1. Santa Cruz Syndicate - San Romolo Testing

    07:48

    from Santa Cruz Bicycles Added

    PRESS RELEASE February 1, 2012 San Romolo, Italy SYNDICATE TEST SESSION WELCOMING FOX AND SHIMANO!! Early season testing started for the Santa Cruz Syndicate with mechanics, engineers and riders arriving in the town of Imperia, Italy, for three days of extensive testing aboard the latest Santa Cruz full carbon V-10s. The bikes were decked out with the Syndicate’s newest sponsor products from Fox and Shimano. The Syndicate’s choice to join forces with Shimano and Fox proved to be a great decision as the test session was incredibly successful. “Testing was amazing, the most productive test session I have ever been to. Besides good riding and eating killer Italian food, our Syndicate family expanded with Fox and Shimano. I feel this was a great start to the year and I’m looking forward to more positive things to come in 2012,” said Greg Minnaar. The testing took place on the long downhill racetrack in San Romolo with shuttle assistance from Roberto Vernassa from Argentina Bike. The five-man Fox crew was ready to gather information from suspension testing using their state of the art data acquisition equipment. Spirits were high as everyone got started off on the dark chilly mornings while the mechanics built a bonfire at the bottom of the track to stave off a bit of chill. Riders were warm and tingly inside with big grins after the first run. “We were getting everyone up to speed on the new full carbon frame, Fox suspension, and Shimano components. With the frame being much lighter than the previous version we had to dial the suspension in because of less un-sprung weight. I’ve also been riding the new XTR brakes for some time now and can’t get over how impressive they are, particularly with modulation. Feedback from all the racers was what I was expecting, a new milestone in performance.” Says Rob Roskopp. Greg Minnaar exclaims, “I was blown away on the first ride down the rugged San Romolo track. The first thought was, this is a winning combo! Fitzy and his crew worked flat out to get us up to speed. Their passion, enthusiasm and suspension knowledge is going to be very positive to the Syndicate. It’s been awhile since I was last on Shimano, 2003... and that was a good year for me. I hope this is the good luck I’ll be needing to win another World Championship.” Santa Cruz engineer Joe Graney says, “We look forward to a close relationship with the suspension experts at Fox.  They arrived in Italy with a team of engineers and technicians—blowing everyone away with how they were able to accurately translate each rider’s input into measured improvements in speed and control. Shimano continues to push the envelope with technologies like Ice Technology brakes and the Shadow Plus derailleur, as well as the variety of options that can be configured for different conditions fits perfectly with Santa Cruz Bicycles’ core values of customer choice, usable performance, durability and long term support. ” Our newest addition to the Syndicate, mechanic Jason Marsh says, “I’m super happy that we are using Fox Racing Shox and Shimano for the 2012 season.  