SYNDICATE JULY EVENT’S RECAP: 2-World Cups, a Monster Park and Marshmallow Mayhem

Jul 11, 2005
by Tyler Maine  
WORLD CUP #6-Angel Fire, New Mexico-July 8-10, 2005

The entire Syndicate came together this weekend for the sixth round of World Cup downhill and 4X action, and it was great to be racing together again. The organizers of the Angel Fire, New Mexico race did a fantastic job to provide an awesome venue, challenging tracks and wonderful hospitality. The big Syndicate trailer was back, and in the pits the Sram/Rock Shox crew was in full support, and Matt Timmerman from Progressive Suspension was right next door to do fine tuning on the 5th Element Shocks.Nathan Rennie arrived from Brazil on Tuesday and had a chance to walk the two mile track. The downhill course was a Rennie delight, made to order, with nasty rock sections, bridge jumps, a big hip jump, tight tree sections and a road gap, all dry and dusty. Kirt Voreis, Henry O’Donnell and Cameron Zink arrived on Wednesday, eager to get on the track after hearing Rennie’s approval. Thursday’s practice was awesome, and they loved it.


Friday was a stacked day with downhill practice and 4X practice and qualifier. Early in downhill practice Rennie suffered a crash resulting in an injury to his foot. While riding on a off camber section his rear end started sliding, then he high-sided and somewhere in the process rolled his foot which caused damage to the ligaments on the side and under his foot. It started to swell right away and Rennie was in a lot of pain. Still keen to race the next day, he was certain it wasn’t broken, and all efforts were made to manage the injury to give him the opportunity to get to the starting line the next day.

The 4X qualifier went well for the team, minus Rennie who sat out due to the injury. Rennie said the course looked unreal, and he was bummed that he couldn’t race it. The track had lots of passing with big jumps everywhere. Zink had a brilliant qualifier placing 16th, his best World Cup 4X qualifier to date. Voreis qualified 23rd and O’Donnell 29th.

Race day came and with a little help Rennie was going to race. Special thanks go out to Bernard Condevaux for his professional assistance and terrific tape job! Thanks also to Andrew Neethling for the pain meds which helped get Rennie down the hill. Rennie opted out of a practice run and made the qualifier his first run down. Still in a lot of pain, the Renoir managed to qualify 13th. Voreis qualifies in 37th, O’Donnell 46th and Zink 64th.


O’Donnell was the first of the crew to complete the final run and took the hot seat for awhile until Chris Kovarik rode in with a smashing time of 4:39:00. The final was disappointing to Rennie as he finished in 15th place with a 4:45:16. On the brighter side, he picked up points for the race and is sitting a solid second place overall in the UCI World Cup Series. Greg Minnaar won the downhill with a 4:34:04 and has wrapped up the overall points and will take the series title, and there are two more races to go. Voreis had a great run going in the final until his chain came off, he finished 43rd. O’Donnell placed 34th and Zink 59th.


Quickly getting over to the 4X, Zink was in the first round with Lopes, Gee Atherton and Cody Warren. Zink gets a great start and was with Lopes into the first corner and coming into another corner Gee gets by him and Zink is out. Similar story with Voreis, good start, he gets passed and is in third, and ever the showman he pulls a 360 off a big jump, to the crowd’s delight. O’Donnell is also ousted in the first round.
Lopes goes on to win.


The team celebrated that evening with a small get together in honor of Mathieu Dupelle’s birthday. To liven things up a marshmallow fight was started and raged for a half an hour. Kovarik called it, “Good, clean fun!” and Rennie says, “Within seconds it was carnage!” No rules or teams, just a free-for-all, and not one thing broke. A highlight for Renoir, “I nailed Mathieu three times in the head!”



MONSTER PARK

Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia
July 3, 2005

Spreading the Syndicate around the globe on this weekend, Cameron Zink performed at the Monster Park Slopestyle event held at Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia, where his showmanship put him on the podium with a fifth place ranking. Zink says, “The course was incredible and the crowd was off the hook!” The course was filled with massive jumps, a wall ride and 3 ladder jumps, with the highest a 30 foot drop.

The unique format had the competitors judge themselves with a heat format using a scoring criteria based on flow, technical difficulty and amplitude. The riders were allowed to run the course as many times as the wanted in a time frame, and ten finalists were picked for the final.

It was amazing enough that Zink even made it to the event. Sadly, the week before the event, while at Mt. Ste. Anne, his grandmother passed away. Having to change flights to get him to the funeral left him needing a ride to the event. Special thanks go out to his father, Howard, for taking him halfway to meet with Aaron Lutze who drove him the rest of the way to the mountain. Zink missed all of the practice as he arrived late Saturday. Chris Van Dine said, “I was impressed with the way Cam adapted so quickly to the course and that he performed so well, especially under the circumstances”

Here’s what Matchvideozine’s Aaron Lutze had to say about Zink’s performance: “Cam did a crazy end-over-end rag-doll down the mountain....CRAZY! Oh yeah, and he shredded too, but walking away from that crash was probably one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!”

Here is the top five:

Darren Berrecloth
Thomas Vanderham
Jamie Goldman
Steve Romaniuk
Cameron Zink

Thanks again to Howard Zink and Aaron Lutze to get Cam to this event, and condolences to the Zink family at this difficult time.


WORLD CUP #5

Camboriu, Brazil
July 2, 2005

Nathan Rennie and Mathieu Dupelle represented the Syndicate at the UCI World Cup round #5 in Brazil. The Brazilian people were honored and excited to host a world cup event. They went to great lengths to prepare the tracks including planting sod and flowers on the sides of the jumps on the 4X track.

The downhill course overlooked the ocean and between practice runs you could sip coconuts in the shade. The downhill course itself was short and tight. “The track was easy to ride but a hard track to race. It was much like a walking trail and it didn’t flow well for me”, said Rennie. He came 8th in the race, with Greg Minnaar taking the win and Brazilian Markolf Berchtold thrilling the fans in his home country with a second place run.

In the 4X Rennie faired better, ending up on the podium in 3rd place. He says, “4X is just a game of luck for me, usually, and I just got third this time.” Roger Rinderknecht wins it with Cedric Gracia second, followed by Rennie.

Staying at a hotel on the beach, with a kart track a mere two minute walk away, provided a perfect setting to play after downhill practice, however dangerous that it was. The karts were steel on steel and the track attendant sprinkled petrol on the track while smoking a cigarette! Smash up action was the rule and Kyle Strait’s life was nearly ended by Dupelle. Dupelle was on Strait’s wheel when Strait tapped the wall causing Dupelle to impact with such a force that Strait flew out of the kart, over Dupelle’s head, to drop onto the track still in the driving position, minus his helmet and one shoe!

All and all Brazil was paradise, the people friendly and the food good, even though everyone got sick!


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