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Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
Former world champion racing anyway
Former downhill world champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) found out after finishing round three of the downhill World Cup in Leogang, Austria, this weekend that he had fractured his ulna. Peat had crashed on a training run before qualifying and injured his hand according to Santa Cruz Syndicate team manager Kathy Sessler.
The Leogang track was well liked by all and was challenging with wooded sections and fast pedalling sections. In places, it was a slippery mess thanks to frequent rain leading up to and during the World Cup weekend.
"Steve had a practice crash where he punched a tree with his left hand, but he hurt his right hand, as well," said Sessler." He ended up 17th in the qualis and also felt the need to roll faster."
On the day of finals, Peat awoke to a swollen hand and wasn't sure if he'd be able to hold on to his bars.
"He gave it one practice run, and with the painkillers and adrenaline he was certain he could hang on for the race," said Sessler. "Being the first of the Syndicate riders down with the conditions changing rapidly due to the sun making an appearance, Steve decided to be the guinea pig for the Syndicate and switched tires after scoping out the top corners before his start."
Peat had a quick start and was in the lead as of the first and second splits compared to hot seat occupant at the time Brook MacDonald. But the last part of the course didn't go as well for the veteran British gravity racer and he finished 12th.
"I was going steady but in the last third of the course I kept stalling out," said Peat. "I was moving forward and now I'm slipping back in points to 10th overall and I'm not too happy about that."
Peat is determined not to let the injured hand slow him down too much. "That won't keep 'Old School' out of the hunt as he will brace it up and give Mont-Sainte-Anne a go in a few weeks' time," said Sessler.
Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, is hosting the next downhill World Cup on July 2-3. The week afterward, the circuit heads to Windham, New York, in the United States.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage the Leogang World Cup.