MTB > NORBA Round 01: Utah > Race Results
MTBU.S.A.June 19, 2005
NORBA Series Downhill Round 2005 Round 01: Utah, U.S.A.

Minnaar Finishes 2nd in NORBA Opening Round

Greg Minnaar finished 2nd today at the opening round of the NORBA Series in the USA, hosted at Deer Valley, Utah, a venue at an altitude of around 2,500m. This was Greg's first visit to the race venue since 1999, and the course was altogether new but with many features reminiscent of US downhill racing in the late 90's. Teammate Matti Lehikoinen, at his first ever NORBA race, was forced to watch from the sidelines as he continues to recover from his shoulder injury sustained during World Cup racing in Austria last week.

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

Training went well for Greg, without incident, and at two and half minutes the course was not too difficult to learn. The course was quite open at the top before heading into a technical rocky section, which Greg described as fun. The course then ended up in a series of traverses across the mountainside and switchbacks, bringing it to the finish.

In the qualifier Greg rode a steady race, pushing to 80% of his physical exertion, and 100% of the technical limit. Unfortunately he ran wide on a corner after slipping in loose gravel, and cost himself a little bit of time. Nevertheless he finished up 3rd and on the same second as the two riders in front, Andrew Neethling (RSA) and Jared Graves (AUS).

In the final Greg stepped up the pace further but was disappointed with his final time, which was 2 seconds short of his goal. He mistimed a few corners that lead onto long traverse sections, and this is where he feels he lost some valuable time. Second fastest qualifier and winner of the Sea Otter Classic downhill earlier in the year, Jared Graves beat Greg by just 0.4sec to take the win. Unlucky Andrew Neethling who qualified fastest suffered a broken derailleur in the final.

#1 Greg Minnaar (2nd Place)
"I wasn't comfortable today. In some ways I just didn't feel aggressive enough and I also missed a few key corners that should have carried speed onto some important straight sections. The altitude wasn't too much of a worry, it was more the way I rode the final. I’m happy to have a podium but the top step is what I'm here for. Well done to Jared, he rode really well this weekend."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"Due to date clashes we're unfortunately not able to do the whole NORBA series this year as the World Cup is our main focus, so today was all about having the best possible result in Deer Valley. We came very close and I know Greg has the chance to go one better in Idaho and Colorado later in year. For Matti it was a good recovery week and so far all the signs are good for a return to racing next week."

The team now leaves for Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada for Round 4 of the UCI World Cup, where Greg is currently the overall series leader.

NORBA Series Downhill Round 2005
Round 01: Utah

1 Jared Graves (Yeti)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Chris Kovarik (Intense Bicycles)
4 Joel Panozzo (WTB/Fox Shox/Intense)
5 Jared Rando (Team Giant/Michelin)
6 John Kirkcaldie (Team Maxxis)
7 Mick Hannah (Haro Bicycles)
8 Chris Van Dine (Team Go Ride)
9 Geritt Beytagh (Team Morewood)
10 Curtis Keene (WTB/Fox Shox)

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

Related Links

· MTB NORBA Series Downhill Round 2005
· U.S.A.

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