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MTB World Cup Cross Country #1 & Downhill #1 - Pietermaritzburg 2012

Date range:
March 16-18, 2012

March 18, Elite men downhill:

Minnaar wins downhill World Cup opener at home

By:
Rob Jones
Published:
March 18, 2012, 14:16 GMT,
Updated:
March 19, 2012, 0:16 GMT

Gwin, Hannah round out top three

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) on his way to winning

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) on his way to winning

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The opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup concluded on Sunday with the downhill, a crowd favourite in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Local fans went wild when the hometown son, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), came from behind to win the men's title.

The men's race was expected to be close, after Minnaar, the 2009 winner in Pietermaritzburg beat American Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing), the 2011 Pietermaritzburg champion, by an infinitesimal eight one-thousandths of a second in qualifying.

After Gwin set the fastest time, overtaking Mick Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride), and with Minnaar over two seconds behind at the first time check, it looked like the race was over. However, the "Greg Minnaar Nation" was cheering their hero on, and the Pietermaritzburg rider made up the time deficit in the lower half of the course, cutting it to one second at the second intermediate split and then winning by over six-tenths of a second.

"I knew at the top I was behind," said Minnaar. "I made two stupid mistakes at the beginning, so I knew had to make up as much as I could down at the bottom. As much pain as it was to pedal, I just had to put my head down and go."

"Oh man, it was electric, hearing the crowd at the bottom, it was so wild. I could have done with some more support further up on the pedaling bit when I wanted to sit down, but there was no one there, they were all down at the bottom. But when I jumped into the finishing area, the crowd was just amazing."

Gwin shrugged at the close loss, vowing to continue the battle at the next round. "It's been a great week here in South Africa, and I'm happy with my run today. I'm also happy for Greg, he's had some tough challenges this past week [Minnaar's father has been ill - Ed.] and I truly respect his win today. That was amazing, and I'm looking forward to a great season with him, like last year."

