Santa Cruz Bicycles

World Cup Snowshoe


World Cup 2019 - Snowshoe

September 09 — 2019 | Snowshoe, West Virginia

It’s hard to believe, but after puzzling their way around the world, from Slovenia to the United States (and nearly everywhere in between), the Syndicate boys popped their last bottle of champagne for the 2019 season and finished up this year’s World Cup DH round in Snowshoe, West Virginia. 

Greg Minnaar5th6th overall
Loris Vergier11th5th overall
Luca Shaw14th14th overall

The track at Snowshoe was a fresh one, full of surprises designed to keep things interesting and to shake-up the increasingly tight finish times among the top men. Key were the technical rock gardens, which proved to be the toughest to overcome for many, who puzzled their way through a careful balance of attacking and maintaining the speed necessary to keep time deficits to a minimum.

Friday’s qualifiers were not only a bit slippery but also offered no additional points towards the final round, so most racers kept it safe in favor of all-in runs for Finals on Saturday afternoon. Luca qualified 6th, Greg 8th, and Loris landed in 26th.

On the morning of finals, the conditions in West Virginia were nearly perfect. The moisture and fog from the previous days cleared and the stage was set. The Syndicate boys set out to find the limits of the track, and before the end of the day, this last World Cup round for the season would be one of the most exciting Finals in recent memory.

Loris rolled into Snowshoe on the mend from a crash at the previous round at World Champs. In practice, he was able to get up to speed in the straights, but in techy, tight turns his wrist held him back. Still, he pushed on and charged into finals. He squashed the early jumps to keep his speed high, attacked where he needed to and led in the first two splits, and then, unfortunately, lost time (like most) in the rock gardens and dipped into the red in the third split. Once out of the rock gardens it was hard on the pedals to the finish. He would cross the line in 2nd and ultimately finish 11th on the day. As for his season standing? He locked down 5th in the overall, just in front of the G.O.A.T himself.

Greg came out of the gate on fire. He’s been hungry for one more win all season, and it was now or never. It was full attack mode as he charged into the wooded sections and by the second split he was eating away at Amaury’s lead. And then came the rock— Greg exited the garden with a 1.6-second deficit, which, given this particular track, would be a bit too much to bring back through the final flats. The G.O.A.T hammered the pedals and crossed the line in 5th, a position he would maintain, and a finish that would help him lock down 6th in the overall World Cup standings for this season.

Luca would be the last on the day for the Syndicate. The Dinoshaw has been consistently climbing the rankings all season and was hoping for a result on home soil to close out the year. His race run started out fast and was within reach of the top times after the first two splits. Unfortunately, a couple of small mistakes lead to more in the woods, but Luca kept it together and looked smoother than most through the rocks. Luca would finish 14th on the day and 14th overall for the year. It’s been a season of learning for the young American, but it keeps him motivated entering the offseason and hopeful for 2020. 

Greg, Loris, and Luca all finish the 2019 season in the Top 15 in the overall standings—a strong showing individually and as a team. It was only by a handful of points that the guys missed the Team Overall, and that’s fuel for the fire for next year.

What’s next for the team? A well-deserved bit of R&R for the entire Syndicate family. Hats off to Greg, Luca, Loris for a smashing season and to Dougy, Marshy, P.A., Peaty, Kathy, and Laura for keeping the guys rolling anytime, anywhere

There’s always more action over at @scsyndicate and the Syndicate channel on Youtube. Cheers until 2020.


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