The win that started the ball rolling. Nineteen years ago, a young South African on a bike made in Halifax took his first World Cup win in Kaprun, Austria.
While first World Cup wins are a day to remember, it would be pipping Nicolas Vouilloz at this race that would give him a real stab at taking the World Cup overall from the French legend. Speaking of legends, he’d top a podium that also featured Cedric Gracia, Steve Peat and Tomi Misser.
The latest and arguably the greatest of Greg’s twenty two World Cup wins happened in 2020. You can never write the GOAT off but those young ‘uns were starting to make it harder and harder for him to go green at every split.
A fourth place in qualifying showed that he was on pace but to take the finals win by almost two seconds showed the real champion’s spirit that makes Minnaar the greatest of all time. He’d back that up two days later by losing out to Bruni as the rain came down by a gnat’s whisker.
A home World Cup is always going to be a big deal, but Greg had a lot to do with getting this race off the ground, so it was more than just feeling comfortable in the pits, knowing that your own bed is visible from the finish line.
Aussie legend Mick Hannah would push Minnaar hard all week, taking the qualifier but ultimately losing out to the South African when it really mattered.
Fort William, 2016
A rare weekend when it was far too hot the entire time in Fort William. The granite slabs up top are dangerous in the dry with the limestone dust making things interesting, and the new woods section certainly caused problems for many.
A disastrous qualifier led to a fairy tale finals run. Over three seconds up on Aaron Gwin and yet another win in his home from home.
This weekend would see the mega train in practice and a finish line tribute to the recently passed Stevie Smith #LongLiveChainsaw.
2013 would see racing return to South Africa but this time, for the World Champs. A home World Cup is one thing, but World Champs, Rainbow Stripes on offer in your own back yard…
Greg would come into this race as the defending World Champion, having taken the win the year previous in Leogang. All eyes were on him.
Once again, he’d be pushed hard by Mick Hannah, with the pair trading splits all the way down the hill. It would be in the final sector that Greg held his pace as the Aussie faltered and the stripes stayed on Minnaar’s back.
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