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.