MTB > 2007 UCI World Championship: Great Britain > Race Results
MTBGreat BritainSeptember 9, 2007
2007 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup World Championship: Great Britain

Greg Minnaar Crashes But Takes 4th At World Championships


Team G-Cross Honda riders Greg Minnaar (RSA) and Matti Lehikoinen (FIN) both finished top 6 at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Fort William, Scotland, in a day that once again saw rain stream down halfway through the men's elite field. Fastest qualify Minnaar crashed half way down the course in a slippery and rooty forest section, dislocating his shoulder and sending him off to hospital. Matti, who finished a career best 6th place for World Championships, had plenty of interesting moments coming down the mountain, but held on for a solid finish. The team's 3rd rider, Brendan Fairclough, was having a world class run until a crash took him out of contention.



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)


Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


Earlier in the week during the qualifying seeding run, Greg set the fastest time and was feeling very comfortable on a track he has grown to love over the years. Both Matti and Brendan crashed in qualifying but not seriously, and knew they had the pace to be in contention for the finals.

The rain and clouds never left Fort William all week and made for difficult training conditions, but the crowds were not discouraged. For the finals it was a full house with deafening roars each and every time a rider from Great Britain or even Ireland took to the course. As the afternoon wore on, the rain and wind picked up, even more so at the top of the course where riders were fighting to keep their bikes on course. Sam Hill (AUS), who rode a slow and relaxed ride for qualifying, was the first and last to hit the hotseat after the rain started, unseating a lucky Pasqual Canals Flix (ESP) who raced in the dry. Two time World Champion Fabien Barel (FRA) came dangerously close to beating Hill, and this gave Team G Cross encouragement as it was clear both Matti and Greg had a shot at the win as well.

In the end, it was 4th for Greg after his crash, and 6th for Matti, and unfortunately no medals for the team. Greg's left shoulder has been dislocated 3 times this year during events, but all have been Anterior Dislocations. This 4th time it was a Posterior Dislocation, which is much more uncommon, and very painful. Greg was immediately taken to hospital where 3 hours after the event, his shoulder was put back into position under sedation. A chest x-ray has also shown a fracture of the scapula. He is expected to be discharged before Monday.



Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)


Brendan Fairclough (Team G Cross Honda)


Greg Minnaar (4th Place)
"My fault I crashed. My shoulder is hurting a lot so I'm off to hospital now. I know I came here with enough to win and I feel that had things been a little different, there was a medal with my name on it, but I crossed it up in the woods and came down heavy. Congratulations to the guys that finished ahead of me, they did a good job."

Matti Lehikoinen (6th Place)
"It was pretty hectic up there. The wind got so strong and the track was already really rough. A couple of times I thought I was going to crash but managed to kept the bike going. Even though it's my best result at Worlds, I have to say I was hoping for better. I don't really like this course to be honest, and so I guess I have to be happy with 6th and to be without a crash. My focus now is on the World Cup overall and picking up some of that prime crystal."

Brendan Fairclough (26th Place)
"I was having a really good run and was pretty happy with how it was all going. Then out of nowhere I found myself on the ground. I went for an extra pedal stroke in one section and I think I clipped a pedal and was thrown over the handlebars. The bike went down a ditch and I had to go chase it. I've banged up my legs and hips and feel pretty sore. Actually, I'm happy and angry. Angry about crashing, but happy to know I have the speed I needed on this course."

Team Director Martin Whiteley
"The World Championships are an incredibly tough event with so much pressure to perform well, once a year in just 5 minutes or less. The weather took a big turn for the worse about half way through the men's field and all of our riders did well to get to the bottom. Really strong winds, driving rain, and a course that got very slippery. Greg will be out of hospital by tomorrow and we will do all we can to have him, and the other two riders who are also quite battered and bruised, ready for the all important World Cup finals next week. The bikes worked perfectly well in these conditions, and the mechanics did an impressive job making sure that the riders didn't suffer any type of mechanical problem during their races."


2007 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup World Championship

line
Qualifying Results
1 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
2 Gee Atherton (Team Animal/Commencal)
3 Julien Camellini (Team Mojo)
4 Mick Hannah (Cannondale The Cut)
5 Florent Payet (Team France)
6 Nathan Rennie (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
7 Sam Blenkinsop (Gravity Group)
8 Mickael Pascal (Q Bikes)
9 Dan Stanbridge (Team Mojo)
10 Marc Beaumont (Team MBUK Santa Cruz)
16 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
58 Brendan Fairclough Team G Cross Honda)
 
Final Results
1 Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Iron Horse)
2 Fabien Barel (Kona Les Gets)
3 Gee Atherton (Team Animal/Commencal)
4 Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)
5 Pasqual Canals (Flix Team Spain)
6 Matti Lehikoinen (Team G Cross Honda)
7 Julien Camellini (Team Mojo)
8 Florent Payet (Team France)
9 Sam Blenkinsop (Gravity Group)
10 Dan Atherton (Team Animal/Commencal)
26 Brendan Fairclough (Team G Cross Honda)



Greg Minnaar (Team G Cross Honda)

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