The new Fox 40 forks suit the carbon V-10 frame perfectly and the RC4 rear shock really compliments the VPP suspension design. The riders were all impressed on how good the bikes felt, even after the first run. I have worked with the Saint group-set for the last three seasons and I really like how they work. Saint cranks are super strong, brakes are simple to set up and the rear derailleur and shifter are super smooth and a nice set up. Finish and attention to detail can’t be matched. The support offered by the Fox team over the last few days has been superb and their race support is second to none. 2012 will be a great season.” Steve Peat was surprisingly pleased, “We have had three awesome days testing and training in Italy. It was great to catch up with all my crew after a few down months throughout the winter and I was happy to get out on the Santa Cruz V-10 and trash it in the test situation. Fox is a company that I have watched over the years. They obviously have great product because the fast guys are using it and winning races now and again on it. And Shimano needs no introduction. It’s a no brainer that they have great products and I am looking forward to working with them at the races! We came up with some great set ups and I am now looking forward to the season. Now it’s our turn to give it a thrash on our V-10’s, 2012 should be fun!” “The test session was a big learning curve for me. Having ridden Boxxer’s since I was about 14, I’m very used to the look and feel of the fork so it was a huge change. I really enjoyed the process of getting my new bike set up and it was interesting getting to know the characteristics of all the new products. The suspension seems almost limitless with it its adjustability and I think our bikes have entered a whole new realm of adaptability. Despite getting my ass kicked in the final race I had a really fun and productive four days,” said Josh Bryceland. “Tradition is that the last day of testing we always have a race to see who is quickest. Once again, for the second time in a row Peaty took the win, but unlike the first time when Greg wore the dress to dinner, it was Josh’s turn to wear a skirt. Since there were no women’s clothes handy, Josh had to improvise and craft a fashionable number out of a pair of pants. “His outfit was complete with his ‘special’ tiger underwear”, chimes in Roskopp. Joe Lawwill, Shimano’s MTB marketing manager says, “Shimano is very proud and excited to be working with Santa Cruz bicycles and the iconic Syndicate race team.  We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2012 season.” Fox’s Mark Fitzsimmons says, “We are very excited to work with a team at this level. The professionalism of the team has shown in their years of great results and we look forward to bringing our suspension expertise to the program. We here at FOX thrive on the pure honesty racing brings to our development process and look forward to learning from Steve, Greg and Josh to continue to improve our products and aid them in their mission for podiums. Our goal is to provide our athletes with a suspension performance advantage and look forward to continuing this into the 2012 season.” Syndicate head mechanic Dougie “Fresh” Hatfield says, “The Fox and Shimano Saint equipped bikes ran silky smooth during our test camp in San Romolo. The riders really liked the responsiveness and quality of the product. We are ready to go racing!!”

