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Santa Cruz Syndicate: Mission Accomplished!14th SEP 2008

Schladming, Austria

Minnaar, Bryceland And Syndicate Shotgun The 2008 UCI Titles

The Santa Cruz Syndicate bagged all the titles they chased this year in Schladming, Austria at the Nissan UCI World Cup Series finale. It was a tight points race and Greg Minnaar proved his dominance in this series winning three of the seven events and by placing fifth today he clinched the title, his third series overall win of his career in the elite men's downhill. Josh Bryceland sat out the final race with a broken collarbone but still had enough points to retain his hold on the junior overall title. And a collective effort by the Syndicate members this season paid off with the top downhill team champion's crystal trophy going home in the hands of the Syndicate's fearless leader, Rob Roskopp thus capping off a magic year.

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

Greg went into the finale as the point's leader 116 points up on Sam Hill. Both Greg and Sam's performances seemed to suffer with the burden of the points on their backs. Hill was the expected race favorite as he has won at Schladming a number of times, but his time was eclipsed in the end by a spectacular performance by young New Zealander Sam Blenkinsop winning his first world cup race with a 1.64 margin. Steve Peat went in with fourth place points that would not change with any points shifting, so he had nothing to loose and rode a strong race to place 4th on the day, and 4th overall. Nathan Rennie, after being sick in Canberra and placing 2nd there had been struggling with illness since and nearly didn't come to Schladming feeling that he couldn't travel. He put in a valiant effort towards the team overall qualifying 9th, and placing 19th in the final picking up 47 points for the team which gave the Syndicate the margin of 36 points over the Animal Commencal team needed to take the overall team title. Rennie finished the series 7th overall.

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

Greg says this about the race and winning the title, "All week there was obviously a lot of pressure on from being so close to winning the overall. It's not because of the race, as such, but because you are so close to winning it that you don't want to loose it. Sam and I both had a lot of pressure on both of us and I think it affected both our riding. I don't feel I rode to my full potential. My race was hard. I started off really comfortable, I felt good and after just a little slip up top I decided to back things off a bit because I didn't want to risk a crash or anything else. I heard someone shout at me on the course that I was going slow. I was thinking a lot of stuff and I just didn't want to crash. I think from that aspect it was a pretty bad race, so at the bottom I wasn't really that stoked just because of the fact that I didn't have a good race. It felt pretty bland and I also didn't have all the adrenaline pumping from having a good ride, so it was mixed emotions at the bottom, even knowing that I had just won the overall."

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

The celebrations for the conclusion of the world cup season started on the podium with Greg leading the charge polishing off a magnum of champagne then carried on into the pits as the Syndicate celebrated with champion champagne hosing down Roskopp with it then hoisting him up in the air. The mechanics, Ricky Bobby, Doug Hatfield and Nigel Reeve celebrated a perfect season with zero mechanicals in the races thanks to their zealous work keeping the bikes perfect. Nissan hosted the after party flying in a DJ from London and lots of dancing, cigar smoking and celebrating was done into the early morning hours.

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

Next week Steve, Greg and Nathan will compete at the Jeep 24Straight Dual Slalom race then attend Interbike.

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

UCI WC 08

Downhill Final Results

    1 - Sam Blenkinsop - 4:10.16
  • 2 - Sam Hill - 4:11.80
  • 3 - Gee Atherton - 4:12.36
  • 4 - STEVE PEAT - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 4:13.20
  • 5 - GREG MINNAAR - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 4:17.56
  • 6 - Justin Leov - 4:18.33
  • 7 - Fabien Barel - 4:18.49
  • 8 - Aaron Gwin - 4:21.44
  • 9 - Mitch Delfs - 4:21.60
  • 10 - Andrew Neethling - 4:21.87
  • 19 - NATHAN RENNIE - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 4:24.40

Final DH World Cup Points Table

  • 1 - GREG MINNAAR - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 1354
  • 2 - Sam Hill - 1293
  • 3 - Gee Atherton - 1207
  • 4 - STEVE PEAT - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 1099
  • 5 - Sam Blenkinsop - 794
  • 6 - Fabien Barel - 717
  • 7 - NATHAN RENNIE - SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE - 620
  • 8 - Justin Leov - 614
  • 9 - Chris Kovarik - 608
  • 10 - Julien Camellini - 505
  • 32 - JOSH BRYCELAND - 184 - JUNIOR WORLD CUP CHAMPION

Video Bonus!

Steve - Finals Run.

And Greg taking 5th for overall World Cup victory!

Thanks to the SYNDICATE Sponsors:

  • Santa Cruz Bicycles
  • SRAM
  • RockShox
  • Truvativ
  • Avid
  • Maxxis
  • DT Swiss
  • WTB
  • Crankbrothers
  • Lizard Skins
  • Clif Bar
  • Troy Lee Designs
  • Chris King
  • Five Ten

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