Minnaar does the math


With the Nissan UCI World Cup finals just 8 days away, the current series leader Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) of South Africa, is keen to get on track and start the race week.

The leader’s jersey has gone back and forth between himself and the 2007 World Cup Champion Sam Hill (Monster Energy) all season, but after his third win in Canberra last weekend, Minnaar has taken a 116 point advantage going into the finals.

Greg: “I would of liked more points, but I can’t be ungrateful with the 116 lead I have. I know Sam is going to be strong in Schladming, his track record proves it. All I can do is go out and give it my all.”

Top 5 will sew it up for Minnaar, and with previous results in Schladming all being top 5, the odds are in his favour, but in downhill racing at this level, you can’t afford to take it easy.

Greg: “My results there have come from pushing it, so it will be business as usual for me next week. I’m not going to be thinking about the point calculations until after I cross the line in the final. It’s great for the fans and media that it’s so close, even with Gee in 3rd, but it’s pretty tough on us!”

Minnaar’s most recent win was of course in Canberra, the track to be used for the World Championships in 2009. With a win of more than 4.5secs over his nearest rival, teammate Nathan Rennie (AUS), he’s the obvious lead out favourite for next year.

Greg: “You know they don’t really have much of a mountain to work with, but they’ve been really creative and made a DH course out of not much. There is about 30-45 seconds of flat pedaling to the finish line which is not much fun riding, especially with the rain we had, but the track up to that point is a load of fun.”

This season has been a mini-comeback for the 26 year old. After shoulder injuries plagued his 2007 season, and a freak cut tire/puncture in Brazil ended his 2006 World Cup series chase, he’s back where he belongs, and happy with his new ride and sponsors.

Greg: “I’ll be aiming to win of course in Schladming, but not just for me, for those that have really helped me this season. I have a great team and some really loyal sponsors, it means a lot”.

He’ll also be aiming to keep up his World Cup podium record. He’s the only rider to finish top 5 all DH World Cups this year, as well as Worlds, and so far has had 35 World Cup podiums since he started racing professionally in 2000. Consistency is king in World Cup racing.

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