Minnaar seeks an eighth win at mountain biking’s iconic Fort William

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Greg Minnaar performs at the UCI World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, for one of his seven wins. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
Greg Minnaar performs at the UCI World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, for one of his seven wins. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Fort William has a mythical quality in mountain biking folklore. It is the longest track in UCI downhill racing and the World Cup’s best spectated.

On the slopes of Anoach Mor, riders speed through impossibly steep rock sections, with thousands of spectators lining the course.

Testament to the committed following that downhill mountain biking enjoys in the United Kingdom, Fort William is a favourite venue for UCI World Cup riders. And nobody rides it with more skill and success than KZN’s Greg Minnaar.

UCI World Cup
Scottish weather is unpredictable. But Minnaar deals with the mud – expertly. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Dominating downhill MTB's most iconic venue 

The current World Champion has no fewer than seven wins at Ford William. His performances at the demanding Scottish track, witnessed by capacity crowds, has done much to enshrine the Minnaar legend in downhill mountain biking.

After a testing two-year event absence, the world’s best downhill mountain bikers return to Fort William this weekend.

Minnaar might be in rainbow stripes, but the last few months have not seen the World Champion in peak form. During March, he failed to impress at the Lourdes UCI World Cup event, in France.

UCI World Cup
Fort William has a population of only 10 000. But 30 000 visitors attend the race. (Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)

Fort William could see a return to form 

As the greatest downhill mountain biker of all time, Minnaar’s career stats are comprehensive. Scrutinise the data, and it’s clear that Minnaar often starts a season indifferently before powering into form and the schedule progresses.

With seven Fort William wins and a style ideally suited to the 2.8km track, with its mix of technical rock gardens and high-speed corners, Minnaar could make it victory number eight on Sunday. Which should send 30 000 mountain bike fans attending Fort William, into raptures.

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