The Santa Cruz Syndicate rolls on through the year, this time stopping at Windham where Peaty laid down an awesome run to take second. The 37 year old is still taking podiums! Read on for the full report.
PEATY DELIVERS ANOTHER LESSON, TAKES 2ND IN WINDHAM!
Source: Santa Cruz Bicycles
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!”
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
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
Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems