July 25, 2009 - Mt. Ste. Anne, Quebec, Canada
Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat celebrates his 50th career UCI Downhill podium by placing 2nd in the UCI World Cup Downhill in Mt. Ste. Anne, Quebec. Greg MInnaar’s race run was marred with a high speed crash, yet he managed to salvage a 22nd place finish, and young Josh Bryceland put together a 18th place run. Not a stellar weekend, but “Old School” pulled it together for the Syndicate and Minnaar is licking his wounds. Sam Hill takes the win and the leader’s jersey going into Bromont next week. Aaron Gwin has his first career UCI podium and Gee, Fabien, Sam, and Steve destroyed him with a champagne blast.
It was a great week here with a Syndicate reunion after being apart for 4 weeks, everyone was jovial and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. Greg enjoyed a day on the links in the shadow of the MSA racetrack, fired off some long drives, and lost a few balls.
Things may have been too relaxed when wrench Martyn “Tango” Hoyle drilled through his hand and off to hospital he went. Luckily the drill missed nerves, bones and ligaments and 3 stitches fixed him up. Jokes about it ran through our pit while he took the ribbing all in good stride and he was still able to get Josh’s V-10 perfect in spite of the accident.
We were greeted with a new downhill track with a lot of changes from year’s prior. The track is still very fast interspersed with tree sections and newly added berms and jumps. The guys were flying in practice. Qualifier came and Steve qualified 2nd and Josh had a solid 10th. It was a huge disappointment when Greg flatted losing valuable points. Luckily he is a top 20 protected rider, so he still made the show.
Race day, hoping to overcome a bad qualifier, Minnaar set off in his race run pinning it. He lost some rhythm through some berms, but got back into the flow again quickly. Flying along a high-speed section his rear wheel skipped out sending him skidding along the ground, pulling his glove half off. He carried on after throwing his glove off but had lost a lot of time and speed in the crash. Finishing an uncharacteristic 22nd, Greg tended to his bruised body and spirit. He says, “OneLife tribute to MJ, ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’”.
Josh says, “After qualifying 10th I was excited and really wanted a good result here. Unfortunately my race run didn’t go as planned. My top section was really bad but I didn’t let it phase me and I continued on and I managed to still get an 18th, not what I wanted. The track was really rough here and me and Tango managed to get the V-10 dialed in and it was really good on such a physically demanding track. “
Steve was pleased to finish 2nd, as he felt his run wasn’t all that good. “I’m pretty happy to come out of Mt. Ste. Anne with 2nd place. My bike was working awesome all weekend and the track was it’s usual tough, hard old self. The Syndicate didn’t have the best weekend but we’re all still in the mix. Bring on Bromont,” said Steve.
Steve remains 2nd in overall standings while Greg drops from 1st to 3rd, with Sam taking the #1 spot, the first time this season the Syndicate hasn’t held it the overall lead. Josh drops back one position to 13th overall. The Syndicate retains the overall team points lead by only 10 points over Trek World Racing who took top team honors on the day. We are looking forward to next week in Bromont as the series is looking like a four horse race. We will every attempt to get the leader’s jersey back in the house.
MEN’S DOWNHILL RESULTS:
Rank Name Nat. Result
1 Samuel HILL AUS 4:38.44
2 Steve PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE)GBR 4:41.48
3 Aaron Holmes GWIN USA 4:42.91
4 Gee ATHERTON GBR 4:43.51
5 Fabien BAREL FRA 4:44.63
6 Chris KOVARIK AUS 4:45.53
7 Steve SMITH CAN 4:46.39
8 Brendan FAIRCLOUGH GBR 4:46.58
9 Michael HANNAH AUS 4:47.58
10 Justin LEOV NZL 4:47.73
18 Josh BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE)GBR 4:52.31
22 Greg MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) RSA 4:54.58
MEN’S OVERALL STANDINGS:
1 Sam Hill 1039
2 STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 1035
3 GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 973
4 Gee Atherton 931
5 Mick Hannah 821
6 Justin Leov 646
7 Brendan Fairclough 584
8 Sam Blenkinsop0 564
9 Steve Smith 515
10 Aaron Gwin 505
13 JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 439
Thanks to the SYNDICATE Sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Troy Lee Designs