Greg Minnaar lit up the mountain biking world yesterday with a scintillating race run down the treacherous "Black Snake" DH track in Val di Sole, Italy, to claim his 4th World Championship title.
In a career spanning more than two decades, the 39 year old South African sporting legend won his first World Title a staggering 18 years ago in 2003, in Lugano, Switzerland. The GOAT followed that up with a second gold medal in Leogang, Austria in 2012 and an emotional third win in 2013 on home soil in Pietermaritzburg.
Minnaar's 11 World Championship medals (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze), record 23 World Cup Men's DH victories and three World Cup Series wins solidifies his status as Downhill's undisputed Greatest of All Time.
The GOAT's post race Instagram caption perfectly sums up the legend's humility which has been consistent throughout his illustrious career:
"Four times for 🇿🇦 and I’m really proud I could do that.
Still feels surreal the morning after, and I do find it hard to fully claim a win when others have given it their all, and had a tough time, but I want to take this opportunity to try and inspire as many people as possible to get out on a bike - no matter age, race, background or gender. Mountain biking is, and will always be, a really great community to be a part of.
Oh, and…age is just a number my brus 😉"
Greg's Winning Bike
The Santa Cruz Syndicate's World Champs paint jobs were anything but standard. This excerpt from Minnaar's Instagram feed gives insight into the lengths the team went to in the hunt for gold in Val di Sole:
"The World's V10s feature the very same coating innovations that are being used on current F1 cars this season. Our primary focus was to reduce overall paintwork mass while heightening the impact of the overall finish. All the products used during the painting process are bespoke, and are produced and applied exclusively by Silverstone Paint Technology at their UK lab. Luca and Greg's frames were weighed 11 times during the painting process to prevent any unnecessary product application. The net result? Luca's entire paint job weighs a mere 20.8 grams, while Greg's is a barely noticeable 7.2 grams!"
See the Santa Cruz V10 here.
As a director of Rush Sports, it's an honour to have Greg Minnaar on our team, and to be able to call him a friend and colleague.
From all of us, we join South Africa in congratulating Greg on his spectacular achievement. Keep it fast and loose bru!
Images: UCI MTB, Sven Martin and Troy Davies