Aussies place well but Minnaar is on top at home
Greg Minnaar has smashed it on home soil in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to take the win with a time of 3:57.980 at the first round of the 2012 UCI downhill World Cup season.
His first split time was up on Gwin and during the second section, looked smooth throughout in front of the home crowd, to make up 0.632 on the previous time and take the win ahead of Aaron Gwin. (3:58.612) Congrats to Sick Mick (3:58.974) in third, now riding with new team Hutchinson United Ride Team. A very pleasing site after the dangerous crash he had in the Pietermaritzburg World Cup race in 2011. This made it a double podium for the Hannah family, with younger sister Tracey on top of the womens podium earlier in the day. Britain’s Gee Atherton made fourth (3:59.283) and Canadian Steve Smith narrowly snuck into 5th ahead of Jared Graves by as little as .052.
Big congrats to Graves, who has been focusing on downhill racing again, after the 4x event was dropped from the UCI circuit last year. His strong result today, in 6th, proves he hasn’t lost touch at all and we all look forward to seeing him up on the podium again, during the season. The other Aussies placing well, Troy Brosnan riding for Team Monster Energy Specialized, in 8th, an impressive placing, considering the course is suited to the bigger riders. He’s been training hard during the off season and his result today looks like it’s paid off. Sam Hill, coming back from injury last season and having a very competitive Aussie National Series at home, toughing it out with teammate Brosnan, just missed out on the top ten in 11th (+5.836 back). Bryn Atkinson, also on the comeback trail after the horrendous injury he suffered last year, breaking his arm and leg, sidelining him for the entire 2011 season, finished up a very respectable 20th. Also a big congrats to Bryn’s partner in crime, Jill Kintner who is racing on the DH circuit this year and finished in a strong 4th. A very positive start to the season for them and their new team Norco International.
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For all the highlights from Pietermaritzburg, go to Redbull.tv