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: 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
TROY LEE DESIGNS
Cast: santa cruz bikes
Tags: santa cruz, santa cruz syndicate, syndicate, fort william, dh, race, downhill, mountain bike, video, v10, carbon, v10 carbon, carbon v10, minnaar, minaar, peat, steve peat, peaty, ratboy and bryceland