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MTBUSAJune 20, 2004
NORBA Series Downhill Round 3
Mount Snow, Vermont, USA

Minnaar Takes NORBA Series Lead After Yet Another Victory

Greg Minnaar continued his winning streak when he won Round 3 of the NORBA Series in Mount Snow this weekend, after qualifying 10th. The win is enough to give Minnaar the lead in the NORBA Series at the halfway point. His team-mate Cyrille Kurtz qualified well but crashed twice in the final.

Greg Minnaar

Greg Minnaar

Training for both riders this week was in mainly muddy and damp conditions due to the heavy rain that the venue experienced in the lead up to race week and also some heavy evening showers that occurred during race week. A tough rock-garden section of the course had to be removed after the first day of training as conditions made it too difficult and dangerous. A new section was added, and this brought the course length to just less than 1.5 miles. Generally however it was a high-speed course and there were a great number of punctures for many riders, but the Team G Cross Honda riders managed to avoid puncturing all week.

For the morning qualifying race, it was decided that Greg would ride a solid race, but not a top speed run, as it was more important this week to focus on the afternoon final. Unfortunately for Greg a small mistake in the lower woods section, caught on videotape by the Honda engineers, cost him 10 seconds as he went off course and had to remount his Honda RN01 and continue to the line. He ultimately finished in 10th place. Cyrille’s qualifying run was steady, with a few small errors, but he was happy to be close to the top 10, finishing 11th.

Greg Minnaar

Greg Minnaar

In the final it was clear that course was getting faster as the wind, and the sun, was drying out many sections of the course. The women’s final saw times come down by 15 seconds, so it was possible that for the first time during the weekend times could go under 4 minutes in the men’s race. First to get close was American Shaums March with 4m 05secs, so it became clear that Greg would need to go under 4 minutes to win. Starting just one rider before Greg was Cyrille, and shortly after the start he came to a section of the course that had changed dramatically with the drying, and with the number of riders who had been down the course since qualifying, and it was here that Cyrille went off course losing a lot of time. Later on during his run, his front and back wheels got caught in two different holes, causing his pedal to hit the ground and Cyrille came off his bike at speed. In the end Cyrille finished his run in 50th place, and crossed the line just before Greg arrived to record a time of 3m 56.7secs. Greg went straight to the hot seat and had to wait for another 9 riders to come down before knowing he’d won his second ever NORBA race.

Cyrille Kurtz

Greg Minnaar & Cyrille Kurtz

Greg Minnaar (Winner)
“I was quite nervous going into the final today. This is a tough course and it was getting drier by the minute so it was hard to judge how the ride certain sections. I was coming into sections and unable to see the ruts until I was on them. But the bike worked great once again this week and I’m really happy to have the series lead before we go into the second phase of the season.”

Cyrille Kurtz (50th-place finisher)
“I’m pretty disappointed to have crashed today. I really wanted to do well for the sponsors, who were here this week, but it was just two crazy incidents where the course had changed so much from when I last saw it in the morning, and I was less lucky than some of the other riders. Now I will focus on the 2 World Cup races in Canada starting next week, and I hope the luck goes my way there.”

Team Director Martin Whiteley
“Our main objective this week was to get Greg into the overall lead before the NORBA Series takes its break until late July. Fortunately Dustin Adams was riding really well and finished between Greg and series leader John Kirkcaldie, helping the points margin. I’m happy for Greg to have had such a positive start to the season. Unfortunately Cyrille didn’t have a great day, but it wasn’t due to mechanical problems or a lack of speed, he was just caught out by the changing course. He’s not injured, and I’m confident he’ll have some great results in the next two weeks in Canada.”

The team now leaves for Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada for Round 4 of the UCI World Cup, where Greg is currently positioned 9th in the overall series despite not attending the last two World Cup Downhill races. There are six races in total for the UCI World Cup and all count for the overall points.

NORBA Series Downhill Round 3
Mount Snow, Vermont, USA


Final Results
1 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
2 Dustin Adams (Team Giant Pearl Izumi)
3 John Kirkcaldie (Team Maxxis USA)
4 Shaums March (Norco/Red Bull)
5 Bryn Atkinson (Ironhorse/Madcatz)
6 Jared Rando (Team Giant Pearl Izumi)
7 Chris Van Dine (Team Go Ride)
8 Andrew Neethling (Team Honda Turner)
9 Shane Wode (Foes Racing/Funn)
10 Joel Panozzo (Progressive/Intense)
50 Cyrille Kurtz (Team G Cross Honda)

Greg Minnaar

Greg Minnaar


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