Minnaar wins downhill World Cup opener at home

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

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:03:57.980
2Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:00.632
3Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:00.994
4Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:01.303
5Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing0:00:04.384
6Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:04.436
7Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:04.800
8Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:05.017
9Julien Camellini (Fra)0:00:05.604
10Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade0:00:05.674
11Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized0:00:05.836
12Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing0:00:05.894
13Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek0:00:06.064
14Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing0:00:06.327
15Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:07.670
16Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:07.674
17Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:08.579
18Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing0:00:08.874
19Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team0:00:09.036
20Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott110:00:09.212
21Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:09.396
22Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team0:00:10.307
23Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction0:00:10.412
24Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International0:00:10.657
25Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team0:00:10.938
26Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:11.038
27Oliver Burton (GBr) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing0:00:11.178
28Robin Wallner (Swe)0:00:11.418
29Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:11.881
30Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona0:00:11.886
31Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:12.047
32Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace0:00:12.386
33Johann Potgieter (RSA) Ghost Factory Racing Team0:00:12.472
34Marcus Klausmann (Ger)0:00:12.533
35Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd0:00:12.759
36Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team0:00:13.211
37Isak Leivsson (Nor)0:00:13.491
38Luke Strobel (USA)0:00:13.584
39Greg Williamson (GBr)0:00:14.492
40George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing0:00:14.515
41Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:00:14.616
42Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:14.844
43Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity0:00:15.038
44Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity0:00:15.072
45Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:15.105
46Richard Thomas (GBr)0:00:15.358
47Bernard Kerr (GBr)0:00:15.742
48Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride0:00:15.914
49Jonty Neethling (RSA)0:00:16.222
50Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team0:00:16.312
51Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:16.656
52Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz0:00:16.657
53Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.Com / Nukeproof0:00:16.732
54Stefan Garlicki (RSA)0:00:16.838
55Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International0:00:16.912
56Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:17.154
57Emanuel Pombo (Por)0:00:18.060
58Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International0:00:18.106
59Lars Peyer (Swi) SC-Intense0:00:18.447
60Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School Asd0:00:18.649
61Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Connor Fearon° (Aus) KonaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Logan Binggeli (USA)Row 62 - Cell 2
64Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-RacingRow 63 - Cell 2
65Fergus Lamb (GBr)Row 64 - Cell 2
66Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Ludovic May (Swi)Row 67 - Cell 2
69Jack Reading (GBr)Row 68 - Cell 2
70Tommy Herrmann (Ger)Row 69 - Cell 2
71Guillaume Cauvin ° (Fra) Hutchinson United RideRow 70 - Cell 2
72Miran Vauh (Slo)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Lutz Weber (Swi)Row 72 - Cell 2
74Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA)Row 73 - Cell 2
75Jonathan Jones° (GBr)Row 74 - Cell 2
76Mark Scott (GBr)Row 75 - Cell 2
77Kevin Aiello (USA)Row 76 - Cell 2
78Dan Sheridan° (Irl)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)Row 78 - Cell 2
80Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFZakarias Blom Johansen (Nor)Row 80 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Hutchinson United Ride87pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate66Row 1 - Cell 3
3Trek World Racing66Row 2 - Cell 3
4MS Mondraker Team48Row 3 - Cell 3
5Devinci Global Racing47Row 4 - Cell 3
6GT Factory Racing43Row 5 - Cell 3
7Monster Energy-Specialized43Row 6 - Cell 3
8Madison Saracen Downhill Team35Row 7 - Cell 3
9Team Norco International33Row 8 - Cell 3
10Scott1131Row 9 - Cell 3
11Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team26Row 10 - Cell 3
12CG Racing Brigade26Row 11 - Cell 3
13Giant Factory Off-Road Team24Row 12 - Cell 3
14SC-Intense22Row 13 - Cell 3
15Commencal / Riding Addiction20Row 14 - Cell 3
16Topcycle By Trek18Row 15 - Cell 3
17Alpine Commencal Austria14Row 16 - Cell 3
18Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team9Row 17 - Cell 3
19Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace6Row 18 - Cell 3
20Lapierre International5Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing3Row 20 - Cell 3
22Ghost Factory Racing Team2Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kona1Row 22 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
World Cup individual standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate250pts