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    • Santa Cruz Syndicate - Val Di Sole, Italy Aug. 1, 2010

      06:20

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      The UCI Downhill World Cup Series is becoming a nail biter as Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar (SRAM RockShox), takes 2nd place today in Val Di Sole, Italy in the fifth of the six race series. Gee Atherton takes the series lead with a 3rd place finish, just 7 points ahead of Greg with one race left. GT's Marc Beaumont took the win much to everyone's delight! Steve Peat narrowly misses the podium in 6th place, .05 behind Steve Smith. Josh Bryceland cracks his first top ten of the season in 9th, but was disappointed in his finish after having a 4th place qualifier. Val Di Sole delivered a great race today and the name suited the weekend which was filled with warm sunshine here in the "Valley of the Sun". Track conditions changed all week as the first practice day it was raining. The track dried out and each day became rougher and more beat up, holes forming everywhere. The qualifier was held on Friday, with just the top 80 men and 20 women for Saturdays practice. The qualifier went amazing for Josh as he had his best result so far with a 4th, it seemed his bad luck streak was behind him. Greg was on a great run but pushed too hard in a corner into some soft dirt and lost his front end, and 10 seconds in the process as well as valuable qualifying points with a 15th place. Gee Atherton won the qualifier taking the max 50 points, thus putting Greg 27 points behind him going into the final. Steve picked up a few points for his 10th place run. The race schedule this week had one extra day of practice so we had a relaxing Friday evening where we all enjoyed a barbeque potluck held at the GT pits. It really showed what wonderful camaraderie the riders and teams have with one another. SRAM/Rockshox crew brought the meat, Mr. Minn stoked the coals, and the big hit was the Grana Padana Parmesan cheese and Italian red wine, a meal in itself. Saturday's short practice schedule allowed the afternoon off for the riders and Greg and Steve went to the Freecaster booth to commentate the Pro Men's cross country race. They were a bit nervous at first and ended up doing a great job. Right after that Steve had an interview with Italian Playboy where they will make a 5-minute video for the web and the interview will be in the print magazine. Needless to say the interviewer was beautiful, in fact the mechanics said they couldn't even work after she left the pits... Race day was a complete reversal of start order from the other world cups as Josh was fastest qualifier of the boys and would be fourth to last man down the hill. Greg was expected to take the hotseat on his run, which he did with ease. Steve was .49 faster than Greg at the first split but after hitting a tree lower down the course he held it together to just miss the podium in the end, placing 6th. Many mistakes were made by the top riders and Greg's steady conservative run was the right call as his time held until Marc Beaumont took to the course and brilliantly eclipsed Greg's time by 1.40 seconds. Our eyes were on the big screen as Josh started his run, but his first split showed he was down by over 5 seconds. He kept hammering down, but lost a bit more time in the second half and his run was good for 9th place, his first top ten this year in the world cup. Marc held the hotseat until the very end when Gee Atherton managed just a 3rd place. This gave Gee the leader's jersey, the first time Greg has been out of it all season. Steve says, "This was an awesome track. It was very technical and you are hitting stuff so fast and it just got rougher and rougher. I felt good all weekend but I'm just pissed off that I didn't put a run together in final. I hit a tree in qualifier and also hit a tree in the race and I missed the podium by .05 just like in Leogang. This is damn annoying because I know I can make the podium and I just haven't put it together. Thanks to the Syndicate for putting everything in place for me to do well. My bike was working sweet all weekend." Greg said this about his 2nd place finish, "I needed a result in the final after a terrible qualifying run, but at the same time I couldn't afford a mistake or lose points. My race run was pretty bland and solid and had very few mistakes and it paid off in the end." The podium was quite a fun celebration as everyone in attendance was happy for Marc's second career world cup win. He guzzled his winning champagne with gusto. Then the Santa Cruz Syndicate was called up to the podium to take the honors for the top team of the day. Steve rode his bike onto the stage to the cheers from the crowd, while mechanics Ricky Bobby, "Hatrick", and Tango enjoyed the bubbly after the great team effort. We are looking forward to coming back to Val Di Sole for the world cup next year, but up next is the finale of the series in Windham, New York at the end of the month where Greg and Gee will duke it out to the very end for the title! TOP TEN PRO MEN DOWNHILL RESULTS: 1st Marc Beaumont 3:17.85 2nd GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:19.25 3rd Gee Atherton 3:20.51 4th Andrew Neethling 3:21.08 5th Steve Smith 3:21.98 6th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:22.03 7th Danny Hart 3:22.14 8th Sam Blenkinsop 3:22.51 9th JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:23.44 10th Markus Pekoll 3:23.55 OVERALL SERIES POINTS: 1st Gee Atherton 1007 2nd GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 1000 3rd Sam Blenkinsop 694 4th Aaron Gwin 592 5th Brendan Fairclough 526 8th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 415 28th JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV EDGE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CRANKBROTHERS CHRIS KING TROY LEE DESIGNS GALBRAITH CHIROPRACTIC FIVE TEN

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      • SYNDICATE - Fort William, Scotland June 5th 2010

