Herculean mountain biker Greg Minnaar flew the flag high for the nation when he snagged top honours, winning the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Leogang, Austria, on Sunday afternoon.
At only 30, the Pietermaritzburg resident can already be described as the Michael Jordan of mountain biking, having won more World Cup podium positions than any other rider. Heading into this race, Minnaar would have received adequate preparation as there are similarities between the Cascades downhill course in Pietermaritzburg and the Leogang course. Minnaar had some excellent momentum going into this event, as he recently won the European Downhill Cup in May. The Leogang course proved to be indeed challenging as a few riders succumbed to gravity, much to their peril.
The experienced mountain biker impressed on the day and even handled the technical portions of the course easily. Upon victory Minnaar mentioned that he was very nervous when he was in his hotel room but he calmed down when he got to the track. He could not believe that he crossed the finish line first. This is in fact the second time he has achieved such a feat in his illustrious career, the first being in 2003 in Lugano, Switzerland. 2013 is another big year for Minnaar as he will defend his title in Pietermaritzburg, fortunately he will have the hometown support behind him.