Minnaar puts on good show for third place

2014-04-14 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S favourite son Greg Minnaar, who has just recovered from knee surgery, nearly repeated his heroics from last year’s UCI MTB World Cup on Saturday, held in his backyard.

The world champion, back in his hometown for the first time since that win in September, could not beat speedy American Aaron Gwin and Australian Mick Hannah, despite going through the first two sections at a blistering pace.

With the crowd going crazy, Minnaar, who rode down the hill third last, could not dislodge Hannah off the hot seat after the flying Aussie, who had qualified outside of the top 20, set the fastest time of the day, before Gwin’s ride.

Minnaar, who has not spent a lot of time on a bike lately, said he was happy with the third place finish.

“I was really nervous up top,” he said. “I wasn’t super comfortable riding all the technical stuff. I haven’t had a lot of time on my bike since my surgery so I just tried to suss things out beforehand and then relax as much as I could before my run.

“I had a really good run up top and I survived, but given the condition I’m in and a lack of time on the bike, I’m really happy with my third place.”

Gwin, a former world champion, was happy to win the first leg of the UCI MTB World Cup, “I’m just happy, really stoked,” he said.

“The race was great this year. The track was good, the fans, as always, were great. I love racing here.”

Manon Carpenter was the first woman home, beating world champion Rachel Atherton by almost four seconds.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season because I was really stressed coming into this race so I am really glad I managed to pull it off,” Carpenter said.

“I was feeling good after practice yesterday and then it got really loose at the top. Bits were getting blown out so I was nervous. I didn’t want that in my run and I’m glad I got a smooth ride in.”

Luca Shaw won the junior men’s ride.

Elite men: 1. Aaron Gwin 3:59.344

2. Mick Hannah 4:01.381

3. Greg Minnaar 4:02.168

4. Loic Bruni 4:02.237

5. Troy Brosnan 4:02.675

Elite women: 1. Manon Carpenter 4:34.923

2. Rachel Atherton 4:38.831

3. Jill Kintner 4:44.041

4. Myriam Nicole 4:44.651

5. Emmeline Ragot 4:44.662

Junior Men: 1.Luca Shaw 4:15.267

2.Loris Vergier 4:17.257

3.Amaury Pierron 4:23.668

4.Aiden Varley 4:27.376

5.Benjamin Boutie 4:29.731.

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


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
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.