        05:54

        from Santa Cruz Bicycles Added

        Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Greg Minnaar (SRAM/RockShox) retains the leader’s jersey in the UCI World Cup Downhill Series with a 3rd place finish today on this dry, dusty, brutal track in Fort William, Scotland. Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland made improvements on their qualifying runs, but still battled to get the flow just right and placed 18th and 26th respectively. As always, the crowd and atmosphere here at Fort William was vibrant with over 7,000 people watching the downhill. Starting the series with a win in Maribor and coming into Fort William wearing the leaders jersey was a great position for Greg to spring from. In Saturday’s qualifier Greg put together a solid run and clinched the 1st place points towards the individual ranking. Feeling happy with his result he did a few back flips into the airbag in the pits. Fort William was packed on race day and the riders looked forward to hearing the cheers as they enter the finish arena. The crowd is especially loud for the UK riders and when Steve was on track they were roaring. At the second split we could see he was off the pace, yet the fans gave the reigning World Champ a hearty welcome as he crossed the line. Greg was the last man down with Gee Atherton now in the hotseat. He rode smooth and steady, but was just 1.21 behind Gee at the finish for third, with Cameron Cole in 2nd. “As a result it’s pretty good, but I wanted to win here,” said Greg. Josh had a run that felt solid, yet he finished 11 seconds off the pace. Steve felt like he had some good moments in his race run but says, “This week I’ve been busy between launching the Steve Peat Syndicate and Steve Peat downhill game app, with practice and racing and I thought I dealt with it good. Today my practice to race time was busy. I usually get to sleep for an hour, but today I was also signing autographs at the Monster booth, and manning the SPS booth. It’s hard not to be around for the fans to sign books and autographs, and its good to see each and every one of the fans. In my race I went quicker than my qualifier, but other people when faster too, and I wasn’t happy about that. I felt I did kill sections and in years past I probably could’ve won with a time like that. Guys are fitter these days and pushing even harder. I’ve had a busy winter so I’m not as fit as I could be. I want to make the most out of my World Championship title and I want to support and give back to the sport and the fans. This weekend it’s really kicked in and I’m going to knuckle down and get training. I’m going to ride a lot next week and get back on top of things.” The next race up is The Wheels of Speed event this week in Willingen, Germany where Greg and Josh will compete. Learn about the details of the Steve Peat Syndicate here: www.stevepeatsyndicate.com Men’s Downhill results: 1st Gee Atherton 4:35.70 2nd Cameron Cole 4:36.18 3rd GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:36.91 4th Aaron Gwin 4:37.71 5th Mick Hannah 4:37.75 18th Steve Peat (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:44.27 26th Josh Bryceland (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:46.31 Men’s World Cup Overall Standings: 1st GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE): 420 points 2nd Gee Atherton: 405 3rd Cameron Cole: 282 4th Aaron Gwin: 240 5th Brendan Fairclough: 239 17th Josh Bryceland (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE): 138 25th Steve Peat (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE): 127 Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV EDGE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CRANKBROTHERS CHRIS KING TROY LEE DESIGNS FIVE TEN

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        • Santa Cruz Syndicate 2010, Champery World Cup

          05:50

          from Santa Cruz Bicycles Added

          Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar continues to lead the UCI World Cup Downhill Series with a 2nd place finish in Champery, Switzerland. Gee Atherton takes the win and tightens the margin to 13 points between he and Greg making it a very exciting season. The bad weather all week created difficult track conditions and took a toll on Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland. Steve had a 6th place qualifier and expected to do well in the final, but he had a small crash at the top, which put him in 18th place. Josh's crash in the qualifier took too much time and he did not make the cut.

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          • 2012 UCI DH # 3 - Fort William, Santa Cruz Syndicate

