June 3, 2012 – Commezzadura, Italy – Santa Cruz Syndicate riders joined forces with the Fox test crew in Leogang, Austria after Greg’s win at the IXS downhill for a successful test session. Greg, Steve and Josh were then eager to race the World Cup in Italy on the new product! Greg managed to qualify 2nd and finish 2nd to Aaron Gwin’s stellar winning run, while Steve came 14th and Josh 37th after slipping a pedal and crashing. Greg ties Aaron for points and Steve is 10th and Josh 17th in the overall standings.
It was stunning drive through the alps to get to Italy and upon arrival we got to see our new awnings and van graphics witch looked amazing. After a few good meals and team bonding the week was going well.
Here’s what the riders had to say about practice and their race runs on this technical, gnarly track:
Steve Peat said, “I really enjoyed Val Di Sole race weekend. We had a great atmosphere in the pits. We just came off of a couple of good days testing with Fox in Leogang and had my Santa Cruz V-10 set up sweet! This track is always really tough the first day. Everyone always thinks it’s dangerous and really struggles to get their bike set up. I just ignored it though and learned the track and didn’t worry about getting up to speed or setting my bike up.
I got everything dialed in for the qualifier on Saturday. I had a great run but knew I could lift my game for finals. I was a little annoyed with a small mistake that I made at the top which cost me a couple of seconds, but overall I was happy with my speed on track and got a fairly solid result considering how tight the times were. Thanks to the Syndicate crew and all our Syndicate sponsors for the great support on the weekend. Roll on Ft. William!”
Josh comments: “I had a great weekend riding with Steve and Greg. My preparation was great and I had a good qualifier. Unfortunately I made a silly mistake that caused a crash. which put me back in 37th. My bike felt amazing all week with the RAD new Fox fork smoothing out the rough track!”
Pleased with his 2nd place result Greg says, “Practice started off poor. I just couldn’t find rhythm or anything on track. I really struggled to get my bike set up. Ratty and Steve pulled me in on the second day of training and I realized I was just trying to ride too fast. My qualifier result was great. I found myself fumbling in the run missing lines and was too much on the brakes. On Saturday I was surprised by the arrival of ‘Dry Turtle’ and ‘B-Rad’ (Greg’s friends from South Africa, Lyle and Brad). It’s always great having friends come out and support me. Sunday my aim was to stay on the bike, stay smooth and keep it real, which I managed to do. A big hat’s off to Gwinny, that was some of the most amazing riding I’ve seen! It was great having the Fox family flood the podium!!”
On a fun noteThe organizers had a riders party and our Italian friends, “Mister” Rino and Ingrid picked us up in the pits as tradition has it and took us to the beer tent for fun and pranks. We had a blast and the afternoon ended with a soccer game with the GT boys in the pits. Good times!! Now in Fort William with first day of practice tomorrow and the boys are ready to go!
On a sad note I’d like to acknowledge that our dear friend Cedric Gracia suffered a major crash and had to be taken to the hospital where he remained for nearly a week before he could be transported to a hospital in France for surgery. Our heartfelt love and prayers go out to you brother!!
1 Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing 0:03:10.577
2 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:07.850
3 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:08.393
4 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:08.937
5 Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International 0:00:09.743
6 Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:00:10.318
7 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 0:00:10.500
8 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International 0:00:11.308
9 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 0:00:11.319
10 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:11.392
14 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:12.673
37 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:20.128
1 Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing 450 pts
2 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 450
3 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 315
4 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing 228
5 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 215
6 Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride 209
7 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 191
8 Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 165
9 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 161
10 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 152
17 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 130
Source: Kathy Sessler