On the heels of a less-than-memorable start to the season, Greg Minnaar roared back on Sunday, putting 3.5 seconds between himself and the closest competitor to take the win at Ft. William for the sixth time, and bringing his total number of World Cup wins to 19. The dry, dusty track led to some squirrely lines and big crashes as riders pushed themselves and their equipment to the limit.
After a week under misty skies and threatening clouds, the weather held and the World Cup in Cairns, Australia went off without turning into 2014's mudfest. The long, varied track tested all the riders, and deep local knowledge definitely lent an edge to the strong Aussie contingent, intent on good results in front of their hometown crowd.
The first World Cup of 2016 is in the books, and it was a wonderfully muddy, messy way to kick off the season! Peaty got some World Cup points, Minnaar finished 15th, and Ratboy pulled off a top-10 finish, with a 6th place result. Lourdes is quickly establishing itself as a first class venue with a rough, challenging track. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
After a week of rain in the Pyrenees, the track at Vallnord, Andorra was relatively dry, fast, and as technical as ever. Both Greg and Josh laid down super-fast runs, but it all finally came together for Loic Bruni, and he came down just over two seconds faster, which netted Greg the silver and Josh bronze. Watch this week's episode to see how it all came together for The Syndicate. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
South African downhill hero, Greg Minnaar claimed the fourth overall spot despite coming off his bike in the last round of the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano in Val di Sole, Italy on Saturday 22 August 2015.
The final World Cup race of the year capped a very successful year for the Syndicate riders! Greg finished 4th overall and Josh 5th. Despite early-season injuries for both, consistent, solid results (including 3 wins out of 7 races) kept them both on the series podium for 2015. Only the Syndicate and Aaron Gwin won World Cup races this year, and Gwin took the title after Greg crashed trying to grab a win in Val di Sole. Photo credit: Sven Martin
The world’s most successful downhiller of all time, Greg Minnaar, explains that he is having the most “amazing time” on his bike, and the sheer joy of feeling the perfect fit with his bike is delivering top results that are speaking volumes for the three-times World Champion!
After last weekend's win in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Josh Bryceland and Greg Minnaar were looking to turn back to back World Cup weekends into a North American double for the Syndicate. Both looked strong in qualifying with Greg finishing 4th, and Josh 6th. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
Greg Minnaar finished just behind Brosnan for fourth place, which nets him some valuable World Cup points. Greg's sitting in third overall, just 70 points behind Aaron Gwin, heading in to next week's race in Windham, followed by Val Di Sole to close out the season. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
The World Cup’s first trip to Lenzerheide, Switzerland was a smashing success. Making it look easy on the Steve Peat-designed track, Greg Minnaar stepped to the top of the box once again, taking his record-setting 18th World Cup win! Greg’s won two of the four World Cups so far this season, and sits in third overall, just 12 points behind Loic Bruni. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
Greg and Josh charged hard in Leogang, and were right on pace with each other all week. On race day, Greg was looking to win back-to-back World Cups, and Josh was hunting for a return to form following his crash at Ft. William. After qualifying 5th and 6th, they attacked the course one after the other, both taking places on the hot seat behind Troy Brosnan. Photos: Sebastian Schieck/Santa Cruz Syndicate
Greg Minnaar waged and won an epic battle against tough competitors and Mother Nature at Fort William, Scotland at the second round of the DH World Cup. Days of rain made the course a muddy mess leading up to the race, and the organisers called off practice and qualifiers on Saturday, and ran everything on Sunday. Photo credit: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
Lourdes on race day was sunny and warm, and fans came out in droves to watch the first World Cup! The course was classic French DH... steep, technical, and scary fast. Line choice became a nightmare as the tough track became increasingly blown out during the weekend. Simply making it down without a crash, mechanical or puncture became most riders' objective! Photos: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Syndicate
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano (DHI #1) takes place in Lourdes, France from 11-12 April 2015. Three-times World Champ and multiple World Cup winner, Greg Minnaar is eager to race this weekend, despite his recent injury. The Santa Cruz Syndicate rider recently suffered an injury to his hand during a DHI practice in New Zealand, which required an operation and four to six weeks of recovery time.
LEOGANG, AUSTRIA - Its been coming for some time now and Josh “Ratboy” Bryceland hit his stride today in Leogang, Austria to take his first ever world cup downhill win! He put his stamp on the time of second place teammate Greg Minnaar with a 1.27 margin on this blazing fast course. Steve Peat placed 31st which keeps all three Syndicate riders protected in the top twenty overall. Josh moves up into 3rd overall in the series, Greg moves up to 6th and Steve 18th.
FORT WILLIAM, SCOTLAND - It was another classic Ft. William downhill World Cup with thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic fans (and midges) out in full force! This race was significant for Greg Minnaar as it marked his 100th World Cup downhill career start. Steve Peat’s 40th birthday is just around the corner so special helmets were painted, sword presentations were made and pit celebrations were had to mark these significant achievements in their careers.
FORT WILLIAM, SCOTLAND - South African downhill icon and current World Champion, Greg Minnaar, will be racing his 100th UCI World Cup this weekend at Fort William in Scotland, on 8 June 2014.
CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - Josh Bryceland tamed the wet and wild downhill track through the rainforest jungle to take second place at the second stop on the UCI World Cup Downhill circuit in Cairns, Australia. Steve Peat overcame back pain that he was dealing with after the long plane ride to Australia and had a solid 7th place run. Greg Minnaar had a messy run and slid off the course through the tape. Unfortunately he didn’t re-enter the track between the poles and what was a 10th place run soon turned into a disqualification.
PIETERMARITZBURG, RSA - The UCI World Cup Downhill Series kicked off in the southern hemisphere in Greg Minnaar’s backyard in Pietermaritzburg. Minnaar had only been on a downhill bike for five weeks since recovering from ACL reconstruction and meniscus surgery last October. He didn’t have any idea where his fitness would be leading into the race, but after a timed run, which was four seconds faster than the others, his curiosity about his chances turned to confidence. Josh and Steve were feeling strong, having just come off good performances at the first BDS round.
SANTA CRUZ, USA - On September 1st 2013, Greg Minnaar won a third World Championship title, on a stock Santa Cruz V10 downhill frame in front of his home crowd in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. To celebrate his back-to-back gold medals, Santa Cruz created a limited edition Minnaar V10 Replica, of which only 25 will be made, 23 of which will be planted at select locations around the World.