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Minnaar triumphs in Fort William

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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) signs autographs.

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) signs autographs.
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Bubbly time for Greg Minnaar

Bubbly time for Greg Minnaar
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) with a South African flag.

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) with a South African flag.
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) is interviewed after winning

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) is interviewed after winning
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Crowds were huge at Fort William

Crowds were huge at Fort William
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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A replica of Greg Minnaar's bike.

A replica of Greg Minnaar's bike.
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) makes some final, important adjustments.

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) makes some final, important adjustments.
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) on his way to a win in Fort William

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) on his way to a win in Fort William
(Image credit: Gary Perkin)
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Elite men's podium

Elite men's podium
(Image credit: Kathy Sessler)
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World Cup overall leaders (L to R) Tracy Moseley (elite woman), Manon Carpenter (junior woman), Troy Brosnan (junior man), Greg Minnaar (elite man)

World Cup overall leaders (L to R) Tracy Moseley (elite woman), Manon Carpenter (junior woman), Troy Brosnan (junior man), Greg Minnaar (elite man)
(Image credit: Gary Perkin)
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Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Fort William, Scotland

Elite men's downhill World Cup podium in Fort William, Scotland
(Image credit: Mountain Bike New Zealand (MTBNZ))
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Brook Macdonald (MS-Evil) races to third

Brook Macdonald (MS-Evil) races to third
(Image credit: Gary Perkin)
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Mick Hannah (GT)

Mick Hannah (GT)
(Image credit: Gary Perkin)
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Men's downhill Fort William World Cup podium (L to R) Gee Atherton, Danny Hart, Greg Minnaar, Brook Macdonald, Aaron Gwin

Men's downhill Fort William World Cup podium (L to R) Gee Atherton, Danny Hart, Greg Minnaar, Brook Macdonald, Aaron Gwin
(Image credit: Gary Perkin)

While Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) took the win in round two for the downhill World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, it was the young riders who finished second and third - Danny Hart (Giant) and Brook MacDonald (MS Evil Racing) - who were the real story of the day, signalling the arrival of the next generation of downhillers. Minnaar's win, coupled with round one winner Aaron Gwin's (Trek World Racing) fifth place, put the South African into the leader's jersey for the overall standings.

American Mitch Ropelato, another under 21-year-old, was the first leader to go under five minutes, but he was quickly supplanted by Australian Mitchell Delfs (Kona), who was in turn replaced in the lead by another Australian, Mick Hannah, who took the leading time down to 4:53.433 .

Hannah held onto the lead for a long time before a third Aussie, Josh Button (SC-Intense) just barely edged him. However, the faster riders were just starting to come down the track, and Fabien Pedemanaud (Scott 11) took the leading time down to 4:52.5 shortly afterward.

This set the stage for MacDonald's incredible ride. Starting 48th (out of 81), MacDonald absolutely nailed the pedalling bottom half of the course, to finish a staggering 5.643 seconds ahead of Pedemanaud. The young New Zealand rider, who won't turn 20 until November, was the junior World Champion in 2009, but this ride put him in a whole new league.

As rider after rider came down, none could surpass his time, with another young Kiwi - Cameron Cole (Lapierre) - slotting into second, but still 1.8 seconds back. Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate), world champion Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized/Mad Catz), Fabien Barel (Mondraker) who DNF'd, and Canada's Steve Smith (Devinci) all came close but none came close enough.

It wasn't until Minnaar, a two-time winner at Fort William, and fourth from last to start, came down that MacDonald was finally dislodged from the lead. The South African, a prodigy himself when he won his world title in 2003, was eighth fastest at the top split, and continued to improve as the course went on, to knock nearly two seconds off of MacDonald's incredible run. Hart, starting just after Minnaar and only a month older than MacDonald, pushed the Kiwi down to third by 0.65 seconds. The final two starters - Gee Atherton (Commencal) and World Cup leader Gwin - slotted in to fourth and fifth respectively after their runs.

