MTB > 2006 UCI Round 03: Germany > Race Results
MTBGermanyJune 4, 2006
2006 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup Round 03: Germany

Minnaar Back In The Hunt For World Cup Title

Greg Minnaar of Team G Cross Honda finished in 2nd place at Round 3 of the UCI World Cup Downhill Series in Willingen, Germany, after qualifying 2nd in the Semi Final. The points from today were enough to catapult him from 7th to 2nd in the overall standings. Team mate Matti Lehikoinen also had another strong weekend finishing 9th, and moving up to 11th overall.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


The course in Willingen is a short two minutes with a mix of large jumps and drop offs at the top and with open fast corners mid way, a flat section at the bottom. There is little room for error and the times are always super close. In timed training runs the course was running slow at 2m 07secs after a lot of rain during the week, but it steadily got faster.

The semi final tactic was to once again gain as many points as possible in the come back from Round 1's point loss. Greg had a near flawless run and was happy to cross the line with a time that would stand for second by the time the race was over, and earn a valuable 40 World Cup points. Series leader Sam Hill finished 10th and lost nearly 30 points to Greg. Matti finished a strong 9th to also take some World Cup points.

In the final the pressure was on, as both riders had a heavy dose of nerves heading up on the slow Willingen chairlift. Temperatures were still hanging around 10 degrees Celsius, but with the wind chill factor, it felt close to freezing. Both riders had extended warm ups before their run in a bid to hit the 2 minute track fully ready. Matti had an excellent first section, and in fact, was third fastest for the day by the interval, faster than Greg, but a small mistake on the bottom cost him a second, and the podium. Greg made small mistake early in the race and pushed hard in the bottom half. His interval time was 4th fastest and most thought he would not take the lead, but a very impressive bottom half of the course saw Greg move into 1st place, with only the legend, Steve Peat, to come. Steve's interval flashed up on the scoreboard and it was clearly the fastest and he went on the take a strong win, his 15th World Cup race, and only one less than all time race winner, Nico Vouilloz.





Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


#1 Greg Minnaar (3rd Place)
"It would have been great to follow up my win here last year with another win, but I'm much more stoked to be 2nd overall after having such a rough start to the season. With three races to go, there's a good chance to bridge the gap to Steve, so I'm focusing on that right now. I've got two weeks off from World Cup racing then it's back to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Round 4, for that classic long course. We're only half way through the season and there's all to play for. I'm looking forward to it."

#11 Matti Lehikoinen (9th Place)
"I'm really happy to score another top ten. I made a small mistake in the bottom half of the course where I ran wide on a corner, and in a tight race like this, it can cost you a few places. Training went really well and Greg and I had some good lines which helped us today for sure. I'm happy to be moving up more in the rankings and I'm getting closer to my first podium!"

Team Director Martin Whiteley

"A very satisfying weekend of racing with Greg moving into 2nd overall and our team ranking becoming even stronger. Our focus is now completely on getting Greg closer to Steve Peat, and having Matti break into the top 10 overall by the next race. All of the mechanics, and our technicians from Showa, Formula and Alpinestars did a great job supporting the riders this weekend."

2006 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup Round 03: Germany

line
Semi Final Results:
1 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
4 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
5 Chris Kovarik (MS Intense Factory Racing)
9 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
 
Final Results:
1 Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
2 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
3 Gee Atherton (Team Animal/Giant)
4 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
5 Chris Kovarik (MS Intense Factory Racing)
6 Cedric Gracia (Team Commencal)
7 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
8 Filip Polc (Gravity Group)
9 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
10 Bryn Atkinson (Team GT)


Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

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