World Cup 2019 - Maribor

April 28 — 2019 | Maribor, Slovenia

Welcome back to race season - the first chance for Greg, Luca, and Loris to get back between the tape on a World Cup stage. After a nine-year hiatus, Maribor returns as the first stop on the UCI DH calendar this year. Peaty won here back in 2001 and Greg won here the last time a World Cup was held here in 2010. This track features nearly everything from natural and manmade features, to fast run-ins laced with roots into off-cambered technical corners, to big compressions and it's got one hell of a rock garden to boot. 


Final Results

Loris Vergier - 58thGreg Minnaar - DNSLuca Shaw - DNS


Santa Cruz Bicycles
Sven Martin

Puzzles are more fun with friends. 


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019
Sven Martin

The look on Jordi's face...

After a day of scouting lines and fiddling with suspension set-ups, the Syndicate got down to practice on the burly track. During practice runs on Friday, Luca noticed his shoulder wasn’t feeling quite right. He’d taken a spill the previous week in San Ramolo during testing and after x-rays, it was confirmed that he had a broken collarbone. Before he could come out swinging at the first race of the season it was clear that he’d be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks. We’re absolutely gutted for Luca and hoping he returns healthy in time for Fort Bill.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019 - Luca Shaw
Sven Martin

Ripping a World Cup DH track, cool as ice… with a broken collarbone.

Rain seems to be the recurring theme come race weekend and once again the weather would play a factor in Slovenia. The days leading into qualis led riders and mechanics to make necessary changes and tire selections based on dry conditions but just before the elite men lined up for qualifiers, rain soaked the track and turned the dirt into an unpredictable slippery runway. The ability to acclimate quickly while staying within the limits of traction and speed would be the task at hand for riders during qualis.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019
Sven Martin
Feels like this could have been the moment Greg realized he was going to miss out on finals.

The rapidly changing track caught riders off guard as several favorites found themselves struggling to make it down unscathed. Greg Minnaar would take a spill and get his bars and fork twisted up in the process ultimately leading him to miss out on the qualifying time cut for the first time in his 20 year career – an unbelievable stat all on its own, showing how consistent and dominant The G.O.A.T. has been. He too will be ready for Fort William.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019 - Loris Vergier
Sven Martin

Loris kept the bike upright and fast as he picked his way down the track to a 5th place in qualis. All eyes would shift to Loris for the remainder of the weekend as the lone contender to carry The Syndicate into Sunday’s race.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019
Sven Martin

New color-shifting hotness from the Juliana pits.

For the Juliana side, we had Morgane Charre and the German National Champion Nina Hoffman aboard fresh custom painted Juliana V10s. Nina would qualify 4th in the challenging conditions while Morgane rode conservatively and unfortunately missed the cutoff to qualify for finals.


On the morning of finals, track conditions had drastically improved. Rain on the course from Saturday dried making the dirt tacky and keeping the dust to a minimum. In the women’s race, Juliana’s Nina Hoffman put together a strong run and was up at the early split but lost valuable time at the bottom of the course as she slotted into 6th place to end the day.

As the elite men began to drop from the start house it was clear that conditions were prime, everyone was moving noticeably faster than the previous day. Danny Hart was quick to take the hot seat and his time was proving hard to beat till the top 10 qualifiers were in the queue. Times were tight and Loic Bruni would be the first to knock Hart out of the hot seat but there were still 8 riders left at the top including Vergier.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019 - Loris Vergier
Sven Martin

As the Squidsontour sometimes/always say: Pan or die.

It was go time for Loris. He made his way through the first splits and was down by only half a second from Bruni’s time; it was clear that he could pull the time back if he kept his run together. Lady luck would say otherwise, though; as he made his way through the speed trap—and just before the hard right-hander into the lower half of the track—Loris’ back wheel washed out and he was slammed to the ground. Luckily he was quick to his feet and back on his V10 unharmed but the crash ended his shot at the podium.


Santa Cruz Bicycles - UCI DH Maribor 2019 - Loris Vergier
Sven Martin

Loris would finish the day in 58th after hitting the deck and finishing his race run peakless

A rollercoaster before it even really began, the weekend was a rough start to the season for the boys but if the saying is true (and Peaty’s right) then bad luck comes in threes and the dues are paid. Next up is Fort William on June 2nd. Time to go racing again.


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