MINNAAR BACK ON THE BLOCKS IN MT. STE. ANNE!!
Mt. Ste. Anne, Quebec, Canada
Aug. 11, 2013
Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Greg MInnaar was back on the World Cup podium in Mont. Ste. Anne finishing in 4th, back to his usual consistent self. Josh Bryceland was riding with mad skills and confidence, but suffered a mechanical in his race run and had to accept a DNF. Steve Peat was missing in action from Mont. Ste. Anne as he stayed home with his family this weekend.
It was a great week of riding and Greg and Josh felt on top of their game going into the finals. They had their lines dialed and were confident they were where they needed to be for top results. After placing 5th in the qualifier, Greg felt that he was able to win here. With his MSA history of six 2nd place finishes, one win and a 3rd, he felt he had a win in him. Josh had ridden steady in the qualifier, (as he was not a protected rider), had a 14th place qualy and was raring to get to finals.
The race unfolded with Gee Atherton coming down early due to a poor qualy. He smashed a sub 4:00 minute time of 3:59.38 to take the hotseat. Josh set off on course just as the rain started, one of the last few to hit the track in the dry. Early in his run he felt a few spokes loosening and started to nurse the bike down, even still he was just 1.9 back of Gee at the first split. Then the final wheel kill came further down through a rock section forcing a DNF for a very disappointed Josh.
As the rain came down so did many dejected riders with Mick Hannah saying, “There’s no chance….” Then Sam Hill came down just 1.2 seconds behind Gee Atherton and we knew there was hope. Greg came down on Sam’s heels, and was 2.4 back of Gee at the first split, then peeled back more than a second off of that to 1.2 back of Gee with a 4:00.65 at the finish. He nearly matched Sam‘s time of 4:00.60 and moved into 3rd. The final riders came down, fighting the conditions, placing behind Greg and Sam. Canadian Stevie Smith was the last man down and put together a flyer in the moist conditions and finished nearly a second over Gee for an exhilarating finish!
Josh says, “I had a really good week with the team, but missed Big Steve! I worked hard with Fox to get my bike set up because the track was really different to Andorra. Unfortunately I had a wheel build failure in the final. I felt awesome all week and was in a great place mentally before the race. This was the first mechanical I’ve had in my career and it makes me realize how lucky I’ve been to this point.”
Not too happy with his result, Greg said, “With nine podiums here: six 2nds, one win, one 3rd and now a 4th, I know I’m good at Mont. Ste. Anne, but to win you need to be great. I made the mistake of switching to mud tires after the rain started. What brought me happiness was watching Stevie winning on home, turf! Big thanks to the Syndicate, I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t justify all their efforts with a better result.”
As racing goes, we took our licks and now all focus is looking forward to World Championship preparations for the big race in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in a few weeks time where Greg is looking to retain the rainbow jersey!!
Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors:
SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES FOX SHIMANO ENVE MAXXIS MUC OFF
CLIF BAR WTB BIRZMAN FOXHEAD CHRIS KING LIZARD SKINS