            05:24

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            BRYCELAND PODIUMS AT FORT WILLIAM! Fort William, Scotland June 10, 2012 Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Josh Bryceland had confidence all week and carried it through to his final race run taking the fifth spot on the podium at the third round of the UCI World Cup Downhill Series. Greg Minnaar came 6th and Steve Peat was 77th as he attempted a race run after suffering a badly torn hamstring muscle the day before. Fort William was dry and dusty all week and the midges were out in full force! Fans were as enthusiastic as ever and crowds swarmed the hill as much as the midges. The mechanics had the Shimano/Fox equipped V-10’s dialed each day for practice and the boys were training and getting up to speed together. They had fun on the track walk when Peaty had a BBQ up on the track for a feature for “This Is Peaty” . The week was unfolding well. Qualifier day spirits were high, but on the last training run Steve had a crash and injured himself. His front wheel washed out and when it slid his legs spread apart and he felt a pop. Rolling to the bottom of the hill Steve couldn’t walk into the medical tent so he rolled on in. Upon examination it was determined that he had a bad tear of his left hamstring. Wanting to keep the possibility of racing open he chose to do the qualifier by just rolling out of the start gate (which is all he needed to do as a top 20 protected rider to qualify). Greg ended up qualifying 6th knowing he could make more time and Josh’s form netted him a 7th place qualifier. Not having had any rain in six weeks it was no surprise that race day would be the day to rain! Steve didn’t practice in the morning while waiting to see if he would be up for the challenge of the race. He got a good taping from first aid and with pain meds onboard he decided to race. Out of the gate he was going for it giving it a proper go and feeling fast. Then he went down on a wet bridge and had to walk back up to get his bike. He carried on, but wanted to stay out of the way of the next few riders so he cruised from there. Josh took to the course and riding very well and moved into the 3-man hot seat to wait. Greg started off attacking the top and managed to hit a rock and damage his chain ring, thus inhibiting his effort for the rest of the run. He gave it the best he had but the chain was off by the bottom where he could have put the hammer down and just missed the podium by .08 seconds, but was stoked for teammate Bryceland as he was 5th scoring his second career UCI World Cup podium! Greg says, “ I’m obviously disappointed with finishing 6th but at the same time it could have been worse. I slammed a rock really hard quite high up on the track and bent my chain ring. My chain stayed on for most of the race but derailed towards the bottom. It was just a stupid mistake but could easily happen because of the ever-changing course with the rain. The great positive for the weekend was seeing Ratty podium in his home country!” Steve reflects on his week, “Mix bag of feelings for me after Fort William. I felt awesome on my Santa Cruz V-10 in practice but had an unlucky fall on my last run before qualifying. I managed to do a Bambi on ice and ripped my hamstring pretty badly!! I had to roll out the gate in the qualifier so I could manage the pain and try to ride finals. With no practice Sunday morning and a little rain, I didn't know how to attack my run and ended up slipping off the first wooden bridge and over a turn (same happened at Worlds in 07!!!). So, all in all, you can imagine how pissed off I am. Other than that the crowds were unreal again and thanks to the medics, Kathy Sessler and the Syndicate crew for getting me back on the hill. Hitting the Physio hard from now till MSA!! Still buzzing from his podium finish Josh says, “Fort William weekend was a lot of fun. Over the last two races there has been a bit of bad luck for me and my team and friends, but it was nice to end it off with a podium result! The V-10 has never felt better down the Fort and the new Fox forks are unbelievable. Thanks a lot to the Syndicate and everyone who has helped me get on top of another podium from Rob Copeland, Dan Critchlow, my girlfriend Becky and my family! Looking forward to keeping the ball rolling into Canada!!” Josh moves up in the overall points to 9th, Greg stays in 2nd 85 points behind Gwin and 70 points ahead of Gee. Steve drops to 26th overall with 156 points. The next two World Cups are just around the corner and Steve is working on rehabbing the hamstring as much as possible before MSA. Elite Men’s Results: 1 Aaron Gwin 4:48.21 2 Danny Hart 4:49.04 3 Gee Atherton 4:50.72 4 Sam Hill 4:51.74 5 Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 4:53.26 6 Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 4:53.33 7 Joe Smith 4:55.14 8 Sam Dale 4:55.35 9 Matt Simmonds 4:55.59 10 Cameron Cole 4:55.77 77 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 8:07.5 Overall Standings: 1 Aaron Gwin 650 2 Greg Minnaar 565 3 Gee Atherton 495 4 Danny Hart 355 5 Sam Hill 334 6 Steve Smith 302 7 Marc Beaumont 293 8 Mick Hannah 288 9 Josh Bryceland 257 10 Remi Thirion 237 26 Steve Peat 156 THANKS TO THE SYNDICATE SPONSORS: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SHIMANO FOX ENVE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CHRIS KING BIRZMAN Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems FOXHEAD

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            • Syndicate Hafjell - September 15th 2012

              05:03

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              MINNAAR 2ND OVERALL UCI WORLD CUP SERIES, 3RD IN NORWAY!

