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Minnaar 2nd Overall In UCI World Cup Downhill Series 30th AUG 2011

Val Di Sole,
Italy Aug. 21, 2011

The UCI Downhill World Cup Finals were held this weekend in the beautiful Val Di Sole (Valley of the Sun) in the scenic mountains of Italy. Greg Minnaar finishes the season in 2nd place overall with a 6th place ride, and Aaron Gwin is the series champion which was already decided by his points spread at the prior race in La Bresse. Minnaar and Gwin were the only two riders to win world cup races this season with Minnaar winning two to Gwin's five. Josh Bryceland raced solid to 11th place in the race and achieved his goal of finishing top ten overall. Steve Peat crashed in the final, which dropped his overall to 11th, just under Josh's 10th overall.

We stayed in a nearby little village in two apartments across the small piazza from one another with a stunning view of the Dolomites. Cooking each morning with that view was a pleasure. We felt right at home in the neighborhood and the people of the area were pleased to have this race and welcomed everyone. Even the local volunteer fire brigade extended a return welcome to us and we were invited to a mountain home for a dinner with authentic regional mountain fare where we celebrated Ricky Bobby's birthday.

The week started well on this very technical and rocky track, which exacted a heavy strain on the riders challenging their strength and fitness. Also, they were testing a prototype carbon rear swing arm and front triangle. Steve chose to race on the new setup as he said it felt smooth and fast to him while Greg felt he needed more testing on it, he opted to race his current carbon V-10.

The qualifying race didn't go well for Greg or Steve where they finished 34th and 46th respectively. Greg was just happy to be alive after his run where he had a mechanical that had him all over, and off the track. Steve hit a tree in his run while Josh was satisfied with his steady 18th place qualifier.

 

Race day came quickly enough and bikes and riders were set and ready. Steve and Greg came down the hill early due to their qualifying position and Greg took the hotseat in first to hold it for sometime. Steve clipped a pedal on a rock, which sent him tumbling, as well as his overall points. Josh came down with another steady run to take 11th. Greg dropped to 6th on the day remaining 2nd overall and Steve finished the race in a very disappointing 47th.

Greg says, "I was disappointed to end my season the way I did. I'm happy to still finish 2nd overall. It's been one of the toughest race seasons I've had since being on the Syndicate. It's left me puzzled at times with crashes and being off the back. I want to thank the Santa Cruz Syndicate for all the support this year and SRAM/ RockShox and all my loyal personal sponsors for their support."

Weekend Video:

MEN'S RACE RESULTS:

  • 1st Aaron Gwin 3:10.35
  • 2nd Danny Hart 3:11.58
  • 3rd Gee Atherton 3:14.47
  • 4th Troy Brosnan 3:15.77
  • 5th Cameron Cole 3:16.52
  • 6th GREG MINNAAR (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:17.32
  • 7th Brook MacDonald 3:18.39
  • 8th Matti Leihkoinen 3:19.75
  • 9th Andrew Neethling 3:19.76
  • 10th Matthew Scoles 3:19.95
  • 11TH JOSH BRYCELAND (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:20.67
  • 47th STEVE PEAT (SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE) 3:31.71

Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors:

  • SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES
  • SRAM, ROCKSHOX, AVID, TRUVATIV
  • ENVE COMPOSITES
  • MAXXIS
  • CLIF BAR
  • MUC-OFF
  • LIZARD SKINS
  • WTB
  • CHRIS KING
  • Gore® RideOn™ Cable Systems
  • FOXHEAD
  • BIRZMAN
  • FIVE TEN

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