Under cloudy, threatening skies, the Syndicate took to the steeps of Andorra for the first DH/XC World Cup weekend of the year. The track at Vallnord ski resort drops more than 1500 feet over the course of four minutes, and a swath of boulders, roots, holes, and steeper-than-you-can-imagine walls sit between the start and finish lines.
The team looked phenomenal in practice and qualis, with Greg qualifying second, Loris third, and Luca seventh. The top ten qualifiers were spread out over ten seconds, in stark contrast to the tight times last round at Leogang.
As race day developed, the rain stayed on the dry side of torrential, but definitely made the roots and grass a bit more slippery than they’d been during quails and practice. After an early mechanical for Luca, and a solid run from Loris, Greg came roaring down the steep, rough track in Andorra over two seconds up on Danny Hart (who somehow held it together during one of the wildest runs in recent memory). It looked like a sure thing for Greg, but Troy Brosnan somehow found an extra two-tenths of a second on the way down, taking his second World Cup win, and his first in over three years.
Loris finished the day just off the podium in sixth, and Luca nursed a flat tire down the course safely. All three riders will be looking to this weekend’s track in Lenzerheide, Switzerland for a little redemption. Greg retains the overall World Cup lead, with Loris just a couple hundred points back in fourth. Luca remains protected for Lenzerheide, with the 20th spot in the standings.
On to Switzerland!