The Santa Cruz Syndicate are more well known for their Downhill World Cup racing than Enduro racing, however this year they have dedicated some of their time to racing a selected number of Enduro World Series rounds. Luckily they were at Finale Ligure for the final round and we were able to follow them and see what they do at an Enduro race behind the scenes.
Race preparation is everything, with a full team of mechanics behind them the Syndicate riders have the optimal setup for their bikes.
Their pits is always a hive of activity with various details on the bikes being checked, with the riders having time to take it easy and prepare mentally.
Cedric Gracia, although not officially part of the Syndicate but with his own race team, he races with them and on this occasion each rider will be using a different bike style for technical feedback to the designers. Cedric rides a Tall boy LT, Steve Peat a Bronson and Josh Brycland a 5010 (Solo).
How many riders dream to be a part of this team and pit here?
Even the Syndicate riders get treated with disdain by the marshals making sure that hey adhere to all rules and start times. Here Cedric is ushered on to the stage for his start.
Cedric heads off to the trails.
Josh Brycland jokingly asking for help when pedalling up the transfer stage for the first descent.
Steve Peat thunders through a steep section on Stage 1.
Jokes aside, when Cedric Gracia is racing he is deadly serious, here before dropping into a steep section.
On a transfer to stage 2, friends riding together.
Stage 5 Cedric Gracia riding hard and smooth on a rocky section on his Tall Boy LT.
Josh Brycland proving his 5010 (Solo) is a race ready bike, that can be pushed to the limits, in this case Josh arrived around 20th position.
The speed these riders go is hard to appreciate, here Steve goes so fast the camera barely has time to react as he catches up to a rider he is following.
Meanwhile the rest of the squad goes for a shuttle ride as there is no outside support possible during racing.
One of the stage arrivals is here, stunning.
Jamie Nicholl, a Santa Cruz supported rider, showed his skills coming top 10.
With only one stage left the riders arrive at the top in time, then rest before their stage starts.
Steve Peat talks to Jerome Clementz about his win and congratulates him on his performance just before stage 6.
Cedric Gracia on the last part of stage 6, at this point the riders are close to exhausted.
Racing over, back in the pits, time for relaxing.
Jason Marsh was responsible for Josh Brycland’s 5010 (Solo) and in the allotted external help times kept it 100 percent. Having a dedicated mechanic of Jason’s calibre is what makes it easier for top racers to perform.
Cedric Gracia was pleased with his first Enduro racing year, but said “Next year I will be trained for Enduro not for DH like this year.”