Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar (SRAM/RockShox) retains the leader's jersey in the UCI World Cup Downhill Series with a 3rd place finish today on this dry, dusty, brutal track in Fort William, Scotland. Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland made improvements on their qualifying runs, but still battled to get the flow just right and placed 18th and 26th respectively. As always, the crowd and atmosphere here at Fort William was vibrant with over 7,000 people watching the downhill.
Starting the series with a win in Maribor and coming into Fort William wearing the leaders jersey was a great position for Greg to spring from. In Saturdayu2;019s qualifier Greg put together a solid run and clinched the 1st place points towards the individual ranking. Feeling happy with his result he did a few back flips into the airbag in the pits.
Fort William was packed on race day and the riders looked forward to hearing the cheers as they enter the finish arena. The crowd is especially loud for the UK riders and when Steve was on track they were roaring. At the second split we could see he was off the pace, yet the fans gave the reigning World Champ a hearty welcome as he crossed the line. Greg was the last man down with Gee Atherton now in the hotseat. He rode smooth and steady, but was just 1.21 behind Gee at the finish for third, with Cameron Cole in 2nd. "As a result it's pretty good, but I wanted to win here," said Greg. Josh had a run that felt solid, yet he finished 11 seconds off the pace.