WATCH | Greg Minnaar back on his downhill bike

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Red gloves, clearly make you faster, as Greg Minnaar proves in his comeback run. (Photo: YouTube)
Red gloves, clearly make you faster, as Greg Minnaar proves in his comeback run. (Photo: YouTube)
  • The South African downhill legend has been struggling to get his training settled, after getting Covid
  • In this video, he returns to big bike gravity mountain bike racing, on one of the world's most difficult tracks
  • As you can see for yourself, the great Minnaar, is not getting any slower, in his 40th year

The most exciting form of mountain bike racing has not had an easy year.

For downhill racers, things started badly as their most iconic event, at Fort William (Scotland), was cancelled due to pandemic issues. This would have been the 20th running of Fort William.

The greatest downhill racer of all time, South Africa’s Greg Minnaar, is the undisputed king of Fort William. He has won seven times at the Scottish mountain biking venue, with its huge boulders.

For Minnaar, most of this year has been consumed with recovering from Covid. The Pietermaritzburg mountain bike racer, with more than two decades of elite-level competition experience, adjusted his training programme to cope with lingering Covid recovery issues.

With most of his rivals being a decade or more younger, downhill mountain bike fans were wondering if Minnaar (who turns 40 this year), would have any impact this season, after his brush with  Covid.

Minnaar making it look easy

To illustrate how well he has recovered from Covid, Minnaar posted a video of his practice run, in Andorra, this week. On the Pal Arinsal trail, which is part of Vallnord’s bike park, Minnaar delivered a tremendous turn of speed.

On his new Santa Cruz V10 downhill bike, there is doubt that Minnaar has retained all his considerable speed and skill. The Pal Arinsal trail is treacherously steep and technical, making it deeply valued as a true test of rider ability.

Minnaar flies down the trail and even finds time to adjust his brake lever during the run, showing incredibly coolness under pressure.

With the UCI World Cup series to start in June, at Leogang (Austria), there is no question that the South African presence will be significant. Thanks to a resurgent Greg Minnaar.

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