World Cup 2018 - Leogang, Austria

Juni 07 — 2018 | Leogang, Austria

A week after Fort William and we’re racing again, this time in Austria on a track with far less rocks than the previous two rounds. The track in Leogang is known to be one of the fastest on the World Cup circuit. Changes were made from last season to remove some of the blown-out manmade features that were deemed 'dangerous' from previous years, however with high-speed off-camber corners, steep rooty tech sections, and nasty weather in the forecast, the consequences were still high.

Rain greeted the team early in the week, and transformed the top part of the track into a slippery greasy sh*t show almost immediately out of the gate. With Greg out for another race and assuming the role of team cheerleader while Peaty' was racing Trans-Madeira, the Syndicate's young guns were in good shape to carry the torch for a second week in a row. Both Luca and Loris rolled into Leogang with second place finishes under their belts after the first two rounds of racing for the season.

Final Results  
Loris Vergier - 5thLuca Shaw - 42ndGreg Minnaar - DNS (Injury)

Nice view. Gnarly, rain-soaked corner. High and tight was the ticket for Loris right out of the gate.

Qualis kicked off in more mild conditions than practice and when all was said and done, Luca would lead the field ahead of Sunday's finals with Loris (5th) just 1.34 seconds off his time. It was clear that Luca was out to back up his second place finish in Croatia and top finish in qualifiers at Fort William and Loris to improve on his two second place finishes on this track in the last two years. Both men were more than hungry for that top step and ready for an extremely tight race.

On Sunday morning, and despite the dark clouds looming nearby, the Finals dogfight began. Loose dirt and high winds kept riders throughout the field searching for the balance between speed and traction, the off-camber corner just beyond the start gate turned into an equalizer, and the runs were made or lost on the most root-infested sections of track. Loris was first up for the Syndicate, and he would put together a clean, attacking run consistent with his qualifying finish—landing him in fifth on the day.

As the top ten qualifiers made their way down the track, Amaury Pierron bumped Gwin out of the hot seat, and then it was Luca's turn. Luca tore out of the gate, ripped through the top of the track, and at split three he was up on the leading time set by Amaury Pierron. Just a few moments later an unfortunate slide would cause Luca to crash into the protective netting lining the course and knock him out of contention. Despite leaving it all out on the track, the Dinoshaw would finish 42nd on the day.

All eyes now shift to the next opportunity at Val di Sole in July. See you in Italy

Inside the pits with @scsyndicate. Find the raceday fix-it-fuel.

Dialing in the details of those sweet, sweet proto rims.

Keeping the crazy train on the tracks: head Syndicate mechanic Dougy Fresh.

So many lines, so many stumps, and so little time.

Once again the man to beat after the dust settled in qualifiers.

Kiran MacKinnon (Santa Cruz Engineering tech) making his second World Cup appearance this season. 

Despite strong, focused riding at the top, a nasty slide brought Luca's run to a halt before he could cross the finish.

You'd have to do more than 60km/h to beat Loris through this wood feature.

5th place for Loris. It's only a matter of time before that top step is under his feet.

L: Hydration, hydration, hydration. // M: Pounds for the fans. // R: Syndicate pits keep the circus in check. p: @danny_macaskill

Greg, on the mend but always there for the team and the fans. 

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