Santa Cruz Syndicate: Mission Accomplished

Sep 16, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
Source: Kathy Sessler

Minnaar, Bryceland and Syndicate Shotgun the 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.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.


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.”


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.


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

UCI DOWNHILL SERIES OVERALL RESULTS:

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



Men's DH 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

Women's DH Final Results:

1 ATHERTON Rachel
2 PUGIN Floriane FRA
3 JONNIER Sabrina
4 MOSELEY Tracy GBR
5 RAGOT Emmeline FRA
6 GRIFFITHS Fionn
7 GASKELL Helen GBR
8 BERNHARD Petra AUT
9 BUCHAR Claire CAN
10 MOLCIK Anita

UCI MTB TEAM STANDINGS:

1) SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE 618
2) Animal Commencal 582
3) Yeti Fox 351
4) Monster Energy/Iron Horse 325
5) Team Maxxis 303
6) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 257
7) Playbiker/Iron Horse 247
8 ) Subaru Mt. Bike Team 246
9) Suspension Center 246
10) Kona 228

Thanks to the Syndicate Sponsors:

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


23 Comments

  • 7 0
 Kathy, Good press release with valid and current info and not too biased towards the Syndicate. SRAM take note! Cheers. Si..
  • 3 0
 Thanks Si, And just a note to squash any rumors about Minnaar that I've been hearing, he isn't going anywhere. He is signed with Santa Cruz through '09. Cheers, Kathy
  • 1 0
 Rocking news Kathy !!!
  • 1 0
 Here here!
  • 5 0
 Cheers to the Syndicate for a great year. Rob your hyped!!
  • 0 1
 mabey the honda bikes wern't that good?
  • 4 1
 nice job lads. man i hope Peaty gets it back together and starts winning again. not that he's not doing well now but it would be nice to see him win another world cup
  • 0 0
 i cant see him winnig a world cup but possibly the world champs ona good day
  • 1 0
 syndicate should get tracy hannah!!
micks lil sis pins but the only reason she didn't race this season is because her major sponsor is still a bike shop... ???
you just wonder?? she could be rachels biggest rival but she just doesn't get the support... its a shame!!
  • 2 2
 Minaar and his fluid moves rule. Isn't Honda cryin' in their coffee that they didn't wait another year before ending the G-Cross program! Then again, it could be that someone went and got this man some LINKAGE!!! Props to my main man and his stealth-tactics steez. Stoked.
  • 0 2
 haha, and now he is going to be riding another single pivot for 2009!
  • 0 0
 Great world cup, and awesome to see a Kiwi win a round. Consistency wins a championship though so it's Gregs year. At the beginning of the season it was pretty likely the syndicate would produce some good results with all the big names coming aboard.
  • 0 0
 Respect to everyone behind the scenes at SC and the riders out front doing the business on the rigs. Was Rennie hungover at Canberra LOL.
  • 0 0
 good job syndicate,what a increadible world cup season,can't wait for next year
  • 2 1
 Hill's run is epic...
  • 3 1
 haha . lol almost crashed in 2 places. no 3, heavy fork .lol But props to freecaster .
  • 2 2
 the rumor is that hill or minnaar is going on specialized next season
  • 1 1
 I somehow doubt that Greg will move after being on SC for only one season, and having won a WC in that time...
  • 2 0
 yeah the rumor is that Hill will be on specialized - Minaar will still be on Santa Cruz. I personally think he'll go on Trek though...
  • 2 0
 why.. he has no reason to go to trek... ironhorse bikes are far better in my opinion. but then again... when its your job its all about wages and if trek offer him the money....he'll go!
  • 0 0
 /\
You clearly dont have a clue whats going on, and that Ironhorse doesn't have the DW link for next season, As turner has purchased the rights to it Ironhorse will be running an ellsworth linkage patent, probably with their own spin on it. You probably only think IH is any good because Hill put them on the map. And Hill/Fairclough were rumoured to go to Specialized with Monster as their secondary support. This is because Spec. is trying to put together a WC race team to capitalize on the upswing of interest in DH. Just like what Trek and 23 degrees (martin whitely sp?) are doing for next season. Greg was rumoured to be going over their for next year, by Velonews. But Sessler has ruled out any possible moves since his contract has him on the Syndicate for next season as well. But it does raise suspicion since i believe Gregs Agent IS Martin Whitely....the head of the new Trek DH program and former Manager for the Honda GCross team. Perhaps the Syndicate ride was temporary for Greg while Trek worked out the bugs and formed their new team...Only time will tell. Look for the big announcement regarding Hills ride for next season at interbike this week.
  • 0 0
 I dont think greg minnar will sign with trek, hes havin a good year with santa cruz.
  • 0 0
 Way to go Clarie !!!

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