Words by Mike Rose
Photos by Seb Schieck
With the off-season now in full swing, we thought it would be a good idea to catch up with the INTENSE Factory Racing (IFR) team riders to take a quick look back at the 2022 season and a brief look forwards to 2023. We started with Dak Norton, but this time around it is the turn of the young gun Seth Sherlock.
I think it is safe to say that bike-wise Seth has probably had the best year of his life. Traveling the world racing the Downhill World Cup series and the Enduro World Series, he has lived life to the full. At his first EWS Seth was only going to ‘give it a go’, with his focus initially at the start of the year on the Downhill World Cup series. But as the results started to come, he got kind of comfortable up on the podium. What started out as a bit of a ‘side hustle’ eventually became his primary focus. Racing in the Under 21 category, the format seemed to suit him.
Can you sum up your 2022 season in three words?
Memorable, fun and long!
What about some high points of your season?
The first would be my podium at the Tweed Valley EWS (above). I wasn't sure how my pace would stack up at the EWS or if I would enjoy it, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that my pace was good and enduro is a ton of fun. Secondly, coming 31st at the Leogang World Cup. It wasn't a crazy result by any means but it felt great to get my career best World Cup DH result, especially on a track that I normally struggle with. Finally, my win at the Whistler EWS was probably the highest point of the entire season. Taking the win in the town I more or less grew up in, with all of my friends around, was such a cool experience.
Which was your favourite track of the year?
Probably Val di Sole for downhill – that track is so damn gnarly and relentless, there's really nothing else like it. For enduro Sugarloaf (above) was my favorite for sure. We basically raced five different downhill tracks – every single stage was hard with almost no pedalling, what's not to love?
Where there any standout races, racers or race runs that impressed you?
World Champs at Les Gets was the craziest bike race I've ever seen and got me really excited for the future of our sport. Aaron's run at Andorra (above) was hugely impressive, as was Dak's run at Val di Sole. I also have to give a shout-out to Ronan Dunne's podium at Snowshoe, that was cool to see.
And what about high points off the bike?
Me and my family’s move to Vancouver Island has been great. It's nice to live somewhere that perfectly suits our lifestyle.
And the low points of your season?
Getting red flagged at Val di Sole stung. Screwing up the EWS Loudenvielle (above) sucked too. I'm still happy with that result but I made that race way harder than it needed to be. There's quite a bit more. Trust me, it wasn't a perfect season.
What does the off-season hold for you?
So far I've been riding MTB and dirt bikes quite a bit. I recently raced a Hard Enduro dirt bike race which was a cool experience. I've also gotten a lot of work done on my car, bought a truck, and worked on getting fully moved into the new property. It's been busy. I have plenty more projects lined up, so those, combined with training, should keep me pretty busy for the winter.
So what are your plans race-wise for 2023? Will you be mixing up both DH and Enduro?
I'd like to mix it up with both, probably doing the full EWS season and racing downhill whenever they aren't conflicting. I'd like to give the EWS a solid effort with dedicated enduro training. I trained specifically for downhill this year and think I have more potential than I've shown in enduro with some more cardio work this off-season. The DH season starting a bit later is nice. I'll be able to race the first couple of enduros then have some time off to really get up to speed for the first World Cup. Hopefully I'll be able to fit some local races into the time between them, too.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned this year?
Hard work pays off eventually, you just have to keep grinding through the lows.
Any messages or advice for your team mates?
Pull up to Vancouver Island for Prevost laps!