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              • Bryceland takes 2nd at MSA 7/23/2011

                05:01

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                RATTY ON A ROLL, BRYCELAND TAKES 2ND AT MT. STE ANNE! July 3rd, 2011 Mt. Ste. Anne, Quebec, Canada New school is in session and Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM/ RockShox) joins the ranks of the youngsters making headlines with his second place finish today at the UCI World Cup downhill at Mt. Ste. Anne, Canada, which is his first world cup podium! This comes on the heels of his win at the Halo BDS UK national race last week in Llangollen, Great Britain where he is also leading that series. After a first place qualifier Greg Minnaar was poised for a win but made an uncharacteristic mistake in the rocky woods which sent him over the bars and netted him an 18th place finish. Steve Peat finished 15th, which was a frustrating result for him. The week unfolded well with mixed weather conditions. Lot’s of practice in the sloppy mud went well for the boys and the qualifier went even better. Greg put together a very smooth run with a time that clinched 1st position. Josh was pleasantly pleased with a solid run that held up for 3rd. Steve felt like he was riding well in practice but didn’t put it together in the run and wasn’t happy with 11th place qualifier. Saturday’s practice was under beautiful sunny skies and the track tacked up and was drying quickly. I was taking photos of Josh and overheard the comment, “That man will be on the podium tomorrow.” Everyone could see the confidence in Josh’s riding and it was great to see a great performance net him a great result in the final. Josh says, “I was happy to improve on my qualifying which is something I’ve struggled to do and I put a smooth run together on one of the longest tracks on the circuit. I got to finally get a world cup podium and follow up the previous weekends success at the national round. I felt more nervous about going up on the podium than I did about the race!” Steve comments on the weekend, “It was a mixed weekend for the Syndicate. Ratty Bryce did us proud and it was awesome to see. Unlucky for Greg with a crash and the good news is he’s okay for next week. It was a frustrating result for me.” Greg says, “I felt pretty decent on the track and I like this track. I had a great qualy and felt I could’ve backed it up in the final. I’d been playing around with suspension and my bike felt good all week which was what I needed to try to topple ‘ole Gwinny. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the woods and took a tumble, but the season isn’t over yet. I’m still in second overall due to Gee’s bad luck; he would have been up there without a puncture,” Gestev always puts on a fantastic event here at and big thanks to Chantal, Patrice, Lisa and Anne-Marie for another great Mt. Ste. Anne experience!! MEN’S RESULTS: 1st Aaron Gwin 4:31.77 2nd JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:32.23 3rd Brook MacDonald 4:32.28 4th Danny Hart 4:34.45 5th Cameron Cole 4:35.49 6th Troy Brosnan 4:37.89 7th Steve Smith 4:38.57 8th Sam Blenkinsop 4:38.92 9th Andrew Neethling 4:39.09 10th Justin Leov 4:39.48 15th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:41.25 18th GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:42.42 MEN’S OVERALL STANDINGS: 1st Aaron Gwin 868 2nd GREG MINNAAR 695 3rd Gee Atherton 547 4th Danny Hart 506 5th Steve Smith 459 6th JOSH BRYCELAND 431 7th Brook Macdonald 431 8th Sam Blenkinsopp 371 9th Cameron Cole 356 10th STEVE PEAT 347 Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV ENVE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CHRIS KING Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems FOXHEAD BIRZMAN FIVE TEN

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                • Peaty now has more world cup podiums than America has states