2Aaron Gwin (USA) Trek World Racing200Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Hannah (Aus) Hutchinson United Ride160Row 2 - Cell 3
4Gee Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing150Row 3 - Cell 3
5Steve Smith (Can) Devinci Global Racing140Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team111Row 5 - Cell 3
7Troy Brosnan (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized107Row 6 - Cell 3
8Andrew Neethling (RSA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team105Row 7 - Cell 3
9Cédric Gracia (Fra) CG Racing Brigade93Row 8 - Cell 3
10Aurélien Giordanengo (Fra) Topcycle By Trek85Row 9 - Cell 3
11Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy-Specialized81Row 10 - Cell 3
12Nick Beer (Swi) Devinci Global Racing81Row 11 - Cell 3
13Julien Camellini (Fra)80Row 12 - Cell 3
14Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate80Row 13 - Cell 3
15Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Factory Racing73Row 14 - Cell 3
16Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing69Row 15 - Cell 3
17Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate68Row 16 - Cell 3
18Neko Mulally (USA) Trek World Racing67Row 17 - Cell 3
19Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride65Row 18 - Cell 3
20Bryn Atkinson (Aus) Team Norco International64Row 19 - Cell 3
21Brook Macdonald (NZl) MS Mondraker Team62Row 20 - Cell 3
22Damien Spagnolo (Fra) MS Mondraker Team62Row 21 - Cell 3
23Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Scott1161Row 22 - Cell 3
24Johannes Fischbach (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team61Row 23 - Cell 3
25Rémi Thirion (Fra) Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team59Row 24 - Cell 3
26Thibaut Ruffin (Fra) Commencal / Riding Addiction58Row 25 - Cell 3
27Loic Bruni° (Fra) Lapierre International55Row 26 - Cell 3
28Oliver Burton (GBr)54Row 27 - Cell 3
29Robin Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing53Row 28 - Cell 3
30Danny Hart (GBr) Giant Factory Off-Road Team53Row 29 - Cell 3
31Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kona51Row 30 - Cell 3
32Richard Rude Jr° (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team50Row 31 - Cell 3
33Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace49Row 32 - Cell 3
34Johann Potgieter (RSA)48Row 33 - Cell 3
35Marcus Klausmann (Ger) Ghost Factory Racing Team47Row 34 - Cell 3
36Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD46Row 35 - Cell 3
37Duncan Riffle (USA) Dirt Norco Race Team45Row 36 - Cell 3
38Isak Leivsson (Nor)44Row 37 - Cell 3
39Luke Strobel (USA)43Row 38 - Cell 3
40Greg Williamson (GBr)42Row 39 - Cell 3
41George Brannigan (NZl) Devinci Global Racing41Row 40 - Cell 3
42Joseph Smith (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof39Row 41 - Cell 3
43Curtis Keene (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity38Row 42 - Cell 3
44Mitch Ropelato (USA) Specialized Racing - USA Gravity37Row 43 - Cell 3
45Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof36Row 44 - Cell 3
46Richard Thomas (GBr)35Row 45 - Cell 3
47Bernard Kerr (GBr)34Row 46 - Cell 3
48Timothy Bentley (RSA) Hutchinson United Ride33Row 47 - Cell 3
49Jonty Neethling (RSA)32Row 48 - Cell 3
50Harry Molloy (GBr) Madison Saracen Downhill Team31Row 49 - Cell 3
51Eliot Jackson (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team30Row 50 - Cell 3
52Mickael Pascal (Fra) CK Racing Santacruz29Row 51 - Cell 3
53Alex Bond (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof28Row 52 - Cell 3
54Stefan Garlicki (RSA)27Row 53 - Cell 3
55Patrick Thome (Fra) Lapierre International26Row 54 - Cell 3
56Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)25Row 55 - Cell 3
57Emanuel Pombo (Por)24Row 56 - Cell 3
58Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Lapierre International23Row 57 - Cell 3
59Lars Peyer (Swi) SC-Intense22Row 58 - Cell 3
60Oscar Harnstrom (Swe) Pila-Black Arrows-MTB Herin School ASD21Row 59 - Cell 3
61Ziga Pandur (Slo) Unior Tools Team20Row 60 - Cell 3
62Connor Fearon° (Aus) Kona19Row 61 - Cell 3
63Logan Binggeli (USA)18Row 62 - Cell 3
64Niklas Wallner (Swe) Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing17Row 63 - Cell 3
65Fergus Lamb (GBr)16Row 64 - Cell 3
66Harry Heath (GBr) Unior Tools Team15Row 65 - Cell 3
67Nejc Rutar (Slo) Unior Tools Team14Row 66 - Cell 3
68Ludovic May (Swi)13Row 67 - Cell 3
69Jack Reading (GBr)12Row 68 - Cell 3
70Tommy Herrmann (Ger)11Row 69 - Cell 3
71Guillaume Cauvin° (Fra) Hutchinson United Ride10Row 70 - Cell 3
72Miran Vauh (Slo)9Row 71 - Cell 3
73Lutz Weber (Swi)8Row 72 - Cell 3
74Tiaan Odendaal° (RSA)7Row 73 - Cell 3
75Jonathan Jones° (GBr)6Row 74 - Cell 3
76Mark Scott (GBr)5Row 75 - Cell 3
77Kevin Aiello (USA)4Row 76 - Cell 3
78Dan Sheridan° (Irl)3Row 77 - Cell 3
79Kristoffer Haugland (Nor)2Row 78 - Cell 3
80Markus Pekoll (Aut) MS Mondraker Team1Row 79 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
World Cup team standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Hutchinson United Ride87pts
2Santa Cruz Syndicate66Row 1 - Cell 3
3Trek World Racing66Row 2 - Cell 3
4MS Mondraker Team48Row 3 - Cell 3
5Devinci Global Racing47Row 4 - Cell 3
6GT Factory Racing43Row 5 - Cell 3
7Monster Energy-Specialized43Row 6 - Cell 3
8Madison Saracen Downhill Team35Row 7 - Cell 3
9Team Norco International33Row 8 - Cell 3
10Scott1131Row 9 - Cell 3
11Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team26Row 10 - Cell 3
12CG Racing Brigade26Row 11 - Cell 3
13Giant Factory Off-Road Team24Row 12 - Cell 3
14SC-Intense22Row 13 - Cell 3
15Commencal / Riding Addiction20Row 14 - Cell 3
16Topcycle By Trek18Row 15 - Cell 3
17Alpine Commencal Austria14Row 16 - Cell 3
18Labyrinth Shimano Racing Team9Row 17 - Cell 3
19Team Lac Blanc / Solid / Batibois Alsace6Row 18 - Cell 3
20Lapierre International5Row 19 - Cell 3
21Team Are Bikepark By W-Racing3Row 20 - Cell 3
22Ghost Factory Racing Team2Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kona1Row 22 - Cell 3

 

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1