Downhill World Champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) had been having a rough time in races in 2010. While competing in the rainbow stripes throughout the early part of the season, he kept crashing himself out of contention.
In Leogang, at the World Cup last weekend, Peat tried a new way of removing the curse of the rainbow jersey. At the Austrian World Cup, he decided to "crash" first before the start to get it out of the way. That meant diving to the ground and rolling around on the ground to get his jersey dirty before the start. It seemed to work; he didn't crash, and he finished sixth in the finals, narrowly missing a podium spot.
Peat tried the same tactic at the US Pro GRT in Tahoe this past weekend. Again it worked. He put in a fast run, one that was two seconds quicker than the fastest person's qualifying run. It was good enough to get him third overall.
There is no word yet on whether Peat will continue to deploy his new tactic at future races. He'll have to wear the rainbow jersey until at least the next World Championships in early September of 2010.