Greg Minnaar’s rookie run was a mud festival


This racing board is in the process of being framed, without a doubt. (Photo:

Greg Minnaar is arguably the greatest downhill mountain biker of all time.

Despite a punitive international travel schedule for races, training and promotional tasks Greg spends the South African summers at his home – in Pietermaritzburg,

His longevity in a risk-littered and speed-themed sport has been remarkable. Greg recently turned 40 and part of the celebrations included a mountain biking event.

enduro race

Lots of style points, for this newbie crew, at Greg’s race. (Photo:

A happy house and hunting ground

The Greg Minnaar Rookie Cup was an enduro race organized in
Pietermaritzburg Waterfall Trail Site, during the weekend.

Pietermaritzburg is an important place for South African mountain biking. It was at Cascades that Greg won his 2013 world championship.

Although Greg is a downhill racer, the enduro format is more accessible to most racers.

enduro race

Greg smartly kept it clean and sartorial. (Photo: deklandavies)

Involve beginners

Enduro mountain biking is like a downhill race, with runners only timed in their descents. But the trails are not as technical, with fewer steep drops and jumps.

One of the goals of Greg’s event was to encourage rookie participation in the enduro discipline. A total of 120 riders faced very wet and slippery conditions in Pietermaritzburg – and 71 of them were beginners in enduro.

Mountain bike

Foot out, all the way. The tracks were slippery and the flat pedals made the difference, for some. (Photo:

Muddy, wet and wild riding

Most of the Cascades trails having a clay surface the ride was very slippery which added to the fun element for many.

When the time sheets were put together, Cameron Curtin (11:14) was the winner in the rookie men’s category, with Jade Davies (12:34) victorious in the women.

enduro race

Cutting-edge fun for rookies. Laundry nightmare for parents. (Photo:

Fast or slow – mud was part of the show

Among the professional runners, Matthew Wilkinson (09:36) triumphed in the men, while Sabine Thies (12:04) took the victory in the women.

Beyond the fun of participating and a few cool medals, the real victory for most of the runners in the event was have Greg waiting for.


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