Minnaar finishes Africa’s toughest

2008-12-12 00:00

Only 89 of the 287 riders who participated in what has been described as the toughest off-road motorcycle race in Africa managed to finish, and Pietermaritzburg’s Greg Minnaar was one of them — coming in at 19th place.

“I am absolutely exhausted, but ecstatic about [finishing],” he said on completion of the main race. “This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Finishing it is just mind-blowing — what a great feeling of accomplishment.”

The three-day event, which took place recently in Lesotho, saw some of the world’s top riders go head to head in the gruelling challenge, one that this adrenalin junkie could not let pass by.

Three races were held consecutively — a sprint through the streets of Maseru on day one, followed by a 98-km time trial, and the main event the next day, a 200-km race through some of the country’s toughest terrain.

“I never thought that a motorbike could even go up some of the things that the organisers made us ride, let alone race up there!”

Minnaar, who is currently the World Downhill Mountain Bike Champ, took 19th place in the overall competition and fifth in the 200 cc motorcycle class. He completed the race in just over 21 hours.

After the race, the exhausted Minnaar expressed his gratitude for all the backing he received from his sponsors and congratulated every competitor that finished the race. “There is no doubt even taking up the challenge of racing the Roof requires commitment and fortitude,” he said.

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