Aug. 1, 2009 - Bromont, Canada
Santa Cruz Syndicateâ€™s Greg Minnaar(SRAM/RockShox) reels it in for his third win of the season in Bromont, Canada winning his 11th career UCI downhill race in the 111th UCI World Cup Series event. His brilliant race run eclipsed the times of Fabien Barel, Sam Hill, Gee Atherton and Aaron Gwin for a big win this weekend under sunny skies on a rugged race track. Steve Peat makes a costly mistake and comes 7th, and Josh Bryceland steps it up and places 9th.
Coming off of the race at Mt. Ste. Anne the Syndicate rolled into Bromont early for a few days of relaxation before the race week started. The boys went golfing and had massages. We had a Christmas dinner complete with white elephant gifts that had the night ending up with fireworks going off, Steve singing his hair people running around in funny underwear and crazy flip-flops.
Practice started and everything went well. The mechanics had the Santa Cruz V-10â€™s pimping and the boys got their lines dialed. Weather was on and off with rain during the week. Regardless of the conditions they enjoyed the challenging track. Steve was fighting a bug and felt under the weather but he was able to pull off a good qualifier in 4th. Greg was focused and qualified 3rd, and Josh wasnâ€™t pleased with his 15th place qualifier.
Race day went smooth as silk and the race program is dialed with everyone playing their part perfectly. The guys had their hot lunch and a nap at the Syndicate mansion and were ready to deliver the goods with me bringing the boys to the track. Josh had a great result and did a stint in the hotseat and he emerged 9th at the end. Steve charged the course but had a dab in a section that cost him precious time and he came 7th. All hopes were now on Greg and he didnâ€™t disappoint rolling into the hotseat with Sam and Fabien to follow. The split times were revealing and hopes were building, and in the end Greg was the victor !to the excitement of us all as he raised his shirt in celebration to reveal a "oneLife" mock tattoo.
Gregâ€™s mechanic, Doug Hatfield describes the ride up the lift for the race start when he, Ricky Bobby and Greg rode to the top, "The fans were so great and they were under us on the lift. They were cheering for Greg and us so loudly and had lots of noisemakers and when Greg lifted his shirt to reveal his "oneLife" tattoo they went nuts cheering. It was incredible!"
Greg describes his week; "I had a lot of pressure coming in from Mt. Ste. Anneâ€™s terrible weekend. It was a pressure to be on top. We had a good week in Bromont leading up to the race, which helped ease the pressure. A game of golf definitely took my mind off of racing. My qualifying race I tried to go for the win, but I rode to timidly. I hammered all the open sections but rode really cautious in the technical areas. I knew I could put together a better run in the final but I had to go faster on the top as I was 8th fastest on the top section in the semi final. When It came down to the final I made an error up top and didnâ€™t feel that I carried as much speed as I should have so I pushed really hard in the middle and lower sections to make up time that I thought I had lost. Iâ€™m now a bit closer to Sam in the overall points so itâ€™s definitely going down to another big weekend in Schladming. Iâ€™m just oneLifing it for life."
Josh says, "The course here in Bromont is short but tough. There is no rest and itâ€™s full on rocky, gnarly. I think after qualifying in 15th I knew I had a bit of work to do so I changed some lines on the track and worked hard. My race run wasnâ€™t as good as I had hoped but another top 10 makes me happy and itâ€™s a step in their right direction. Iâ€™m looking forward to worldâ€™s and the finals and Iâ€™m just going to hang out with the Sessyâ€™s until worlds."
A disappointed Steve says, "Iâ€™m pissed off with finishing 7th. I had a weird week with being ill. Iâ€™m not happy to come away with a result like that. I felt good on the track and my bike was hooking up awesome. I made a dumb mistake in the final. Not a good place to do it when times are so tight. At least the Syndicate came away with a good day. The points are still really tight. Bring on Schladming!"
The Syndicate is stoked to be back in the overall points lead. Just 16 points separate Greg from Sam Hillâ€™s individual overall lead and Steve is in striking distance just 69 points back of Sam. Itâ€™s going to be a showdown in Schladming for the finals, but weâ€™ll be heading down under before that for the World Championships.
1 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate
2 Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team
3 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Cat
4 Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal
5 Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team
6 Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles
7 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate
8 Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense
9 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate
10 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Cat
Thanks to the SYNDICATE Sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Troy Lee Designs