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16th Sept 2007
Sam Hill caps of his season with a race win and takes the overall UCI World Cup Series here today in Maribor, Slovenia. Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat places third overall in the series, and flatted in his race run today. Nathan Rennie struggled in for 25th in the race and drops to 13th overall as he finishes the series.
The track here in Maribor is a favorite. It’s been years since the last world cup downhill was held here, and the racers were happy to be back. Peat said, “It’s good to be back in Slovenia and the atmosphere is as great as ever. The track is technical and fun to ride. I’ve been struggling with my foot all week and it’s not very stable without a strong tape job.”
It was a rough week for the Syndicate boys as they are both injured. Steve worked hard last week at the world championships to get his ankle ready to race, and this week the skin on his ankle has been irritated by all the glue and tape from last week. Because of it, he couldn’t tape up his ankle to ride and just used an ankle brace, which wasn’t really enough to make the ankle feel stable or secure. Nathan dislocated his shoulder again on a practice run, but it popped back in, yet his knee is giving him just as much trouble as he smashed it in a crash at world’s. Greg Minnaar is also injured after last week’s race run crash, which broke his scapula.
The moral was low in the Syndicate pits during the week, and Nathan said, “I just can’t ride properly, I’m riding like a Nana.” Australia’s downhill coach, Paul Begg asked the guys, “Are you having a dig?” Rennie replied, “Yeah, but I’m using the wrong end of the shovel!” And Peat says, “Yeah, and I’m using a teaspoon.” As the practice week moved on they slowly got it together, but just weren’t even close to 100%.
On the brighter side, young Santa Cruz rider Josh Bryceland posted a stellar qualifying run coming in 5th, and placed 9th in the final. His efforts this year earned him the junior championship overall. Josh says, “My race run wasn’t as solid as my qualifier. I was fairly nervous at the top. I set off good, and then I was cautious. I just wanted a steady run without crashing.”
Next up, Rennie goes to Budapest, Hungary to compete in the Red Bull Metro ride, and then it’s off to Interbike for the Syndicate riders.
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