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:03:57.980  
2 Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing 0:00:00.632  
3 Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride 0:00:00.994  
4 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:01.303  
5 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:04.384  
6 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 0:00:04.436  
7 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:00:04.800  
8 Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 0:00:05.017  
9 Julien Camellini (Fra) 0:00:05.604  
10 Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade 0:00:05.674  
11 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 0:00:05.836  
12 Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:05.894  
13 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek 0:00:06.064  
14 Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing 0:00:06.327  
15 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:07.670  
16 Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride 0:00:07.674  
17 Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing 0:00:08.579  
18 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing 0:00:08.874  
19 Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team 0:00:09.036  
20 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott11 0:00:09.212  
21 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 0:00:09.396  
22 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 0:00:10.307  
23 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction 0:00:10.412  
24 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International 0:00:10.657  
25 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team 0:00:10.938  
26 Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International 0:00:11.038  
27 Oliver Burton (GBr) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 0:00:11.178  
28 Robin Wallner (Swe) 0:00:11.418  
29 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team 0:00:11.881  
30 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona 0:00:11.886  
31 Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 0:00:12.047  
32 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 0:00:12.386  
33 Johann Potgieter (RSA) Ghost Factory Racing Team 0:00:12.472  
34 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) 0:00:12.533  
35 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd 0:00:12.759  
36 Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team 0:00:13.211  
37 Isak Leivsson (Nor) 0:00:13.491  
38 Luke Strobel (USA) 0:00:13.584  
39 Greg Williamson (GBr) 0:00:14.492  
40 George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing 0:00:14.515  
41 Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 0:00:14.616  
42 Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:14.844  
43 Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity 0:00:15.038  
44 Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity 0:00:15.072  
45 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:15.105  
46 Richard Thomas (GBr) 0:00:15.358  
47 Bernard Kerr (GBr) 0:00:15.742  
48 Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride 0:00:15.914  
49 Jonty Neethling (RSA) 0:00:16.222  
50 Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team 0:00:16.312  
51 Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 0:00:16.656  
52 Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz 0:00:16.657  
53 Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof 0:00:16.732  
54 Stefan Garlicki (RSA) 0:00:16.838  
55 Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International 0:00:16.912  
56 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr) 0:00:17.154  
57 Emanuel Pombo (Por) 0:00:18.060  
58 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International 0:00:18.106  
59 Lars Peyer (Swi) SC-Intense 0:00:18.447  
60 Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd 0:00:18.649  
61 Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team    
62 Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona    
63 Logan Binggeli (USA)    
64 Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing    
65 Fergus Lamb (GBr)    
66 Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team    
67 Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team    
68 Ludovic May (Swi)    
69 Jack Reading (GBr)    
70 Tommy Herrmann (Ger)    
71 Guillaume Cauvin ° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride    
72 Miran Vauh (Slo)    
73 Lutz Weber (Swi)    
74 Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA)    
75 Jonathan Jones° (GBr)    
76 Mark Scott (GBr)    
77 Kevin Aiello (USA)    
78 Dan Sheridan° (Irl)    
79 Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)    
80 Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team    
DNF Zakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)    
Teams
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Hutchinson United Ride 87  pts
2 Santa Cruz Syndicate 66  
3 Trek World Racing 66  
4 MS Mondraker Team 48  
5 Devinci Global Racing 47  
6 GT Factory Racing 43  
7 Monster Energy-Specialized 43  
8 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 35  
9 Team Norco International 33  
10 Scott11 31  
11 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 26  
12 CG Racing Brigade 26  
13 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 24  
14 SC-Intense 22  
15 Commencal / Riding Addiction 20  
16 Topcycle By Trek 18  
17 Alpine Commencal Austria 14  
18 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 9  
19 Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 6  
20 Lapierre International 5  
21 Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 3  
22 Ghost Factory Racing Team 2  
23 Kona 1  
World Cup individual standings after round 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate 250  pts
2 Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing 200  
3 Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride 160  
4 Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing 150  
5 Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing 140  
6 Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 111  
7 Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 107  
8 Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 105  
9 Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade 93  
10 Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek 85  
11 Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized 81  
12 Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing 81  
13 Julien Camellini (Fra) 80  
14 Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 80  
15 Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing 73  
16 Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing 69  
17 Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate 68  
18 Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing 67  
19 Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride 65  
20 Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International 64  
21 Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team 62  
22 Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team 62  
23 Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott11 61  
24 Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team 61  
25 Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 59  
26 Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction 58  
27 Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International 55  
28 Oliver Burton (GBr) 54  
29 Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 53  
30 Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team 53  
31 Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona 51  
32 Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 50  
33 Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 49  
34 Johann Potgieter (RSA) 48  
35 Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team 47  
36 Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD 46  
37 Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team 45  
38 Isak Leivsson (Nor) 44  
39 Luke Strobel (USA) 43  
40 Greg Williamson (GBr) 42  
41 George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing 41  
42 Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof 39  
43 Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity 38  
44 Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity 37  
45 Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof 36  
46 Richard Thomas (GBr) 35  
47 Bernard Kerr (GBr) 34  
48 Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride 33  
49 Jonty Neethling (RSA) 32  
50 Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team 31  
51 Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 30  
52 Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz 29  
53 Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof 28  
54 Stefan Garlicki (RSA) 27  
55 Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International 26  
56 Thomas Braithwaite (GBr) 25  
57 Emanuel Pombo (Por) 24  
58 Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International 23  
59 Lars Peyer (Swi) SC-Intense 22  
60 Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD 21  
61 Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team 20  
62 Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona 19  
63 Logan Binggeli (USA) 18  
64 Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 17  
65 Fergus Lamb (GBr) 16  
66 Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team 15  
67 Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team 14  
68 Ludovic May (Swi) 13  
69 Jack Reading (GBr) 12  
70 Tommy Herrmann (Ger) 11  
71 Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride 10  
72 Miran Vauh (Slo) 9  
73 Lutz Weber (Swi) 8  
74 Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA) 7  
75 Jonathan Jones° (GBr) 6  
76 Mark Scott (GBr) 5  
77 Kevin Aiello (USA) 4  
78 Dan Sheridan° (Irl) 3  
79 Kristoffer Haugland (Nor) 2  
80 Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team 1  
World Cup team standings after round 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Hutchinson United Ride 87  pts
2 Santa Cruz Syndicate 66  
3 Trek World Racing 66  
4 MS Mondraker Team 48  
5 Devinci Global Racing 47  
6 GT Factory Racing 43  
7 Monster Energy-Specialized 43  
8 Madison Saracen Downhill Team 35  
9 Team Norco International 33  
10 Scott11 31  
11 Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team 26  
12 CG Racing Brigade 26  
13 Giant Factory Off-Road Team 24  
14 SC-Intense 22  
15 Commencal / Riding Addiction 20  
16 Topcycle By Trek 18  
17 Alpine Commencal Austria 14  
18 Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team 9  
19 Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace 6  
20 Lapierre International 5  
21 Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing 3  
22 Ghost Factory Racing Team 2  
23 Kona 1