Kathy Sessler reports for the Santa Cruz Syndicate on their Enduro World Series Val d'Allos experience where Greg Minnaar finished 3rd overall. Check out the report and photos from one of downhilling's most successful teams.
The Santa Cruz Syndicate riders had a great time and solid results at the second event of the Enduro World Series held in Val d’Allos, France, the birthplace of enduro. They had consistent runs over the six timed descents with Greg Minnaar taking a win in stage six by 3.8 seconds and he narrowly missed a stage win on a fifteen minute descent to Jerome Clementz by just .16. Steve Peat placed 9th overall and Josh Bryceland 11th.
Everyone enjoyed this format where there was chair lift access and a practice run to learn the track before each timed run. Adding to the excitement of enduro racing was the schedule that allowed approximately 30-45 minutes for mechanical adjustments to be made. Depending on the equipment carnage, some exchanges were action packed!
Across the board riders suffered some type of situation that cost time between crashes, going off track and flat tires which made the racing very challenging. The guys also had a lot of fun on the tracks letting loose and flying around corners. They had a blast not having to be as precise as they would normally be in a downhill race.
Taking a 3rd place spot on the podium on Saturday with Nico Vouilloz and Jared Graves, Minnaar held his position through to the end on Sunday with these two legendary riders. Greg says, “What a fun, relaxed weekend we had. The enduro was more physical on the bike than downhill, but mentally less taxing. I had just as much fun at the enduro in Punta Ala. The quality of riding at both enduros has been outstanding, and yet both so different to each other. This race format at Val d’Allos allowed me to be a bit more competitive. I did a lot of work on the Bronson on Friday and Saturday and with help from Fox I got my Bronson set up how an enduro bike should be. The highlight was definitely winning the final stage and to be on the box after two days of racing. I really have to thank Super Marshy and Sessy. He really helped me with the bike set up and she took care of my nutritional needs.”
Steve also enjoyed the weekend. “I came away from Val d’Allos way happier with the format they used for this race. I was pretty happy with my results but had a hell of a time on the first day with problems on all three runs. It was a fun weekend of riding and the EWS guys did a great job. It was great riding with my Syndicate teammates Greg and Josh. I definitely had my Santa Cruz Bronson better prepared for this enduro and my bike felt awesome all weekend. Thanks to Tom, Marshy and Kathy and all our Syndicate sponsors for the awesome support!” said Steve.
Josh was also pleased, “I enjoyed riding consistently in Val d’Allos. Me and the team were on a more level playing field which helped moral and made for a good weekend. The Bronson worked great all weekend and other than a flat tire the bike was faultless in over an hour of total racing. I had a goal of being top five in a stage and I did that on the last run of the weekend!”
All and all the Syndicate enjoyed this event and the great results were the icing on the cake. They will be back racing the final round in Finale Ligure in October after the world cup season ends.
Credit: Kathy Sessler / Santa Cruz Syndicate