The Santa Cruz Syndicate goes transcontinental in 2017 with fresh signings of Luca Shaw from the USA, and Loris Vergier of France.
The 20-year-old recruits join South African veteran Greg Minnaar; three-time World Champion and the only man to have 19 World Cup DH race wins to his name.
Under Minnaar’s mentorship, the young American and Frenchman will have support from some of the most experienced people in the sport.
Steve Peat may have stepped back from World Cups, but remains on hand to share two decades of knowledge on areas such as race preparation, line-spotting and bike set-up.
Wrenching legend Doug Hatfield is now assigned to Luca’s pit corner, while Morzine local PA Roche joins the crew to handle all Loris’ race tech needs. Jason Marsh stays on as Greg’s chief bearing polisher, and team manager Kathy Sessler retains the hardest job at Santa Cruz; keeping this circus on the road, with her unique home-from-home vibe.
Josh Bryceland will no longer be racing under the Syndicate banner for 2017, but rest assured he’ll continue riding for Santa Cruz around the world as and when the mood takes him. For those brave enough to tackle his northern British accent, Josh explained the motivation behind his change in direction via a personal question and answer session.
“Luca and Loris are two of the most talented young athletes on the World Cup circuit right now,” explains Team Director, Rob Roskopp. “Having them join the Syndicate marks a whole new era for the team.”
“I respect the work done by previous teams to bring Luca and Loris to this point in their careers” continues Roskopp. “It’s only been a few weeks, but they’ve already slotted straight into the Syndicate in a way that feels completely natural and positive. It’s going to be great seeing how they evolve from here, both as racers and individuals.”
The Syndicate’s first UCI World Cup downhill race of the season takes place in Lourdes, France, on April 30.
The complete 2017 UCI DH calendar is:
World Cup #1 April 29-30: Lourdes, France
#2 June 3-4: Fort William, Scotland
#3 June 10-11: Leogang, Austria
#4 July 1-2: Vallnord, Andorra
#5 July 8-9: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
#6 August 5-6: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
#7 August 26-27: Val di Sole, Italy
World Championships September 5-10: Cairns, Australia
Follow all the team’s progress throughout the season at santacruzbicycles.com.