and messing things up a little. The political fallout from the cancellation of the junior’s race on Saturday will rumble on for some time, but we’re not really here to talk about that, it’s all about Dak. 
Just to get the facts clear, INTENSE Factory Racing team rider Dak Norton came second at the Loudenvielle World Cup, just 0.777 seconds behind winner Loic Bruni. I mean, what more do I need to say? It was crazy run of control, power and aggression, but also dangling legs, and feet out sketchy-ass moments. Dak (in sections) was riding on the ragged edge… and it was beautiful to watch. 
I’m not going to go on here, just go and watch the race online to get a feel for it all. One thing I did notice was that in his post-race interview there was a quiet determination about Dak. It wasn’t so much celebration. Some kind of vindication maybe, because we all know that he could have been here many times before, but there was also a somewhat melancholic bittersweet disappointment of just missing out on the top spot in his voice and body language, maybe it just needed to sink in. He wanted the win, that was plain to see. I’ve never seen him so determined and focused. Enjoy it Dak, we love ya for it. Les Gets here we come.