MTB > UCI 2005 Round 05: Brazil > Race Results
MTBBrazilJuly 2, 2005
UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup 2005 Round 05: Brazil

Greg Minnaar Wins In Brazil

Team G Cross Honda rider Greg Minnaar (RSA) took his second World Cup victory of the 2005 season, and extended his overall series lead to nearly 400 points after a thrilling round 5 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup took place today in Camboriu Beach, here in southern Brazil. In front of a highly passionate crowd of more than 12,000 South Americans, Minnaar took the win from local hero Markolf Berchtold of Brazil (Maxxis-MSC), to become the first man this season to have two World Cup wins under his belt.

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

Greg's team mate, Matti Lehikoinen (FIN), still recovering from his shoulder injury from 3 weeks ago, had a solid ride to finish 13th just 0.7 seconds from the top 10.

The course, which was used one week earlier for a Brazilian National Series event, was set in a forest directly adjacent to the beach. In general the technical content was not as high as other courses, and line options were not that plentiful. It required strength and smoothness over some of the rocky and rooted sections, and with times very close together, there wasn't any room for error.

Timed training took place yesterday but unfortunately due to technical reasons, the timing only functioned in the later stages of the session. This meant that Matti's run was not recorded, and the only time recorded for Greg was one where another rider on course blocked him, but the time was still good enough for 3rd fastest behind Mickael Pascal and Markold Berchtold.

In the semi final Greg's run was solid with no errors and pretty much at full race speed. Crossing the line first he set the pace at 2 min 26.23s with the rest of the riders having their work cut out to beat it. No one managed to and this scored Greg his first 50 points for the weekend. Matti was unlucky to puncture his rear tyre high up on the course and finished with a time of 2m 43.34secs, some 17 seconds off the pace. It was enough however for 28th place and a chance to run in the final.

With Greg once again the last rider to leave from the top, it was up to the other lead riders to set the time to beat. South African Andrew Neethling was the first to sit in the hot seat with a strong time, setting 2 min 30.39s. He was then beaten by Cedric Gracia (AND) with 2 min 28.54s, and soon after Mickael Pascal (FRA) recorded a 2min 27.11s. But the biggest roar from the crowd was yet to come when Markolf Berchtold (BRA), a resident of the local state of Santa Catarina and a veritable downhill superstar in Brazil, crossed the line to beat Pascal in a time of 2min 26.96s and found himself sitting in the hot seat for a further nerve wracking 8 minutes. Each rider that followed failed to beat the Brazilian's time until Greg arrived at the interval with a fastest split by 0.8 seconds, and then going on to take the win in 2min 25.21s, increasing the winning margin in the lower half of the course.

The win in both the semi final and final gave Greg a maximum 250 points for the weekend, extending his lead in the World Cup to 398 points.

Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)

Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)

#9 Greg Minnaar (1st Place)
"That was a great feeling to win out there today. I really raced the course to my maximum, getting every pedal stroke in that I could, carrying as much speed as I could through the transitions, while not taking stupid risks. One side of you wants to be conservative and look after the overall series lead, and the other half just wants to race. I found a nice balance today. The fans were super amazing and I'm also thrilled for my ex-Global Racing team mate, Markolf, to have what we all dream of, a brilliant result in front of a home crowd. Once again, the bike and equipment were perfect and my mechanic Mike did an awesome job."

#11 Matti Lehikoinen (13th Place)
"It's a little disappointed because I know I was good enough for another top ten today, but I messed up the lower section, not carrying enough speed onto the jumps and I was just in the wrong gear and everything. It's not a great course for me. I like them longer, steeper and more technical. I did a little rain dance last night but I guess it didn't work this time! Maybe next week."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"Greg's riding today was flawless. He knew exactly what he had to do and went about it in a no fuss way that I think many younger riders could learn from. The victory was well deserved. Matti is still battling a little bit with a lack of complete mobility and pulling strength with his left shoulder, and this will take time to be back to full race condition, so we must be happy with his progress. Overall this was an excellent competition and venue for the Mountain Bike World Cup's first ever visit to South America."

UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup 2005
Round 05: Brazil


1 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
2 Markolf Berchtold (Maxxis-MSC)
3 Mickael Pascal (Maxxis-MSC)
4 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
5 Cedric Gracia (Siemens Cannondale)
6 Gee Atherton (Animal Giant)
7 David Vazquez (Maxxis-MSC)
8 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
9 Andrew Neethling (Turner Honda)
10 Antonio Leiva (Chile)
13 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)

Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

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· MTB - UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup
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