The final World Cup race of the year capped a very successful year for the Syndicate riders! Greg finished 4th overall and Josh 5th. Despite early-season injuries for both, consistent, solid results (including 3 wins out of 7 races) kept them both on the series podium for 2015. Only the Syndicate and Aaron Gwin won World Cup races this year, and Gwin took the title after Greg crashed trying to grab a win in Val di Sole.
In this weekend’s qualifying, Greg placed 4th and Josh 8th, after both felt they had marginal runs. With lots of improvement to be had, both riders charged as hard as they could on that last run of the series with mixed results. Josh landed another podium with a 5th-place run and said, “This track is so physical and there is no place at all to rest. After training all week I woke up this morning and my arms felt like I had already done a run. I gave it everything I had and towards the bottom it was all I could do to hold on. I’m satisfied with my run, and I’m fit and healthy going to World Champs in 2 weeks.”
Greg set himself up to charge hard in the final but hit the deck when he pushed too hard and lost the front wheel. He had to straighten his bars before he could get going again, costing him precious time and resulting in 54th on the day. The lack of points dropped him from 2nd place to 4th overall, but he was happy that he gave it his all, and said, “I knew if I was going to challenge Aaron for the title I had to give it everything. I’m satisfied that if I was going down I went down swinging. I’m happy with my season and I’m looking forward to Andorra in a few weeks.”
Val di Sole also saw the return of the legenedary Steve Peat. Steve is coming back from ACL reconstruction and decided to give it a go at one of the hardest tracks on the circuit. He took some stitches to the shin in practice, but didn’t back down. He gave it his best in qualifying but missed the cut. He looked great, with his skills still shining, but the track was just too physical on the arms, and on a track that challenged the very fittest to their limits, not having peak downhill fitness was the missing link.Tweet Print
After last weekend’s win in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Josh Bryceland and Greg Minnaar were looking to turn back to back World Cup weekends into a North American double for the Syndicate. Both looked strong in qualifying with Greg finishing 4th, and Josh 6th. In the finals, Josh’s front wheel got a little wild on the dusty fire road section, which cost him some time, putting him into 7th. Greg laid down a smooth, clean, and fast run that put him in the hot seat. It looked like he might stay there until Aaron Gwin came flying down the mountain, taking the home win for the USA. Greg’s result moves him into second place in the series, 135 points behind Gwin, and within striking distance for the World Cup, which finishes in Val di Sole, Italy in two weeks.Tweet Print
A healthy Rat is a fast Rat! After getting up close and personal with a tree in Ft. William, and dislocating his finger in Lenzerheide, Josh was on the hunt for his first World Cup win since WIndham, last year. Despite dry weather earlier in the week, the rain got turned on just before qualifiers, and hung around for race time, making the rough and rocky track all the more challenging.
The racing was incredibly tight, with Josh beating Loic Bruni by just two-tenths of a second, and Troy Brosnan by a quarter-second — super close, and even closer for a track as long as Mont-Sainte-Anne. Greg Minnaar finished just behind Brosnan for fourth place, which nets him some valuable World Cup points. Greg’s sitting in third overall, just 70 points behind Aaron Gwin, heading in to next week’s race in Windham, followed by Val Di Sole to close out the season.
Watch this week’s episode to see Josh singing on the podium, maple syrup tasting, and Greg’s dreamy steaks. And don’t miss Josh’s helmet cam video of the Mont St Anne track either.Tweet Print
The World Cup’s first trip to Lenzerheide, Switzerland, was a smashing success. Making it look easy on the Steve Peat-designed track, Greg Minnaar stepped to the top of the box once again, taking his record-setting 18th World Cup win! Greg’s won two of the four World Cups so far this season, and sits in third overall, just 12 points behind Loic Bruni. Josh Bryceland continued his string of injuries with a dislocated ring finger sustained during practice, and got the finger re-located just hours before qualifiers. He put down a strong run in the finals and finished 12th, which moved him up to 7th overall. Watch the fourth episode of The Syndicate to see how the weekend unfolded behind the scenes, including Josh’s dining-table finger relocation!Tweet Print
Riding high after Greg Minnaar’s victory at the Ft. William World Cup, the Santa Cruz Syndicate heads to the second of back-to-back races in Leogang, Austria.
Rayboy’s race run
What’s it like to go warp speed? Check out Josh Bryceland’s helmet cam from his race run.
Catch up on all the episodes of ‘The Syndicate’ here.Tweet Print
While Aaron Gwin is getting all the headlines this week about his jaw-dropping chainless win, the weekend prior there was some big news as well, as Greg Minnaar matched his Santa Cruz Syndicate teammate Steve Peat for the most all-time World Cup wins with number 17 coming at Fort William, Scotland. In the meantime, Peaty and Josh Bryceland are on the mend after some recent injuries.
Catch up with the team in Episode 2 of The Syndicate.
We saw it make its debut under the Syndicate riders back in July, and now it can be yours — the sixth generation of what is likely the winningest downhill bike ever is now on sale. Now you can ride what Ratboy rode to a World Cup overall championship and bone-crunching second place at the World Championship.
While the VPP suspension layout remains largely unchanged, the bike is completely new, from the handlebars to the larger, 27.5 wheels. It moves 216mm through its travel in two adjustable geometry positions: High, with a 64-degree head tube angle and 360mm bottom bracket height, and Low, with a 63.5 degree head tube angle and 353mm bottom bracket height.
Santa Cruz says the shock rate is less progressive than the previous model, leading to a more consistent feel throughout its travel. It also has a longer reach in each of its four sizes, as is the current trend, and since it’s a Santa Cruz you’ll still find a threaded bottom bracket.
Customers can build a bike however they desire, starting from a bare frame (in the higher-end CC carbon) with either a Fox DHX RC4 or RockShox Vivid R2C shock for $3,599. The standard C carbon frame built up with a Shimano Zee group and Fox 40 R fork it will set you back $5,699. The CC carbon frame with the downhill-specific, 7-speed SRAM X01 group and Fox 40 Float Kashima is a cool $8,799. And don’t forget there is always the ENVE wheel upgrade option…
The V10 is available in white with red trim and black with white trim. Santa Cruz had the Syndicate team in the office for the annual Holiday party, and the red and white of the new V10 looked right at home.
What a season it’s been…
It’s been a jam packed year full of laughs and good times with Peaty and co, but unfortunately this season has come to an end. With the up-coming release of Steve Peat’s life story ‘Won’t Back Down’, produced by Clay Porter and John Lawlor. We take a look into what went into making the masterpiece…
Just as the alcohol had left the system from the Sheffield World Premiere, it was time to hop on a plane one last time this year and head to Santa Cruz, California, for the USA premiere and a chilled week. This isn’t the end of the road for Peaty and co by any means though… Season 3 is being brainstormed as we speak, so look out for more on that early 2014!
Merry Xmas and see you all next season!