Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat teaches a master class in downhill racing as he smokes the competition here in La Bresse, France at the second round of the Nissan UCI World Cup Downhill. This win combined with his 3rd place in South Africa puts him into the leaders jersey in the series as well as tying Nico’s record of 16 World Cup career wins. Greg Minnaar just misses the podium with a 6th place finish ending his two-year World Cup podium streak. Young Josh Bryceland bumped up the effort in the final to improve over his qualifier and places 24th.
The week had gone well with practice in the wet and the dry so the boys were ready for any condition. With Steve winning the qualifier he was feeling strong and confident. Greg’s 7th place qualifier had him walking the course and looking for some time with the headmaster, “Old School” Peaty, or as Steve says, “The F—ing Headmaster!” Greg even shaved his moustache hoping to shave a few seconds off. Also taking a lesson from the headmaster, Josh agreed to keep the whips out of his race run and get to business after his 32nd place qualifier.
Things were kept light and fun pre-race night. In the morning we arrived in the pit where the Belgium fan club, the Filthy Syndicate was waiting with Peat and Minnaar facemasks. The boys felt a bit uneasy standing next to themselves, but we all had a laugh at how funny it looked. They joined the 15,000 fans that poured through the gates and lined the course ten deep in true French fashion. The skies had been cooperating but rain was forecast for 3:00 pm and arrived early at 2:30 pm with a big dump, just 5 minutes before Josh’s start.
Josh said the rain didn’t bother him, “I had a pretty good morning practice and I was confident in my lines. I got to the top and did my new warm-up routine and I was pretty excited. I was sitting on the trainer and it started pissing down. It didn’t really bother me. I set off, felt strong, but I didn’t know how to attack the course because of the weather. I had a good run, but came out of sections thinking I should have pushed a bit harder. I felt like I had a good end to the course, but was disappointed with my finish position when I came across the line. “
Minnaar says, “I was disappointed after the semi final where I rode conservative and too smooth. I was happy that in the final I was able to step it up. We got my suspension working well on the course, as it was getting rougher quickly. I felt I rode much better in the final. It’s unfortunate that I did have a brake issue going into the second right-hander and my brake pulled into the handlebar. So instead of focusing on going fast I was focusing on pumping out my brake. On such a short course you need to be fast everywhere not focusing on equipment. It’s disappointing to end a two year streak of world cup podiums this way.”
An excited Peaty says, “I’m over the moon to win today. I want to dedicate this win to my new baby, George. It feels great to win for both Jake and George. It’s taken me awhile to get back on top of the pack, but it certainly feels the same as the last time. I want to thank everyone in the Syndicate. We had a good package going all week. My Santa Cruz V-10 was hooking up mint! I’m stoked we could pull it off together.”
Peaty’s mechanic Ricky Bobby had this to say, “The bike has been running sweet all week. I made a few adjustments to dial it in for this course and weather conditions. Race day was a bit unnerving due to the changing weather. We made three tire changes at the top before Steve’s race run and we made the right choice. So stoked that Steve won!! The track suited him down to the ground. Looking forward to more victories this season!”
Steve has flown back home to be with baby George and the family before flying back down for the World Cup in Andorra next week. With tight points the season is off to a great start for the Syndicate.
LA BRESSE WORLD CUP DOWNHILL RESULTS:
1ST STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:07.14
2nd Sam Hill 2:08.41
3rd Mick Hannah 2:09.00
4th Brendan Fairclough 2:09.99
5th Gee Atherton 2:11.15
6th GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:11.15
7th Mickael Pascal 2:11.70
8th Andrew Neethling 2:11.98
9th Sam Blenkinsop 2”12.15
10th Justin Leov 2:12.28
24th JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:14.22
Thanks to the SYNDICATE Sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Troy Lee Designs