Day 5 Finals - World Champs - South Africa

Sep 2, 2013
by Nathan Hughes  
 
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Stevie Smith was one of two men that had what it took to keep the title from Minnaar but after an early run crash those hopes slipped away.
  Stevie Smith started the day ripping hard, a prime candidate to rob the title from Minnaar, sadly those hopes were to slip away in the inaugural turn...

Sik Mik getting a last minute warm up before finals.
  Mick practicing up first thing, preparing to unleash the beast for finals.

Early morning golden hour practice Marcelo full throttle.
  Can't beat early morning practice in the golden hour... Marcelo full throttle.

Getting in the zone before race time.
  Relaxation station chez Mondraker.

Warming up.
  Rach starting to turn the pedals before they spin to oblivion on track.

Relaxing before the race.
  The 2011 mud chute hero, relaxing before the race.

The surpport crews work all week to keep riders bikes runnig. from mechanics to suspension specialists to the drive train folks. Once racing starts however it s time to put down the tools and simply enjoy the fruits of your labour. Pull up a chair boys you earned it.
  The support crews work all week to keep riders bikes runnig. from mechanics, to suspension specialists to the drive train folks. Once racing starts however, it's time to put down the tools and simply enjoy the fruits of your labour. Pull up a chair boys, you earned it.

Fists pumps before go time in the Bulls tent. It was going to be a great day for Wynn a top 20 kind of day.
  Fist pumps before go time in the Bulls tent. It was going to be a great day for Wyn, a top 20 kind of day.

Shuttling up.
  Manon, bright eyed and optimistic on the shuttle up, but it wasn't to be. She crashed hard through the tape and into a photographer 100 yards down.

Morganne parts the sea of red dust but couldn t find the miracle form she would need to bring down Atherton and keep the title. 6th will be a poor concelation prize.
  Morganne parts the sea of red dust, but couldn't find the miracle form she would need to bring down Atherton and keep the title.

Eye bogler.
  Kinter for murica in hot pursuit of 4th.

A hand sign of things to come...Two Tracy fingers in the start hut for 2nd place
  Hannah in the hut about to storm to the bronze.

Lauren Rosser throwing out the most style than any chick and most of the dudes.
  Lauren Rosser throwing out the most style than any chick and most of the dudes.

Dropping in.
  Ragot definitely looked the most solid out of the start hut and was on the gas from turn one. Here she is dropping in on her silver medal.

Rachel Atherton had no problems today riding her way to another title.
  Rachel Atherton had no problems today riding her way to another title.

Green light for Rachel as she continues to dominate the circuit.
  Green light for Rachel as she continues to completely dominate the circuit.

Rachel all smiles on her Champs win.
  What's that, haven't you heard? That news of a certain avian variety... Well the word is also that Rachel is world champ and all smiles.

  Ladies and their medals of honor.

Rach tearing up on taking her long awaited 3rd champs win since Val Di Sole 2008 and as a junior at Livigno 2005.
  Rach tearing up on taking her long awaited 3rd champs win since Val Di Sole 2008 and as a junior at Livigno 2005.

3 very happy ladies on the women s podium flanked by their local bodyguards.
  3 very happy girls on the podium flanked by their local bodyguards.

Gangsta-ish technicolour bling
  Gangsta-ish technicolour bling.

Loic Bruni just couldn t hang on today and make it happen.
  Back to les hommes, and sadly Loic Bruni just couldn't hang on today and make it happen for any more than 11th.

Go and brush your shoulders off get that dirt off your shoulder. I don t know what wheel size Jay-Z runs but without a clean run from Mitch there s nothing to help conclude the debate. A sad day for Ropelato but rest assured he steamed this tabletop section with a vengeance after his fall.
  Go and brush your shoulders off, get that dirt off your shoulder. I don't know what rims Jay-Z runs, but without a clean run from Mitch there's nothing to help conclude the everlasting debate. A sad day for Ropelato, but rest assured he steamed down the remaining track with a vengeance after his fall.

