Greg Minnaar & Tracey Hannah win UCI DH World Cup Rd1

Last weekend saw the first round of the UCI Downhill World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Taking victory in the downhill competition, local favourite Greg Minnaar of the Santa Cruz Syndicate beat his closest rival Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) by six tenths of a second. Mick Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) took third place, while in the women’s race, his sister Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson United Ride) took the win, despite a four year long absence from DH racing.

Sabrina Jonnier, pre-crash. Pic by Adventure Media Group/Sven Marti

Singletrack Issue 72 interviewee Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen) took an excellent second place coming barely a second behind Tracey, hopefully something we’ll see more of over the coming year. Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) took third place in a field beset by injury and accidents, Sabrina Jonnier having look set to make an impact, but a freak crash on her final practise run left her with a broken pubic bone.

It was an emotional win for Greg, not only because of the location, having been given license to withdraw by his team in order to spend time with his father, who is currently in intensive care at a local hospital. At his father’s insistence he entered the race and his race run was beset with small mistakes, trailing Gwin after the running wide on the Cloud 9 drop, having to put in a heroic pedalling effort to take the victory.

Speaking to www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za, Gwin was gracious in his praise of Minnaar, saying “Greg always finds another level at the bottom and digs deep, so it’s always tough racing him, especially on this track,”

“It was awesome. I was really happy for him. He’s had a crazy couple of weeks, so for him to be able to pull it together here in front of his hometown crowd, it must be special for him, so I’m happy with second today, for sure.”

If you’re wondering what the track was like then here’s Mr Steve Peat with a walkthrough…

…and here’s a video from the UCI…

Results

Elite Men

1.Greg Minnaar 3:57.980
2.Aaron Gwin +0.632
3.Michael Hannah +0.994
4.Gee Atherton +1.303
5.Steve Smith +4.384
6.Jared Graves +4.436
7.Andrew Neethling +4.800
8.Troy Brosnan +5.017
9.Julien Camellini +5.604
10.C├ędric Gracia +5.674

Elite Women

1.Tracey Hannah 4:33.806
2.Manon Carpenter +0.949
3.Emmeline Ragot +2.810
4.Jill Kintner +8.492
5.Miriam Ruchti +10.896
6.Emilie Siegenthaler +11.402
7.Anita Molcik +12.123
8.Luana Maria de Sousa Oliviera +14.385
9.Petra Bernhard +15.112
10.Myriam Nicole +17.275

In the cross country competition, Swiss rider Nino Schurter took the win – mostly notable for the fact he did it on a Scott with 650b wheels – the other other future of wheel sizes looks like it’s going to be making an impression this year…

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