"It was tough today," said Minnaar. "I was really nervous, I didn't think I had it today. Yesterday's qualifying, I was behind, and I wasn't sure I could find the time. [Brook] MacDonald had a great ride, but I'm stoked to be on top ... it's just an awesome day. I'm just speechless."

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:04:43.854
2Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:01.299
3Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ms Evil Racing0:00:01.934
4Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:03.004
5Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:03.193
6Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:03.748
7Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:04.269
8Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:04.331
9Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:04.579
10Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:05.823
11Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:06.481
12Marc Beaumont (GBr)0:00:06.866
13Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:07.246
14Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:07.606
15Luke Strobel (USA) Ms Evil Racing0:00:07.694
16Florent Payet (Fra) Sc - Intense0:00:07.953
17Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain0:00:08.050
18Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:08.646
19Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:09.219
20Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani Trek0:00:09.343
21Joshua Button (Aus) Sc - Intense0:00:09.499
22Michael Hannah (Aus)0:00:09.579
23Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:09.865
24Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:10.212
25Mickael Pascal (Fra) Morewood Unitedride0:00:10.364
26Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)0:00:10.462
27Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:10.646
28Cédric Gracia (Fra) Cg Racing Brigade0:00:10.760
29Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Morewood Unitedride0:00:11.066
30Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:11.151
31Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade0:00:11.245
32Shaun O'Connor (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:12.066
33Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:00:12.080
34Filip Polc (Svk) Ms Evil Racing0:00:12.933
35Nico Vink (Bel) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges0:00:12.985
36Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark Powered By W - Racing0:00:13.149
37Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges0:00:13.435
38Mark Scott (GBr)0:00:13.804
39Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Riding Addiction Commencal0:00:13.866
40Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:13.984
41Greg Williamson (GBr)0:00:14.493
42Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:14.626
43Romain Paulhan (Fra)0:00:14.861
44Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team0:00:14.940
45Patrick Thome (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team0:00:15.096
46Will Rischbieth (Aus)0:00:15.329
47Mitch Ropelato (USA)0:00:15.416
48Adam Brayton (GBr)0:00:15.419
49Jack Reading (GBr)0:00:15.643
50Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:16.144
51Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Evil Racing0:00:16.260
52Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:16.731
53Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria0:00:16.843
54Wyn Masters (NZl) Ms Evil Racing0:00:17.638
55Timothy Bentley (RSA) Morewood Unitedride0:00:17.792
56Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa)0:00:17.852
57Fergus Lamb (GBr)0:00:17.919
58Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:18.246
59Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:18.427
60Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof0:00:18.440
61Lorenzo Suding (Ita)0:00:19.458
62Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:20.522
63Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:20.575
64Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:22.309
65Alexander Kangas (Swe)0:00:22.418
66Florian Arthus (Fra)0:00:22.735
67Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team0:00:23.882
68Sam Dale (GBr) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:00:24.523
69Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal0:00:25.018
70Seanan O'Riordan (Irl)0:00:25.369
71Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:27.485
72Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)0:00:33.290
73Christopher Mcglinchey (Irl)0:00:35.491
74Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:42.017
75Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:47.924
76Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Ryde - Racing0:04:53.950
77Julien Camellini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre0:05:45.571
78George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:16:04.336

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trek World Racing91pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate77
3Commencal65
4Scott 1155
5Lapierre International50
6MS Evil Racing48
7Giant Factory Off-Road Team42
8Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain36
9Team GR32
10Riding Addiction Commencal26
11SC - Intense25
12Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz23
13Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof22
14Devinci Global Racing21
15Madison Saracen16
16Team Cingolani Trek11
17Alpine Commencal Austria9
18Mondraker Factory Team8
19Morewood Unitedride8
20Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee6
21CK Racing Santacruz3
22CG Racing Brigade3

