SYNDICATE SEA OTTER WEEK IN REVIEW
Monterey, CA - April 22, 2012
The Santa Cruz Syndicate was just missing Steve Peat for our Sea Otter appearance because Steve was putting on his race, Peaty's Steel City Downhill, which he handily won. In his place we had the next oldest guy on the circuit, Cedric Gracia, standing in for him. It turned out well for the boys on their Fox/Shimano equipped Santa Cruz TRC's as CG was on fire in the dual slalom placing third, while Greg Minnaar charged hard and came 6th. Josh Bryceland was railing the turns on his Maxxis High Rollers on the carbon Enve rims and finished in 10th place.
The weather was sunny and hot, and the expo and pit areas were teeming with thousands of people. With lots of new things to see and people to greet, the riders were kept very busy! On Thursday Shimano held media launch of the new Saint and Zee lines: http://bike.shimano.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/us/index/news_and_info/news/announcing_new_saint.html
On Friday the boys went on a ride with Gary Erickson and Bryan Cole from Clif Bar to film a video recognizing Clif's 20th anniversary! Autograph signings at Fox kept them busy and in between this was downhill practice.
Josh summarizes the week well, "The downhill practice pretty much was just a whip off on the first set of jumps. I had a great time riding with Greg and CG and we did some radical trains! Next up was slalom!! I was really looking forward to this event and after qualifying 9th I was really excited for the main! Unfortunately the 2nd round came up and CG knocked me out of the running with two solid runs. I ended up 10th but I had a great time and lost about half my bodyweight in sweat. ...so hot!!
Sunday was downhill and I rode the same bike for downhill as I had for slalom. My new pimped out Blur TRC... what a machine!! I just can't get enough of this bike!!!
I misjudged the start and they ended up giving me a time penalty so I was nowhere in the results, but like I said, it was a really productive week! I did a fun signing over at the FOXHEAD stand with all the boys and also at the Fox Racing Shox booth. I had some good chats with the sponsors and saw all my California amigos that I don't get to see all that often!"
For the downhill Greg and CG chose to ride their Santa Cruz carbon V-10's. As CG said, "It was a downhill so I rode my downhill bike!" CG finished 8th and was the first DH bike and Greg was 10th on the second DH bike in the top ten.
Greg says, "Sea Otter was the busiest I've ever seen. We had a ton of sponsor visits from Fox to Shimano to O'Neal to Oakley to FiveTen...it was flat out. Slalom was good fun. Kyle Strait knocked me out and went on to win it. The DH had a couple little changes which made the track roll a little faster. It's not much of a track but the little changes were welcomed. I slid out a little on the first corner which I probably lost a second or two, I ripped up the rest of the track to make the time up, ending up 6 seconds behind the leader which I find hard to believe.... Thankfully it was only Sea Otter. Besides that we had a great time riding, the V-10 is riding as sweet as it looks."
On Monday we went for some Fox factory tours. This was very interesting to see the production facilities. At lunchtime the riders had a meet and greet luncheon at the Santa Cruz factory. The afternoon concluded with a Fox headquarters factory tour and Fox engineer, Gary Yakota, gave us a demonstration of how they use data acquisition from the riders testing from the track to the lab. Very interesting!! It was a very production week!
THANKS TO THE SYNDICATE SPONSORS:
SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES
Gore RideOn Cable Systems