A great start to the new season for the Santa Cruz Syndicate team, they had three riders in the top four! Greg Minnaar took the win from Steve Peat, with fellow team mate Kirt Voreis taking fourth behind Mongoose’s Andrew Neethling. Brian Lopes, now on Ibis, posted the fastest times of the day but he slid out in his semi against Peat, “I was on the red course, which was faster at the start, but I was going a bit too fast and I lost it on the first right-hand berm,” Lopes said. Minnaar was happy to be up against Peat in the final, “Having both of us in the finals guaranteed that we’d be in the top two. It takes the pressure off that way. We don’t want anyone else to beat us.” He went on to say, “It was great to be in the final with Steve. I was very relaxed having a friend next to me. From that aspect it was pretty cool. I wasn’t concerned with crashing or anything knowing the Syndicate had the top two positions regardless of which of us won. I was very happy to win the event. I haven’t raced here since 2002, so I’m stoked to be back.” Peat said, “I was happy to make it to the finals. It was a great day for the Syndicate to have two in the final. My Blur 4X was hooking up good. I had tough rounds with EC, Houseman, Voreis, Lopes and then Greg. I had to dig in deep on every round. By finals time my legs were absolutely spent, I had nothing, Greg got lucky!”


In the women’s event race favourite Sabrina Jonnier took the win with Melissa Buhl in second and British rider Fionn Griffiths took third.


All attention now turns to the downhill.


All photos: Victor Lucas


sea otter classic 2008 greg minnaar steve peat sabrina jonnier


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