World cup standings after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate425pts
2Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing378
3Gee Atherton (GBr) Commencal327
4Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team249
5Brook Macdonald (NZl) Ms Evil Racing199
6Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing197
7Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz195
8Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate190
9Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International172
10Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing164
11Cameron Cole (NZl) Lapierre International164
12Marc Beaumont (GBr)159
13Fabien Barel (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team156
14Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate153
15Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof148
16Duncan Riffle (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team147
17Cédric Gracia (Fra) Cg Racing Brigade143
18Matthew Scoles (NZl) Team Cingolani Trek129
19Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Morewood Unitedride128
20Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz126
21Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain124
22Florent Payet (Fra) Sc - Intense119
23Luke Strobel (USA) Ms Evil Racing114
24Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Riding Addiction Commencal111
25Michael Hannah (Aus)109
26Ben Cathro (GBr)102
27Shaun O'connor (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team99
28Filip Polc (Svk) Ms Evil Racing98
29Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark Powered By W - Racing98
30Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team97
31Mickael Pascal (Fra) Morewood Unitedride97
32Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof97
33Julien Camellini (Fra) Team Sunn Montgenevre96
34Joshua Button (Aus) Sc - Intense95
35Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 1194
36Romain Paulhan (Fra)94
37Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges93
38Markus Pekoll (Aut) Ms Evil Racing92
39Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 1191
40Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona90
41Bryn Atkinson (Aus)80
42Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team70
43Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team68
44Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team68
45Mitch Ropelato (USA)68
46Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)66
47Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing62
48Timothy Bentley (RSA) Morewood Unitedride62
49Sam Dale (GBr) Team Sunn Montgenevre60
50Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Col) Cg Racing Brigade59
51Patrick Thome (Fra) Mondraker Factory Team58
52Richard Thomas (GBr)57
53Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa)55
54Dan Stanbridge (GBr) Dirt Norco Race Team52
55Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team48
56Emanuel Pombo (Por)47
57Nico Vink (Bel) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Massif Des Vosges46
58Bernard Kerr (GBr)46
59Mark Scott (GBr)43
60Scott Mears (GBr)42
61Curtis Keene (USA)42
62Greg Williamson (GBr)40
63Ben Reid (Irl) Dirt Norco Race Team39
64Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team37
65Fergus Lamb (GBr)36
66Will Rischbieth (Aus)35
67Adam Brayton (GBr)33
68Jack Reading (GBr)32
69Alex Bond (GBr)32
70Marcel Beer (Swi)31
71Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof29
72Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria28
73Wyn Masters (NZl) Ms Evil Racing27
74Jonty Neethling (RSA)27
75Johann Potgieter (RSA)26
76Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa)25
77Hayden Brown (RSA)23
78Lewis Buchanan (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles / Nukeproof21
79Lorenzo Suding (Ita)20
80Thomas Jeandin (Swi)19
81Lars Peyer (Swi) Sc - Intense18
82Fraser Mcglone (GBr)17
83Alexander Kangas (Swe)16
84Daniel Pombo (Por)16
85Florian Arthus (Fra)15
86Kelvin Purchase (RSA)15
87Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team14
88Chris Hutchens (GBr)14
89Tiaan Odendaal (RSA)13
90Dan Atherton (GBr) Commencal12
91Seanan O'riordan (Irl)11
92Francesco Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Team Cingolani Trek11
93Roman Roschi (Swi)10
94Oscar Harnstrom (Swe)9
95Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa)9
96Arthur Parret (Fra) Passion Velo Thiers Stemtee8
97Christopher Mcglinchey (Irl)8
98Jérôme Payet (Fra)7
99Loic Bruni (Fra) Lapierre International7
100Charly Di Pasquale (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team6
101Joris Bigoni (Fra)6
102Mathias Haas (Aut) Alpine Commencal Austria5
103Mathieu Gallean (Fra) Ryde - Racing5
104Daniel Critchlow (GBr)4
105Travis Browning (RSA)3
106George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing3

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