Another win for Minnaar

2011-08-13 00:00

GREG Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) notched up another win at the sixth round of the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup presented by Shimano in La Bresse, France, recently.

Minnaar had qualified in a relatively slow fifth place, but was on fire in his final run.

The South African was near flawless, avoiding the slide-outs that cost others time, while still managing to throw in pedal strokes where others were coasting. He came flying across the line to set the first sub-2:10 time of the day.

Minnaar said, “After I crashed at Mont-Sainte-Anne, I wasn’t carrying a lot of confidence through Windham.

“So I went to Santa Cruz [California] and spent three weeks getting ready for this last trip.

“I felt a bit discouraged being beaten … by so much in the ‘qualies’, so after practice this morning I went back to my room and just hung out by myself and just really thought about the run that I needed to put together if I was to have any chance to win this race.

“I ran into a lot of mud spray at the top, and I was being somewhat cautious, so I didn’t think it was enough to win, but I kept it smooth, and I guess that was enough to win.

“It’s awesome to do that. It was just a great weekend, with a great crowd and a great atmosphere.”

Pietermaritzburg-based Tim Bentley pushed harder in the finals to finish 46th.

Bentley said, “I laid off the brakes a lot more in the final run, pushed it harder and pedalled more at the top.”

He enjoyed the track, although it was quite short, and found it less physical than some of the other courses he has raced abroad this season.

“I’m feeling good and looking forward to the last World Cup and World Champs as the tracks are very technical and steep — the kind of tracks I really enjoy. Hopefully I can put some good results together,” he added.

Bentley, with countrymen and Elite riders Johann Potgieter, Andrew Neethling and Minnaar, now prepares for the World Championships in Champery, Switzerland, but not before taking part in the seventh and final World Cup in Val de Sole, Italy.

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