                  04:58

                  from Santa Cruz Bicycles Added

                  Windham, New York July 10, 2011 Santa Cruz Syndicate's own Steve Peat (SRAM, RockShox), has had some redemption at Windham Mountain at the 5th round of the UCI World Cup Series with his 2nd place finish to Aaron Gwin, thus achieving his record 52nd career World Cup DH podium appearance. Greg Minnaar put together a run that had him outside the top ten in 12th place and Josh Bryceland overcame a shoulder injury for 13th. This boosts Peaty to lucky number 7 overall, Minn still has a lock onto 2nd, and Ratty moves into 8th overall in the points standings. After a long travel day from Mt. Ste. Anne and a border stop with all the world cup riders in secondary, we took a step back into time arriving into the quaint town of Windham. The house we stayed at is on a few wooded acres with outdoor amenities, which we made good use of. We enjoyed our evening meals outside on the sticky, humid evenings and had laughs sitting around the fire and enjoyed cool dips in the pool. After the track walk on Wednesday, practice unfolded. Steve and Greg had bits to sort out, but Josh was on some fliers from the get go. During the timed runs Josh flew past me with the form and confidence he exhibited at Mt. Ste. Anne. A few corners later he crashed hard at high speed and injured his shoulder quite badly, likely an AC separation. With the qualifier the next day the strategy was to just roll out of the start house to qualify. Since he is a top 20 rider he is protected, and he did just that to make it to the final. Greg and Steve struggled to put together great runs and qualified 13th and 9th respectively. With an extra day of practice they were able to dial in their bikes more and Josh walked the track rather than ride so that his shoulder would have more time to calm down. Taking care of the injury and having some therapy on it still had Josh uncertain if he could race and we knew he had to try to focus on pain management if he was going to ride. Race day arrived and Josh was keen and took two painful practice runs and gritted through it with his mental strength. He set off on his race flying out the gate and pinning the top section and he was fastest at the first split, then he was red flagged due to an injured rider ahead of him. Gutted, he rolled down across the line and we had conferred with the UCI official that he was allowed a re-run. Back up the hill he went to collect himself and grit hard for another run. Meanwhile, Greg had his race run and went into the hotseat second to Fabien Barel. Josh flew down even faster than his first run started and came across the line in third to join Greg on the 3-man hotseat. Now eyes were on the big man himself as Steve was uncorking one on the track, he came across the line in first. Eight riders were left to come and none could best his time until Aaron Gwin hit the track and was over 2 seconds faster than Steve at the split and held that margin to the finish. Steve was excited to finish so well after nearly winning this race last year. He says, "It was a top weekend for me. I was pretty confident coming into this race after last year's speed on the track. I worked hard with Ricky Bobby and Jon Cancellier and got my Carbon V-10 running sweet. We did some different stuff that I haven't done for years and it paid off. Thanks to everyone for your help!" Greg said, "I battled on track from the beginning and I made quite a few adjustments on my bike which helped out a lot. My final run was the best I could put together and I was happy that my time off the leader was better than in my qualifier. It was disappointing being so far back but I will bounce back stronger for the next two world cups." Josh overcame a lot this week and his mental strength shined. He says, "After injuring myself on Thursday and not participating in practice or qualifiers it was probably one of the toughest races I've had to do in a ling time. Staying in the top ten overall I'm buzzing!" MEN'S RESULTS: 1st Aaron Gwin 2:24.03 2nd STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:26.37 3rd Andrew Neethling 2:27.24 4th Steve Smith 2:27.51 5th Brook MacDonald 2:27.58 6th Justin Leov 2:27.72 7th Sam Blenkinsop 2:28.63 8th Troy Brosnan 2:28.84 9th Danny Hart 2:28.95 10th Fabien Barel 2:29.28 11th Gee Atherton 2:29.80 12th GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:29.84 13TH JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 2:29.91 MEN'S OVERALL: 1st Aaron Gwin 1118 2nd GREG MINNAAR 776 3rd Gee Atherton 657 4th Danny Hart 606 5th Steve Smith 602 6th Brook MacDonald 570 7th STEVE PEAT 523 8th JOSH BRYCELAND 431 9TH Sam Blenkinsop 478 10th Justin Leov 461 Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV ENVE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CHRIS KING Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems FOXHEAD BIRZMAN FIVE TEN

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                  • HUGE WIN IN FOR MR. MINN AND THE SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE AT WORLD CUP OPENER!!

