MTB > NORBA Round 02: Idaho > Race Results
MTBU.S.A.July 17, 2005
NORBA Series Downhill Round 2005 Round 02: Idaho, U.S.A.

Minnaar Takes The Lead In the NORBA Series

2005 World Cup Champion Greg Minnaar (RSA) of Team G-Cross Honda has taken the Men's Downhill series lead after finishing 2nd today at round 2 of the NORBA Series in the USA. This week the NORBA schedule visited Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho, and its notoriously long, rocky and usually dusty four and half minute course. Despite only winning once before on this course, Greg was keen to finish this leg the team's travel with a win, but it wasn't to be.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg's teammate Matti Lehikoinen (FIN) re-injured his shoulder injury from Austria during training, but not through having an accident. The course features a large drop off and Matti's shoulder just wasn't strong enough yet to handle the impact. On his first attempt Matti felt a lot of pain in the shoulder, more than he felt for some time, and realized there was no way he could make the drop off. Matti was therefore unable to participate in this weekend's event.

Training went well for Greg except for the last session this morning, when he crashed on course after it had become slippery following some evening rain. The rain made the powdery course slick and not its usually dusty self. This crash in training left Greg with a badly bruised calf and made him a little wary for the qualifier. For the qualifying race, Greg chose to ride conservatively and take care of the calf muscle. The run had him in 2nd place knowing that the course still had a good 8 to 10 seconds in it. Danger man Jared Graves (AUS) of Team Yeti, who won the first round of the NORBA series, and pushed Greg to the limit in Angel Fire Resort for last weekend's World Cup, came in with a broken derailleur and therefore didn't post a time for the team to assess, and he also lost valuable points. Fastest qualifier was American Chris Van Dine.

In the final Greg was having a super fast run, with a strong top section and getting all of his lines in the woods as clean as possible. All was on target until the last corner in the last woods section when his front tire slipped on a tree root, and then grabbed traction suddenly throwing Greg over the handlebars. After collecting his bike and remounting, all that was left to do was to get to the line. His time was just 1/10th slower than eventual race winner, compatriot Andrew Neethling of Turner Honda, (who was fastest qualifier at Round 1, but suffered a mechanical in the final). The result was enough for Greg to take the Series lead by just 2 points.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


#1 Greg Minnaar (2nd Place)
"After winning here last year I really wanted to end this stint of racing on a high note before heading back to South Africa for my mid season break. I was having an awesome run, but I guess the course changed from the qualifiers as it was still drying out and the tree root caught me out. That's racing really, and full credit to Andrew, it's great to see another South African right up there."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"Greg was unlucky today. I know how much he wanted to win in Idaho and his race run was going really well until he slipped on the tree root. That's the nature of our sport when you're on the limit and this time the luck went against us. Both riders now get a well earned break before the next series of races, which we are looking forward to in mid August."


NORBA Series Downhill Round 2005
Round 02: Idaho


line
1 Andrew Neethling (Turner Honda)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Jared Graves (Team Yeti)
4 Joel Panozzo (WTB/Fox Shox/Intense)
5 Warren Cody (Haro Bicycles)
6 Jared Rando (Team Giant/Michelin)
7 Mick Hannah (Haro Bicycles)
8 Chris Van Dine (Team Go Ride)
9 Justin Havukainen (Madcatz Iron Horse)
10 Curtis Keene (WTB/Fox Shox)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

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