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May. 12, 2009
Headmaster Schools the Field, Peaty Takes La Bresse Win

We missed Steve at Sea Otter this year.

He was at the homestead waiting for the arrival of baby George.

It’s great to see Steve back in the mix leaving his mark & dedicating his win to the little tyke!

Here’s the race report from team manager, Kathy Sessler:

May 10, 2009
La Bresse, France

Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat teaches a master class in downhill racing as he smokes the competition here in La Bresse, France at the second round of the Nissan UCI World Cup Downhill. This win combined with his 3rd place in South Africa puts him into the leaders jersey in the series as well as tying Nico’s record of 16 World Cup career wins. Greg Minnaar just misses the podium with a 6th place finish ending his two-year World Cup podium streak. Young Josh Bryceland bumped up the effort in the final to improve over his qualifier and places 24th.

The week had gone well with practice in the wet and the dry so the boys were ready for any condition. With Steve winning the qualifier he was feeling strong and confident. Greg’s 7th place qualifier had him walking the course and looking for some time with the headmaster, “Old School” Peaty, or as Steve says, “The F-ing Headmaster!” Greg even shaved his moustache hoping to shave a few seconds off. Also taking a lesson from the headmaster, Josh agreed to keep the whips out of his race run and get to business after his 32nd place qualifier.

Things were kept light and fun pre-race night. In the morning we arrived in the pit where the Belgium fan club, the Filthy Syndicate was waiting with Peat and Minnaar facemasks. The boys felt a bit uneasy standing next to themselves, but we all had a laugh at how funny it looked. They joined the 15,000 fans that poured through the gates and lined the course ten deep in true French fashion. The skies had been cooperating but rain was forecast for 3:00 pm and arrived early at 2:30 pm with a big dump, just 5 minutes before Josh’s start.

Josh said the rain didn’t bother him, “I had a pretty good morning practice and I was confident in my lines. I got to the top and did my new warm-up routine and I was pretty excited. I was sitting on the trainer and it started pissing down. It didn’t really bother me I set off, felt strong, but I didn’t know how to attack the course because of the weather. I had a good run, but came out of sections thinking I should have pushed a bit harder. I felt like I had a good end to the course, but was disappointed with my finish position when I came across the line.“

Minnaar says, “I was disappointed after the semi final where I rode conservative and too smooth. I was happy that in the final I was able to step it up. We got my suspension working well on the course, as it was getting rougher quickly. I felt I rode much better in the final. It’s unfortunate that I did have a brake issue going into the second right-hander and my brake pulled into the handlebar. So instead of focusing on going fast I was focusing on pumping out my brake. On such a short course you need to be fast everywhere not focusing on equipment. It’s disappointing to end a two year streak of world cup podiums this way.”

An excited Peaty says, “I’m over the moon to win today. I want to dedicate this win to my new baby, George. It feels great to win for both Jake and George. It’s taken me awhile to get back on top of the pack, but it certainly feels the same as the last time. I want to thank everyone in the Syndicate. We had a good package going all week. My Santa Cruz V-10 was hooking up mint! I’m stoked we could pull it off together.”

Thanks to the SYNDICATE Sponsors:
Santa Cruz Bicycles
DT Swiss
Lizard Skins
Clif Bar
Troy Lee Designs
Chris King
Five Ten
Galbraith Chiropractic
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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