Gallery: Minnaar off to a good start in rainbow jersey

Just two weeks after winning the downhill world championships, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) got the chance to show off his brand new rainbow-striped jersey at the final downhill World Cup round of the season in Hafjell, Norway.

Minnaar proved that the rainbow jersey is not always a curse as he rode to third place at the weekend. It was the first time had Hafjell hosted a World Cup and riders loved the track, which had a mixture of flow, jumps, roots, berms, gnarly rock gardens, and old school open, grassy off-camber sections.

"This was Greg's first race in his rainbow jersey and it looked fitting on him. The rain made it muddy but washing the mud off the stripes was a pleasure!" said Santa Cruz Syndicate Team Manager Kathy Sessler. "Greg's result proved that he won't be a victim of the curse of the rainbow jersey, and I suspect 2013 will bode well for him as he wears the stripes all season."

Minnaar's season-long consistency also paid off as he finished second overall in the World Cup series, just behind World Cup winner Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing).

"My goal was to maintain second overall so I'm stoked to have done that even though to me second and third is the same. But reflecting back, I want to thank everyone who helped me this year, we had a great year. Finishing off with second in the World Cup and world champion... It can only get a tiny bit better then this."

Minnaar departed Norway for Las Vegas, Nevada, where he is attending Interbike this week.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.