Another south african representative.
  A great local rider turnout meant extra intensive cheers every few minutes. The SAs love a fellow countryman.

World Champs 2013
  A solid run from the all time legend saw him just 9 seconds back in 15th.

World Champs 2013
  Run of his days, Johannes Fischbach of Ghost bikes and team Austria, flew into 9th as the ultimate wildcard success.

This just hasn t been Gwin s year. A race run crash kept last years World Cup champ from the title.
  This just hasn't been Gwin's year. A race run crash kept last years World Cup champ from the title.

Aaron has just about every title except for World Champion. He won here last year during the World Cup and also suffered from a mechanical at Worlds in Austria. Maybe third time will be a charm Gwin looks over his shoulder to make sure he isn t in the way.
  Gwin looks over his shoulder to make sure he isn't in the way. Aaron has just about every title except for World Champion. Last year he also suffered from a mechanical at Worlds in Austria. Maybe third time will be a charm?

Nick Beer riding like a man possessed to sixth place.
  Nick Beer finally finding excellent form and riding like a man possessed to sixth place.

Last pick for team GB coming out top Brit. Hats off to big man Simmonds.
  Last choice for team GB, forever next to Graves in the hot seat and coming out top of the northern hemisphere. Hats off to big man Brit, Matt Simmonds.

bigquotesI put everything on the line. I knew I was strong from the testing I had to do to get here, but to be last pick for the team and come fifth...I'm made up! Made up for Greg as well the atmosphere's been electric all week- Matt Simmonds, Team CRC

Blinky Charging to the line to fifth place.
  Blinky, best known for his shredding of the steeps, charging to the line for fifth place.

Le bug eye.
  Le world class Blenky bug-eye.

bigquotesI wanted to come across the line just f*king hanging, but I wasn't hanging so I was a bit pissed off I didn't put everything in I could have, but at least I didn't end up as dead as Mick! Haha he was nose diving stuff.... I could have crashed so easy like Sam when he clipped his pedal. But I'm happy it's a great result and I just want to keep it going now for the next two world cups.- Sam Blenkinsop, Lappierre Gravity Republic

Jared Graves started in DH moved to 4X olympic BMX Enduro and has come full circled this week taking home a bronze medal in the downhill all while riding his enduro bike. Way to go Stains
  Jared Graves started in DH, moved to 4X, olympic BMX, Enduro and has come full circled this week taking home a bronze medal in the downhill, all while riding his enduro bike. Way to go Stains!

What next... Graves winning Olympic BMX on a downhill bike The course has taken some criticism on account of his bike choice but mainly it reflects sky-high diverse bike riding skill.
  What next... Graves winning Olympic BMX on a downhill bike? The course has taken some criticism on account of his bike choice, but mainly it reflects sky-high, diverse, bike riding skill.

Sik Mik eyes of terror. Looking up into the board as he sprints into the finish line. Reader board goes green and almost 4 seconds up. Terror turns into joy as Mik takes the hot seat just in front of Jared Graves. Quote Bit of a bummer to be 2nd and so close but at the same time it s World Champs and it s Greg s home town. I did my best and that s all I could have hoped for.
  Sik Mik eyes of terror. Looking up into the board as he sprints into the finish line. Reader board goes green and almost 4 seconds up. Terror turns into joy as Mik takes the hot seat just in front of Jared Graves.

bigquotesBit of a bummer to be 2nd and so close, but at the same time it's World Champs and it's Greg's home town. I did my best and that's all I could have hoped for- Mick Hannah, Hutchinson UR

Feeling. The. Burn. Hannah tries to oxygenate while escaping from his goggles. Clearly he didn t save a single crank.
  Feeling. The. Burn. Hannah tries to oxygenate while escaping from his goggles. Clearly he didn't save a single crank.

