Team CRC / Nukeproof made headlines in mountain bike magazines and on blogs across the globe at the end of last year, when they announced that five times World Champion rider Sam Hill had joined their team. The man behind the move was Nigel Page, Team Manager at CRC / Nukeproof, who probably has one of the coolest jobs in the industry…
“I got into mountain biking by riding with friends, then I started instructing for the Duke of Edinburgh awards at St Helen’s Council. At the end of 1996 I did a Nambs downhill race and then I was hooked on racing.
In 1998 I was second in the UK pro ranks and I won the dual national championships in 1999. I followed that up with a bronze medal at the X Games in 2000. More recently I won the Masters downhill world championships in 2007 and I was Vet National Champion in 2012.
I joined the Chain Reaction Cycles team in 2008 and we started designing, making and racing Nukeproof bikes in 2011. It’s great to be in charge of a world-class downhill race team after years of racing myself. I’m still very passionate about racing and I want our team to be the best team in the world! It’s also great to see so many privateers on Nukeproof bikes at the races – it tells me that we’re making amazing, world-class bikes at a price that people can still afford.
The most exciting thing going on in the team at the moment is the arrival of Sam Hill. It’s almost time for the first round of the World Cup and the whole team is excited to get it underway. Our objectives for this season are to get podiums and top 10’s and to hopefully win some World Cups. Fingers crossed, we’ll even win some championships and gain as much media exposure for our sponsors as possible.
There are a couple of challenges facing the mountain bike industry at the moment in my view. The new wheel sizes – 29” and now 27.5” – mean the whole industry is now trying to make bikes, tires, forks, etc to fit the new trends. Also, every bike company is trying to develop new, lighter carbon frames. This often means dealing with new factories and manufacturers.
The best part of my job as Factory Team Manager is getting to the World Cup races once the winter is over and all the hard work of planning, designing and ordering everything to make our team ready and looking great is finished. When I finally see all the riders on the new team bikes with their new kit, it all seems worth it. But obviously winning races is right up there as the best part!
The worst part of my job is missing my family if I’m away for a long time. Riders getting injured is pretty bad too! I also hate having to tell riders I can’t offer them a ride on the team anymore, when we change up the team roster from time to time. That’s pretty bad.
One of the most important elements of our team is the role that Nukeproof team riders have in developing our bikes – their input is huge. We tell the team engineers what angles and sizes we want the frames to be and the rate of the suspension to work best on race tracks. It’s great to have a bike brand that we help to develop from scratch – it gives us the perfect race bikes for what we want and subsequently, it gives customers the best bikes available, designed by the best riders in the world. The Nukeproof bikes the team race are exactly the same as the bikes that our customers buy.
Unfortunately I don’t live in the mountains, so I manly ride my Nukeproof Mega TR for trail riding. For downhill I ride a Nukeproof Pulse, and for endure and all mountain I like my Nukeproof Mega AM.”