                    04:49

                    from Santa Cruz Bicycles Added

                    ietermaritzburg, South Africa March 18, 2012 Greg Minnaar wins the UCI World Cup Downhill season opener aboard his Fox/Shimano equipped carbon V-10 with an exhilarating run that had the hill alive with the roar of thousands of fans including the oneLife crew and the Minnaarmy! Steve Peat came in 15th and Josh Bryceland 21st on this improved, pedaling course in Greg’s hometown of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. It always feels like a homecoming for us to be in this friendly city and the Syndicate was welcomed back by all Greg’s family and friends. The local support of the race is big and there were many improvements to the track and the race venue. Training went well all week and the boys came into the season fit and lean. Greg was fastest in qualifier by the slimmest margin of .008 over Aaron Gwin and he picked up max points for his efforts. Steve was 11th fastest and Josh 17th. Rain was on and off during the week and we had quite a bit come down on race night. Things dried up quick and we had a beautiful day for the race. Everyone got to the top of the hill eager to get the season underway. Greg started into his race run and made a few mistakes and was 2 seconds down at the first split. He gained some time by the second split and was only 1 second off the pace. Steve said, “Greg can make up that time.” As Greg neared the finish the volume of the crowd was at a fevered pitch and this certainly had to boost the effort into overdrive. As the leader board went green the oneLife crew of friends pushed the fence down and flooded into the finish arena while Steve lifted Greg off the ground in victory. An ecstatic Greg says, “I made a few mistakes on the top part of the track and I knew I had to make up some time. On the bottom section I had to stand and pedal hard and I fought all the way to the finish. You know when you are coming into the finish and you see the oneLife crew breaking the fence down that you’ve had a good run. And then Steve jumped over the fence and grabbed me I knew I had won. It’s a great feeling to do well in front of all my family and friends and their support is amazing!” Steve comments, “Another great weekend racing in Maritzburg. The fans and the onelife crew made it an awesome weekend, and I feel privileged that it was my 100th World Cup start. Luckily the track dried out and made the racing fast and tight. Although I wasn’t too happy with my 15th place result, I was over the moon for Greg. He dug deep and took the win for the home crowd!!” Josh placed 21st and said, “After a hard winter training I don’t feel I quite did myself justice on my race run, but I left it all on the hill and the bike feels better than ever. I’m really happy for Greg, not only just with the win in his hometown, but starting the season with a win and full points. Also good to see Peaty Dog still has a little bit of fire in him, as always.” The win makes Greg’s 16th World Cup win (11 on Santa Cruz) and is his 53rd World Cup Downhill podium, (besting Steve’s 52 podiums). Greg now leads the World Cup overall with 250 points over Aaron Gwin’s 200 points. Steve is 14th in the standings and Josh is 17th. Greg will be in the leader jersey going into the next World Cup in Val Di Sole, Italy in May. MEN’S ELITE RESULTS: 1ST GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:57.98 2nd Aaron Gwin 3:58.61 3rd Mick Hannah 3:58.97 4th Gee Atherton 4:02.36 5th Steve Smith 4:02.41 6th Jared Graves 4:02.78 7th Andrew Neethling 4:02.99 8th Troy Brosnan 4:03.58 9th Julian Camellini 4:03.65 10th Cedric Gracia (Brigade, Santa Cruz) 4:03.81 15th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:05.65 21ST JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 4:07.37 MEN’S OVERALL STANDINGS 1ST GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 250 2nd Aaron Gwin 200 3rd Mick Hannah 160 4th Gee Atherton 150 5th Steve Smith 140 6th Jared Graves 111 7th Troy Brosnan 107 8th Andrew Neethling 105 9th Cedric Gracia (Brigade, Santa Cruz) 93 10th Aurellien Giordanengo 85 14th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 80 17 JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 68 THANKS TO THE SYNDICATE SPONSORS: SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES SHIMANO FOX ENVE COMPOSITES MAXXIS CLIF BAR MUC-OFF LIZARD SKINS WTB CHRIS KING BIRZMAN Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems FOXHEAD

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