2013 Mountain Bike World Championships - Athlete Profile - Greg Minnaar


Quick Stats

Age: 31
Nationality: South African
Discipline: Downhill
Team: Santa Cruz Syndicate
Twitter: @gregminnaar
Facebook: GregMinnaar
Instagram: gregminnaar

Overall World Cup Titles: 3 (2001, 2005, 2008)
World Championships: 2 (2003, 2012)

It doesn’t get any better than this for Greg Minnaar. The local boy, the reigning UCI Mountain Bike World Champion. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa is where Minnaar grew up and it just so happens to be the venue for the 2013 Mountain Bike World Championships. While the reigning champ describes his 2013 season as “average,” there’s no doubt the South African has saved a little something special in the tank for his triumphant return home.

Having already secured two career world championships along with three World Cup Overall titles, Minnaar knows a thing or two about performing under pressure. And pressure there will be. Thousands of fans will be lining the downhill course, screaming for their local favorite during his attempt at a title defense. Will Minnaar keep the rainbow stripes for yet another year? Find out his thoughts on this year’s Worlds in his own words below:

Oakley: How has your season gone leading up to World Champs in South Africa?

Greg Minnaar: Very average. I’ve been battling to put a great performance in this season. Nothing less then great will get you on that top step.

Oakley: Any special prep going into South Africa we should know about?

Greg Minnaar: This season has been my prep; my training and my focus has all been about this race. Not often do you get to race at home so I want to make the most of this opportunity.

Oakley: Any superstitions going into South Africa? Do you keep the same routine as a normal MTB World Cup? Or are there any special rituals you keep for a special event like this?

Greg Minnaar: I try and keep my normal World Cup routine, but there is always this little superstition. Mine’s normally which gloves and goggles I use. I normally pick out a fresh pair of Airbrake MX’s prior to the event – the “final only goggles.”

Oakley: What are your goals for 2013 Worlds in South Africa?

Greg Minnaar: Win

Oakley: Well alright, simply put. What would it mean to you to defend your world championship?

Greg Minnaar: To defend my title would be great, but to win at home would mean the world!

Oakley: How much added pressure is it being the defending World Champion?

Greg Minnaar: I’m not too bothered about the added pressure of defending my title. The pressure I’m more concerned with, comes from the thousands of fans that expect me to win…

Oakley: Good point. The event is in your hometown this year. What does that mean to you?

Greg Minnaar: Pressure! Wahahah. It’s the forest I raced my first MTB race in, the city where I was born and still live; Its everything to me!

Oakley: What makes Worlds in South Africa such a big deal?

Greg Minnaar: World Championships is the pinnacle of mountain biking. This is your shot at earning your World Championship stripes.


John Ohail


August 26, 2013

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