Syndicate's Minnaar And Bryceland 2nd In Seeding Runs
June 19, 2008
Val Di Sole, Italy
The downhill seeding race for the UCI World Championship Downhill took place today in Val Di Sole, Italy under blue skies, which is typical of this region, but it didn’t seem that way early in the week with light rain showers wetting the track. Racers played it easy and some played tactics in the seeding run as all riders are qualified and no points are given for the seeding run, so not much was on the line. Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Greg Minnaar placed second in the elite men’s category and said, “I battled to find a rhythm, but it’s still early now and we have training tomorrow and Saturday. I should be able to find my rhythm then and give it some stick in the final,” said Minnaar.
Josh Bryceland’s injured knee didn’t give him any trouble and he placed second in his seeding run in the junior category. Steve “Old Spice” Peat celebrated his birthday this week and is still giving the field a run for their money. He ran it smart in the seeding run cruising in for a 7th place finish with everything working well and according to plan.
Nathan Rennie, sporting a new Troy Lee Designs race kit for practice, looked like his former self as he was charging sections and riding confidently, although admittedly not every run was perfect and getting loose and hitting tress was part of the game for most. His seeding run went to plan as he coasted down. He said, ” I’m in a reasonable position going into the final. I walked the track after the seeding run and I have some work to do. Everything is sweet.”
Practice has gone well all week for the lads, yet this track is brutal exacting it’s toll on the equipment. The test event here in May had the mechanics prepared for bike carnage saying this track was the hardest on equipment of all the tracks. Syndicate wrench, Doug Hatfield explains, “We keep smashing stuff, it’s one thing or another, but we have back up parts now. It’s a tough track, there’s no other track quite like it. It’s steep with big rocks with lots of bottoming out going on.” The mechanics have their work cut out for them as they toil into the late evening each night, and with hopes of great performances this weekend it keeps them going.
Cross fingers, and we’ll see what Saturday brings!
SEEDING RUN RESULTS:
1 Gee Atherton 3:24.81
2 Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM) 3:28.52
3 Justin Leov 3:29.95
4 Sam Hill 3:32.32
5 Sam Blenkinsop 3:35.72
6 Mikael Pascal 3:36.85
7 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM) 3:38.59
8 Brendan Fairclough 3:38.75
9 Chris Kovarik 3:40.54
10 Julien Camellini 3:42.83
13 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM) 3:43.70
JUNIOR SEEDING RUN RESULTS:
1 Remi Thirion 3:43.69
2 Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM)3:44.18
3 Brook Macdonald 3:48.58
4 Aari Barrett 3:49.03
5 Shaun O’Connor (Santa Cruz/SRAM) 3:52.66