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Syndicate on the Pace and on the Podium in V-D-S20th JUN 2013

JUNE 17, 2013
Val Di Sole, Italy

The UCI Downhill World Cup presented by Shimano returned to Val di Sole, Italy, on the 15-16 June for round 2 of the series. Home of Josh Bryceland's 2008 Junior World Championship win, Val di Sole is a fast rough track that demands full commitment. Having got off to a solid start in Fort William* the weekend prior, the Syndicate were keen to really open the throttle in Italy.

Santa Cruz World Cup Round 2

Suspension set-up is as key as ever at this track, and the Fox Racing technicians had the team's suspension pretty much dialed early in the week, allowing the guys to make the most of their practice sessions. Come qualifying, Greg put in a 7th place run, Steve a 27th and Josh a 34th... albeit after sliding out in a corner. Safe enough, but the Syndicate knew they had to raise their game on race day. And so they did.

Steve was the first man on track for the Syndicate, his time of 3:23:52 holding up well until Josh Bryceland blitzed his way down with a 3:17:46, despite a "bad run" peppered with near misses and mistakes. He was certainly right on the pace.

Santa Cruz World Cup Round 2

Then it was Greg's turn to tear it up. Stripping over a second off the fastest time of the day so far, with a 3:13:43 earning a spell in the hotseat. But it wasn't to be his day. Steve Smith (CAN) shaved 0.2 seconds of his time, before Gee Atherton (GBR) posted a 3:12:18 to claim another deserved win alongside his sister, Rachel Atherton (GBR)... their second double of the season!

Santa Cruz World Cup Round 2

"I'm happy with my result today" said Steve "It was awesome to be back with the Fort Bill crowd the weekend before, but that track was brutal and hard on the bike and body and my race there didn't quite go as planned. So I'm just pleased to be getting back up to speed in Italy, whilst still keeping things tidy and avoiding any heavy crashes like some of the other racers had."

Santa Cruz World Cup Round 2

"I had a great week with the team at Val Di Sole" Josh continued, "Unfortunately my race run did not go to plan and I made a couple of costly mistakes. However, I have not felt that strong at the bottom of a run before which is really positive and shows the hard work I have put in this winter is paying off!"

"Going into Val Di Sole I knew I needed to build my confidence." admitted Greg "We had the suspension set up really well on the first day and that helped me make the most of practice. I was riding well in the qualifier but had an issue in my run. In the final Marshy (mechanic), made a last minute final adjustment to my bike to make it feel super comfortable. I had a good top section, then hit a loose rock and made a big mistake. I feel that finishing 3rd on that kind of a track, with the run I had, shows we are still moving in the right direction. I'm really looking forward to the next World Cup in Andorra!"

Round #2 Val di Sole Results

  • 3rd: Greg Minnaar
  • 7th: Josh Bryceland
  • 8th: Steve Peat

Round #1 Fort William Results

  • 8th: Greg Minnaar
  • 9th: Josh Bryceland
  • 44th: Steve Peat

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