Santa Cruz Bicycles -  World Champs 2018 - Lenzerheide
 

World Champs 2018 - Lenzerheide

September 07 — 2018 | Lenzerheide, Switzerland

The race for the rainbows brought us to Lenzerheide, Switzerland this past weekend. One of the most scenic backdrops on the World Cup circuit, this track features fast and technical terrain with a mix of sniper roots, drops, and rock gardens to challenge racers in the hunt for the coveted rainbow jersey.

World Champs is the big show - teams and athletes come prepared to represent their country with fresh custom bikes, helmets, and donning kits in their country’s colorways. Every racer dreams of winning a World Championship and this opportunity only presents itself once a year. It’s all or nothing at World Champs, you get one day and one run to prove yourself worthy of the stripes.

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Sven Martin

Fresh custom V10s for Worlds.

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PA puzzling away on Vergier's twin V10s. Loris' 'Libertad' graphic is inspired by the resurgence of French DH talent, and chronicles past French DH World Champions on the top tube.

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Sven Martin

All eyes on Minnaar. Greg's V10 graphics feature the eyes of all three current Syndicate riders.

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Sven Martin

Luca's V10 is a throwback to the origins of the United States, from before there was Waffle House even.

Heavy rain and fog throughout the week created unusual-for-Lenzerheide wet and tacky conditions, just in time for qualis, as riders settled in to test their speed against the clock one last time. During qualis, Loris put down the fastest time for the Syndicate finishing in 2nd, followed by Luca in 7th, and Greg in 30th. A mere 2 seconds separated the top five men and with another day of practice left before the big race, we knew we’d have another tight race on our hands.

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Sven Martin

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Roots everywhere waiting to wash the wheels out from underneath you.

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Sven Martin

Tacky dirt in qualis turned to dust on race day. 

By the time the race kicked off Sunday, the sun had baked the moisture out of the mountainside and turned the tacky dirt into a dry, loose track full of ruts and braking bumps. Racers were forced to push the pace in ever-changing conditions while searching for traction and several found their way abruptly to the ground and out of contention throughout finals.

Greg has won two World Cups in Lenzerheide and was the first to drop for the Syndicate, making his way down the track to claim the top spot by 4 seconds. As the race moved closer to the final top ten men, it felt like a flashback to La Bresse as Martin Maes was once again in the hot seat. Luca would be next in the Syndicate queue and put together a strong run but the early splits showed red and in the end, it wasn’t enough for a win, and he slotted into 3rd place.

Maes' time would hold until five riders to go when Loic Bruni dropped in. Loris attacked from the start, and the early splits were showing a half-second advantage over Bruni’s time, but a slight stall in the middle of his run changed that advantage from green to red as he finished in 3rd place with three riders left at the top.

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Sven Martin

Luca had a hell of a season and finished 6th at worlds and 8th overall in the World Cup standings.

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Loris, 4th on the day and 4th in the overall World Cup standings.

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Sven Martin

One last glimpse of the G.O.A.T. for the 2018 season. 

Final Results  
Loris Vergier - 4thLuca Shaw - 6thGreg Minnaar - 8th

2018 has been a year of highs and lows for the Syndicate: Greg sitting out most of the year due to injury, Luca developing into a true threat capable of winning anything, and Loris claiming his first World Cup victory. After the dust settled at Lenzerheide, Loris would end up in 4th, Luca in 6th, and Greg in 8th—a strong showing for the Syndicate as they wrap up the 2018 season. Even though the race season is over there's still more action from the puzzlers on Youtube and Instagram

 

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