Its been coming for some time now and Josh “Ratboy” Bryceland hit his stride today in Leogang, Austria to take his first ever world cup downhill win! He put his stamp on the time of second place teammate Greg Minnaar with a 1.27 margin on this blazing fast course. Steve Peat placed 31st which keeps all three Syndicate riders protected in the top twenty overall. Josh moves up into 3rd overall in the series, Greg moves up to 6th and Steve 18th.
Josh was riding amazing from the first run on the track. His playful, stylish riding on the bike park track looked and felt effortless to him. After a third place qualifier he knew he was capable of a win. Greg qualified 12th and in his race run he was on a flyer but lost some valuable time saving a near crash on a difficult, fast corner. He moved into the hotseat with eleven more riders to come. One by one they seemed each to make errors. Aaron Gwin had a flat tyre and Troy Brosnan came just .009 behind Greg. Then Josh took to the course and he looked flawless. Up at each split he carried it to the end 1.27 seconds ahead of Greg. Loic Bruni was the last man down and all eyes were on the big screen. He was up at each split then hit the same corner that nearly took Greg out and he went down. The look on Josh’s face was disbelief as the realisation that he won set in. Everyone went mental and Steve put Josh on his shoulders and ran him around the finish bowl.
Josh says, “I was feeling confident all week. I tried some Maxxis Minions on the hard packed terrain and that was the tire of choice for the first time ever for me. I just committed in the final and rode to my potential. I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone for their support, Santa Cruz, Rob Roskopp, Dougie Fresh and the rest of the Syndicate and all our sponsors. I'm looking forward to enjoying the win because I haven't just yet!”
Everyone was so happy to see Josh take this win, particularly his teammates. Steve shed a tear and Greg said, “I really wanted the win, but if anyone was to beat me I am super happy that it was Josh. I’m really proud of him!”
The podium was a great affair with Syndicate one and two. A giant magnum of Moet & Chandon was presented to Josh, and he attempted to sing the national anthem, but didn’t quite know all the words. Immediately after podium Greg literally had to run to a waiting car to whisk him off to a nearby helicopter waiting to take him to Munich to catch a flight to London to attend the One For The Boys Charity Ball to benefit awareness for men’s cancer. The rest of the Syndicate then had a special dinner to celebrate Steve’s fortieth birthday and to celebrate Josh’s big win!
Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors:
SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES, FOX, SHIMANO, ENVE, MAXXIS, USWE, MUC OFF, CLIF BAR, WTB, FOXHEAD, CHRIS KING, LIZARD SKINS
Source: Santa Cruz Syndicate press release. All photos courtesy Kathy Sessler/Santa Cruz Syndicate