- With one round left in the season, Greg Minnaar is looking strong
- Unseasonably warm and dusty European conditions are proving very much to his liking
- The final event also happens to be at one of his favourite venues
Slovenia has been good to the greatest downhill racer of all time.
Pietermaritzburg's Greg Minnaar has won before in the steep Alpine terrain of Maribor, back in 2010.
During this weekend's penultimate round of the UCI downhill mountain biking World Cup, he finished fourth.
The Slovenian Alpine microclimate can be wildly unpredictable. There have been years where Maribor's downhill mountain biking track, resembles something between a muddy landslide and flood.
It was dry and dusty on Sunday – unfamiliar conditions to European riders but very familiar to a South African.
Greg looking to end the year strong
Dusty corners, with a tricky distribution of fine powder, and steep terrain, make for uncompromising terrain. Many of the world's best professional mountain bike racers fell victim to the Maribor track's powdery curves and roots.
In the end, Minnaar's former teammate, Frenchman Loris Vergier, was victorious. With his fourth-place result, from a field of 59 finishers, Minnaar again proved his ageless class.
Overall, the result also leaves him in a solid third place as the UCI downhill World Cup prepares for its final round in Switzerland.
During the first weekend of September, Lenzerheide will provide another iconic and dramatic backdrop for the fastest downhill mountain bikers.
The Swiss venue is also a place where Minnaar has won before, in 2017 and 2015. He has a preference for the Lenzerheide track and this could see the 39-year old mountain biking phenom riding with great confidence at the season’s final World Cup event.