Santa Cruz Syndicate: WC report from Leogang.


Josh Bryceland finally cracked his way onto the podium at the final round of the UCI World Cup Downhill Series in Leogang, Austria finishing 5th. Steve Peat was on form all week and was faster than Josh at the first split, yet lost some time on the last section and finished a respectable 9th. Early in the week Greg suffered a knee injury in practice that kept him off the hill for the remainder of the week. Ironically, Sam Hill also suffered a knee injury and Danny Hart a wrist injury keeping these three top five riders out of the finals.


The overall title came down to a showdown between Gee Atherton and Stevie Smith with Smith smashing it for the win. Going into Leogang Greg was looking to hold onto the third place points position with danger men Sam Hill and Danny Hart in close pursuit, with Sam Blenkinsop and Loic Bruni also able to strike. In the end, Loic Bruni had an incredible run placing 2nd and just 2 points behind Greg. Josh finished the series in 14th and Steve in 19th.


Josh was stoked with his podium and says, " I made a couple of little mistakes at the top. I got unclipped a few times and was it was a bit sketchy, but I got it together at the bottom and felt strong. I could finally use my strength and fitness I've had all year and I held it together at the bottom. It was nothing outstanding, just a really solid run and I'm relieved to be on the podium again. What a nightmare of a season and I'm glad its behind us and I'm glad to end on a high."


Steve was pleased with his top ten and said, "I was well happy to end my World Cup season with another top ten finish in Leogang. A podium would have been better, but after my last few seasons, top tens are a great feeling. It took me a while to get up to pace this year but the big old diesel engine kicked in well for the last few races, better keep her going now ready for next season! It's been an awesome year and couldn't have happened without all the help from Kathy Sessler, Tom Duncan, Doug Hatfield, Jason Marsh and Rob Roskopp. The Syndicate has a great group of people and even greater sponsors, thanks to everyone for keeping it fun. Roll on 2014!!!!!"


Greg says, "I was really disappointed to injure my knee and miss the last race. Luckily I came into the race third overall and stayed there. I joined my crew to root for my teammates and watching the race was really exciting. I'll be getting my knee looked at soon to determine the next course of action, as it's likely that surgery will be needed."


The season ends on a high note overall with Greg being the World Champion and 3rd overall in the World Cup, and Steve and Josh's riding and results being the best so far this year.


Special thanks go to Lawrence Van Lingen for his help taking care of Greg and his injury and looking after Steve and Josh. With Lawrence's help Greg should be able to go into the 2014 season race ready and stronger than before.