Minnaar delights PMB fans with another win

2013-09-02 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S Greg Minnaar is again the world downhill champion.

Pietermaritzburgers came out in their numbers to see local hero Minnaar at the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, and they were not disappointed.

Minnaar was the third last out of 68 riders to take to the track, and the gathered crowds, who had been desperate to get a glimpse of their hero, cheered when he began his race down the hill.

Minnaar felt the pressure, but posted the fastest time, despite suffering a flat tyre just after the Moneymaker jump.

With Minnaar sitting in the hot seat, and with world number one, Britain’s Gee Atherton on the track, the fans looked up at the screen in anticipation.

They started to cheer again when Atherton was three seconds off the pace at the second split, and rushed to Minnaar after the Brit had just finished his run, placing seventh.

“I felt a lot of pressure,” Minnaar told The Witness when asked what went through his mind when he saw the crowd.

“I didn’t want to disappoint everyone. I didn’t want to let them down. This whole week, my Twitter, Facebook and phone have just been going crazy,” he said.

For the entire week of the world championships, Minnaar did not go to Cascades MTB Park to avoid being told by his enthusiastic fans that the race was in the bag.

“To beat these guys is not easy. It’s a tough job,” he said about his competitors.

Australia’s Mick Hannah, who was in the hot seat when Minnaar crossed the line, won silver, while Jared Graves, also from Down Under, won the bronze medal.

Winning was more of a relief for him, Minnaar said, and it hadn’t yet sunk in that he had defended the title he won in Austria last year.

On the top of his helmet, Minnaar had an image of former president Nelson Mandela and said his race was in his honour.

“When I was planning my helmet, I thought about him. He’s been having a hard time lately and he is someone that means a lot to everyone in South Africa. I was just honouring him by it,” he said.

He also dedicated his win to the late Burry Stander and said: “This is for Burry”.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.