World Cup 2018 - Mont Sainte Anne

Agosto 13 — 2018 | Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec

After four weeks of down time from World Cup racing the Syndicate was back for Mont Sainte Anne - the oldest track on the World Cup circuit and one of the longest. Known for being rough and fast, this one is a fan favorite and for riders who love the technical terrain, the rocks, stumps, and gaps were a welcome sight. After it was all said and done this race would prove to be one of the most exciting to watch all season!

It’s been a minute since Andorra, where we witnessed Loris take his first ever elite World Cup win. The Syndicate would return to Mont Sainte Anne with a full squad and Greg would be making his 20th appearance. He’s been on the podium here eleven times in his career and he was ready to get back between the tape.

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Nobody was more excited to be back in the action than this man.

It’s like a ‘Chukachuka-wooop' and then 'shhhoooo-thunk.. zwwiing!’

As the stories of torrential downpours filled the 'gram and the weather reports rolled in, it was clear that practice would be a wet and wild one. Lightning and thunderstorms delayed practice as a deluge of rain hammered the mountain and beat up the track. Mechanics rushed to prep bikes, build spare wheels, and pack fresh grease into bearings as the team pits filled with water and the riders waited out the storm. It's tough enough to contend with jagged rock gardens and flat-out-fast straightlines that dip into slick wooded sections when the conditions are dry—when they're washed out and slippery the whole thing gets straight up sketchy.

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An epic pit flood wasn't going to stop Marshy from puzzling up some Reserves.

The sun would shine for the remainder of the weekend and, after a sloppy practice, it was a welcome sight to the boys as they headed into qualis. Once the track had a chance to dry it gained tackiness but with the flood from the previous day also came massive, axle deep, wheel-eating ruts. This meant line choice and finding the right balance of speed would be crucial to success.

Welcome back Greg! Here's some mud.

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Rocks, rocks, rocks, and more rocks. 

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Celebratory drift for Greg’s 20th MSA appearance.

You can just hear the chainsaws in this one. Santa Cruz Engineering Tech Kiran MacKinnon rocking his qualis run. Unfortunately a crash would keep him out of finals. 

Speed and consistency has been the theme this year among the young guns of The Syndicate, and on the day of qualis the story was no different. Loris would qualify 7th, Luca would slide into 4th after a mechanical (he would finish his qualifying run without a chain), and Greg would show he’s always a factor qualifying 10th. With the whole lot of The Syndicate in the top 10, we were headed into finals hoping for a win.

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4th in qualis and 6th on the day for the Dinoshaw.

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16th for Greg and an all-time crowd to welcome him back.

The track had developed huge ruts and holes for finals, but as the race progressed the times of the top 15 riders just kept getting faster and faster. Greg was the first of the Syndicate to drop and he was up in the early splits until a “technical crash” in one of the new wooded sections would take him out of contention. The G.O.A.T. would earn 16th on the day, not bad for his first race back but we know Greg races to win.

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Rain didn’t stop the MSA fans the first day and when the sun came out for finals, there was no end to the stoke.

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This course is a five minute beatdown. The top won’t make or break you but once you get into the woods, it's another story.

Next to leave the start house would be Loris. After mobbing down the track at roughly 68 km/h, he would continue to charge through the woods, drops, and steeps on a strong run that would see him finish 1.7 seconds up on Charlie Harrison and take over the hot seat with only 6 riders left. Unfortunately, the hot seat glory lasted for only a moment though, as the next rider, Troy Brosnan, put down the next fastest run of the day bumping Loris into 2nd place.

Loris’ first split had him clocked at 67km/h. The Andorra winner would ultimately get bumped into 5th.

Luca would be the final rider for the Santa Cruz Syndicate and after qualifying 4th without a chain we knew he was on form and eager to win. His run was solid and smooth—free of mechanicals or crashes—but it wasn't quite enough for him to snatch the top step away from the leader. 

The GOAT was back to business tapping into some 'old' gap lines.

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Loris holds on to 2nd in the overall just ahead of Worlds.

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Hands in the air for one of the best races of the season.

With three riders left, Luca would slot in just behind Loris in the third position and after the dust from the final three riders (Amaury Pierron, Loic Bruni, and Danny Hart) had settled and times had dropped further, Loris and Luca would go 5th and 6th and Greg would round out his return from injury with a healthy 16th.

 
Final Results  
Loris Vergier - 5thLuca Shaw - 6thGreg Minnaar - 16th (crash)

Loris maintains the number 2 plate and Luca sits fifth overall as we head to La Bresse, France for the final race of the season before World Champs. See you there!

 

 

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