MTB > UCI 2005 Round 08: Great Britain > Race Results
MTBGreat BritainSeptember 11, 2005
UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup 2005 Round 08: Great Britain

Greg Minnaar 2nd in World Cup Finals

This weekend saw the final chapter of the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup unfold in the highlands of Scotland, at the classic race venue of Ben Nevis, near Fort William. Three times voted the best race of the year, Fort William never disappoints with huge enthusiastic crowds and dramatic racing. This weekend saw Greg Minnaar (RSA) stand twice on the podium, and his teammate Matti Lehikoinen (FIN) scoring a career best result to come within 1 second of making his first ever podium in World Cup racing.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg’s first podium came in the 4X yesterday where on the back of his World Championships form, where he qualified 14th yet made the final and finished 4th, Greg once again qualified 14th then had great starts and made some excellent passes to make it to the semi finals, and then on to the consolation final, which he won, to take 5th place for the night.

In the downhill, the training sessions were relatively uneventful. The hardest part for the riders and mechanics was the bike set up as the course has three very distinctive sections, starting with the high speed open rough top section, followed by the technical wooded sections, then the relatively flatter lower section with jumps. Matti scored a 6th fastest time in official training with a 4 min 23 s, and Greg, who had recorded a 4 min 23 s a little earlier, recorded a slower time in official training due to being held up on the course.

In the semi final, Matti was keen to chase points, after a season affected by injury, and sitting in 13th overall, he wanted to move higher with some solid points. His strong and steady run had him finish in 11th place earning him 10 points.

Greg came out wearing his special chrome and black Alpinestars race kit and custom OGK helmet, on his matching RN01 bike with special Mavic Dee Max Black rims, and other color coordinated parts, all to commemorate his World Cup title, and he only used this kit for Fort William’s semi and final. He rode the top section of the course really strongly then eased off in the lower section of the course. Points were not the main concern as winning the final was the main focus.

In the final Matti stormed down the hill to smash the previous best time and to take his place in the leader’s hot seat with a time even he was surprised to see, 4 min 17.41 s, which was truly competitive for a podium place. He then had to sit and wait for another 20 minutes as the world’s best 10 riders came down the hill aiming to beat his time. Chris Kovarik (AUS), winner on this course in 2002, was the rider to take Matti from the lead. Soon after that, Greg smashed the interval time set by Kovarik and continued to maintain the gap all the way to the finish, and ultimately beat Kovarik by 2 seconds. Greg sat in the hot seat for a further 10 minutes with a time stronger than all of his main rivals, and then partisan crowd then turned their heads to the mountain to see if Steve Peat could finally win his home World Cup. The split time was only 0.4 seconds up on Greg, but by the finish, he’d powered to a 2 second win, and the crowd went wild.



Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


#9 Greg Minnaar (2nd Place)
"To see Steve win this event finally, in front of his home crowd, after several years trying, well that was pretty awesome. He’s one of my best mates on the circuit and I know how much that meant to him. I’m happy to have another top 4 result and I‘m happy for the team who’ve worked so hard all year. Matti’s 6th today was also a great ride. All in all it was a great way to finish off the World Cup season."

#11 Matti Lehikoinen (6th Place)
"I hit so much wind at the top of the course I was really surprised by my time. I thought I’d lost so much time up top but I must have really made it up lower down. When I came into the finish area the crowd was cheering so loud I nearly went deaf, so I knew I had a good run going. I would have loved to have been on the podium, but this is my best result ever, and it’s also the highest place ever for a Finnish man, so that’s cool too."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"I’m very happy with today’s results. Matti showed great determination today with his result when we know how much difficulty he is having with his left arm. Greg showed his true professionalism, not just in his appearance and the special kit but also in his gracious defeat to a deserved race winner like Steve Peat. Overall it has been a great season with Greg never out of the top 4, and Matti in the top 10 several times. We can announce that Team G Cross Honda, the number 2 team in 2005 World Cup, will be back in 2006. We’ll have more details later."



World Supersport Championships 2005
Round 08: Great Britain


line

1 Steve Peat (Team Orange)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
4 Chris Kovarik (Intense Bicycles)
5 Gee Atherton (Animal Giant)
6 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
7 Sam Hill (Iron Horse Mad Catz)
8 Cedric Gracia (Siemens Cannondale)
9 David Vazquez (Maxxis-MSC)
10 Markolf Berchtold (Maxxis-MSC)



Greg Minnaar

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