Greg Minnaar wins his own MTB race in KZN

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Greg Minnaar flying on his race run. Winning, even with an action camera mount around his waist. (Phot: Boogs Photography)
Greg Minnaar flying on his race run. Winning, even with an action camera mount around his waist. (Phot: Boogs Photography)

South Africa’s most iconic and successful mountain biker is building form ahead of his first international race in France.

Greg Minnaar is enjoying his preparations for the UCI World Cup season, anticipating new team dynamics and a more normalized professional mountain bike schedule. The UCI downhill racing season is scheduled to start in the last week of March.

Despite the heavy summer rainfall in KZN, Greg has kept his riding skills sharp and created a new racing series. The Pietermaritzburg local launched a new category for rookie riders, who have been on mountain bikes for less than a year.

mountain bike
Kids taking advice from the greatest mountain biker of all time. (Photo: Boogs Photography)

Rookies learning to love downhhill riding

Although the first round of Greg’s new enduro mountain bike series was a very muddy affair, the second event was met with terrific weather.

Greg opted to use the Cascades mountain bike park again, with its convenience enabling easier scheduling for all riders. Especially the many rookie kids, who rely on parents to shuttle them to the riding venue.

Round two of the Greg Minnaar series saw 40 pros (experienced mountain bikers) and 90 rookies. Those newbie rider numbers are impressive and heartening for the enduro and trail riding scene in KZN.

mountain bike
Georgia Floros won the girl’s nipper division. Her dad built the Tokyo Olympic mountain bike track. (Phot: Boogs Photography)

Nobody is going to beat the old guy

A dry and fast Cascades track saw Greg show exactly how ready he is for the international downhill racing season - despite being 40. The Santa Cruz Syndicate team leader might be in his 24th season as a pro mountain biker, but even the best local enduro riders can’t get close to his times.

Greg was the only rider to go below eight minutes on the day, finishing first in 07:48. Experienced enduro racer, Sharjah Johsson finished second with a time of 08:00.

The fastest rookie was Mackinley Daly, with a race run of 08:37. As with the first round event, the theme of these Greg Minnaar races is to build confidence and make rookie mountain bikers feel part of the community.

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