Minnaar may face surgery?

2013-10-12 00:00


CYCLISTS from around the country are expected in the capital city for KZN’s oldest cycle classic, the Amashova, which starts in the city centre tomorrow at 6.30 am.

The main race covers 106 km, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. The 65 km race starts in Drew Road in Cato Ridge and the 35 km event starts in Hillcrest, at Lillies Quarter in Old Main Road, at 5.30 am.

The Amashova is supported by full road closures, making it a safe event to ride while taking in the sights and embracing the support of the KZN crowds. Those still needing to register can do so today at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the mixed zone. For more information go to www.shova.co.za

• After its hugely successful inaugural edition in 2011, the second Msunduzi Road Challenge is set to take place in and around Noodsberg on October 26 and October 27. The route has been revised and it will now see participants (depending on their age and gender) complete a varying number of laps of the 40 km course, while the time trialists will take on a 19 km route through the sugar cane belt of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

The race once again provides cyclists with an opportunity to qualify for the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour final, while preparations have also been done with local social road-cycling enthusiasts in mind.

In yet another first for the Msunduzi Road Challenge, 2013 will see the first acceptance of tandems to the event, which are encouraged to take part on a social basis.

“We are trying to get as many people in the cycling community, particularly in KZN, to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity,” said race organiser Alec Lenferna.

“Whether you are a mountain biker or a road cyclist isn’t an issue. We are very keen to welcome people from all cycling disciplines to our event.”

Despite a select few having one eye on the 2014 UWCT final qualification, the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge is primarily aimed at amateur riders of all ages and abilities who are keen to take advantage of one of the very few opportunities to cycle KZN’s roads with friends and family, without the worry of vehicles around them.

The route has full road closure and entries are limited. Only pre-entries are available. Please note that the tandem option is strictly a “fun ride”. There is not going to be an official tandem category, which means that there will not be an official tandem result.

Route maps for the time trial and road race courses in Wartburg and surrounds have been uploaded to the official website, and can be found on the following link www.msunduziroadchal


The online entry deadline has been extended to October 21, but cyclists are encouraged to enter early. For general inquiries, contact Alec Lenferna at alec@realem.co.za and for event inquiries e-mail events@cyclingsa.com


After winning his third Downhill World Championship title in Pietermaritzburg recently, Greg Minnaar’s racing season has been halted. Minnaar suffered a knee injury during practice while preparing for the final round of the World Cup series in Austria last month. The injury has put an end to another highly successful season for him and his Santa Cruz Syndicate team. In what was a bit of a freak accident, Minnaar has torn the meniscus and ACL, and all indications are that surgery will be required to rectify the injury.

“I was coming to a section in practice and my back wheel slipped off a log. I tried to run it out, and I didn’t really hit the floor. I was waiting for a gap in riders to go back up to get my bike and when I leaned forward to cross the track my knee flipped backwards,” he said.

He is currently talking to his South African doctor, who after studying the MRI, will decide on what surgery would be required and if there are other options available.

Minnaar has come a long way since his first ride with the Animal Orange Team in 2000. He has amassed a collection of downhill titles that must rate him as one of the best in the world. Some of his more important wins include the UCI Downhill World Championship three times (2003, 2012 and 2013). He has finished second three times (2004, 2006 and 2009) and taken the bronze three times (2001, 2005 and 2010). He has also been crowned Downhill World Cup champion three times (2001, 2005 and 2008) for winning the Mountain Bike World Cup points series. Minnaar will take some much-needed rest before embarking on his 14th season of professional racing.

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