South African continues to lead World Cup series
Santa Cruz Syndicate's Greg Minnaar showed he can win on any track as he puts his strengths to the test and ended up with a victory in Leogang, Austria, which was round three of the World Cup downhill on Sunday.
Cold rain made the course a dangerous, muddy mess, and riders crashed all over the place in the qualifier. Minnaar was the first man down and posted a 4:03, which held up for second place.
In the finals, Minnaar beat the best time of Gee Atherton by 0.74 seconds with a 4:05.65, after being down on Gee 2.22 seconds at the first split. Fastest qualifier Sam Blenkinsop couldn't beat Minnaar, who took his second World Cup win of the season.
"I made a few big mistakes on the top. I wanted to be smooth and carry speed and work hard on the pedaling, but it didn't really happen that way, and I was all over the place and taking dabs with my gangly legs."
With half the downhill World cup season complete, Minnaar is in the leader's jersey, 73 points ahead of Gee Atherton. There are four weeks until the next World Cup. In the interim, Minnaar will compete at the US Pro GRT in Lake Tahoe, California.
It was Minnaar's 13th UCI downhill World Cup career win and his 45th World Cup podium, which ties Nico Vouilloz's record and is just five behind teammate and World Champion's Steve Peat's 50 career podiums.
Minnaar was suprised with his run. "It was an amazing weekend with a second in qualifier and first in the race. The race was really hard and conditions made it hard to stay on line and even on the track."