2017 World Champs at Cairns

September 11 — 2017 | Cairns, Australia

With the last of the regular season World Cup races decided at Val di Sole, the Syndicate arrived to the sandy beaches (and a similar track) of Australia for Worlds. Freshly painted bikes found their way into the hands of Greg, Luca, and Loris, and in typical Worlds fashion, each reflected the personalities and nationalities of the boys. By this point in the season, the team whiteboard in the pit was practically tattooed with the regular schedule: trackwalk, practice, practice, a run for the clock, and then a run for the money. Everyone settled into the track quick and it wasn't long before the whips got a little bigger, the turns a little more sideaways, and the sprints faster and faster down the straightaways. Luca would lead the crew in timed training in 7th, Greg in 8th, and Loris in 26th. 

On race day as the sun was reaching its peak in Cairns, it was setting in Santa Cruz, California where nearly 100 employees, friends, and family gathered to watch finals live in the showroom in front of the big screen. A top 10 finish at Val di Sole had Luca hungry and determined for Cairns but unfortunately it wasn't to be. Luca was the first out of the gate for the Syndicate, but his chances for a podium ended when jungle sand snatched his wheel in a sweeping turn after the second split. He would finish 26th on the day. Loris was next up and right from the start we could all tell he was letting it hang out in search of those seconds he was going to need to dethrone Sam Hill. Drifting through the trees and hammering the pedals all the way through the finish set him into the top three but with a stacked field following him, he would get bumped into 7th when the dust settled. It was time for Greg Minnnaar and like Loris, he was fast through the first two splits, staying smooth and consistent on a course that was anything but. Tension built and we all cheered in anticipation, but as Greg powered through a particularly choppy section of track, it was clear he was nursing a flat. He would cross the finish to cheers of a crowd from around the world even though his run had finished well before he rolled into the corral. 

A well-earned tune up for bodies that take a beating over the course of a World Cup season.

"I kept buying buckets hats. Next thing I knew, I didn't look right without one."

Stars and stripes were just the beginning for one-off paintjobs the crew brought to Worlds.

A strong finish at Val di Sole fed Luca's hunger and determination at Cairnes.

Unfortunately there was no escaping the sand for Luca, who buried his front wheel after exiting a sweeping turn after the second split.

The man behind the bars and the man behind the bike.

It was all looking green until a flat sent Greg drifting through the second half of his finals run.

A gutting end to the season but nothing but love from the crowd.

Fire on the beach.

A heroic effort including some drifting saves earned Loris a top 10 finish.

Last race and last finish of the season. You leave it all on the track.

Santa Cruz employees, family, and friends gathered to watch the Syndicate's final race of the season. Until next year...

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