World Champs 2013
  The locals in wait, their hero is less than a second back at the final split.

Greg Minnaar crushed it today for his home town crowd. No special wheels no short travel. Just a good old fashioned carbon fiber DH bike. Well he did have an air shock but hey who s counting
  Just when you thought the track couldn't be taken any faster, Greg dominated the top section coming out on top for split 1

Greg Minnaar takes home the win and his 3rd world champsionship on his home track here in PMB.

Greg Minnaar fully focused while Nelson Mandela watches over him today.
  Minnaar fully focused with the great Nelson Mandela watching over him.

Sometimes the tv guy moves into your shot sometimes he doesn t. This time he did...
  The crowd screamed as the numbers went red by a fraction at the final split and the tension red-lined. The suspense was deadly as he burst into the arena.

Power thrust over the line and the board goes green. Minnaar taking over the hot seat from Mick Hannah patiently waiting as both Stevie and Gee to come down not knowing what could happen with two guys ahead of him that could easily dominate.
  Power thrust over the line and the board goes green. Minnaar taking over the hot seat from Mick Hannah's unbelievable run.

Disbelief as the dust settles.
  Disbelief as the dust settles.

Sam Hill was looking on form all week but went down hard in his race run destroying a helmet but hurting only his pride.
  Sam Hill on track, but he was to take a huge fall through the finish jumps. He destroyed his helmet but hurt only his pride.

Sam Hill took a brutal crash and is lucky to be rolling down the finish on two wheels.
  With such a brutal rag-doll he was lucky to be rolling down the finish on two wheels.

Hill feeling pretty worse for wear on his exit from the arena. His crash in the timed second yesterday was definitely trumped this afternoon.
  Hill feeling pretty worse for wear on his exit from the arena. His crash in the timed run yesterday was definitely trumped this afternoon.

Steve Smith went down int he first corner blinded by the dust and the sun. Luckily the Canadian picked up his bike and cruised down the track giving the fans what they wanted. Suicide no handers whips and one footers were the 1 qualifier s consolation prize.
  Steve Smith went down in the first corner, blinded by the dust and the sun. Luckily the Canadian picked up his bike and cruised down the track, giving the fans what they wanted. Suicide no handers, whips and one footers were the #1 qualifier's consolation prize.

Atherton was hungry for another World Championship title no doubt but here in South Africa it just wasn t meant to be.
  Atherton was hungry for another World Championship title no doubt, but here in South Africa it just wasn't meant to be.

A long shadow and face to match for Atherton last rider down. The deal was done for GM.
  A long shadow and face to match for Atherton, last rider down. He couldn't do it either and the deal was done for GM.

  This day was for one man only. Greg proved himself the ultimate racer once again, under the most pressure it is possible to feel at a bike race.

World Champs 2013
  Ecstatic pandemonium ensues.

World Champs 2013
  The three time world champion from South Africa.

2013 World Championships podium coming soon to Jared Graves instagram
  2013 World Championships podium, coming soon to J.Graves Instagram #stokedasf*ck

  Pietermaritzburg hall of world class heroes.

Tears of joy from Greg Minnaar winning World Championships in his home country of South Africa.
  Tears of joy from Greg Minnaar winning World Championships in his African homeland.

  A bouquet of flowers more in demand than the last bunch at the gas station on mother's day.

2013 World Champs Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar
  Your 2013 World Champs husband and wife, Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar!

 Do I look like Greg now Newcomer hair-dresser Peat can t look Minnaar s superfan in the eye for some reason.
  'Do I look like Greg now?' Steve Peat, official celebrations hairdresser, can't look Minnaar's superfan in the eye for an answer.
Must Read This Week

117 Comments

  • + 153
 To me, man of the match, Jared Graves.
  • + 39
 Totally. Faster than all but two on a carbon trail bike? The man's a champ!
  • + 30
 Yeah I was kinda praying for Graves and Sic Mick (wouldn't have mattered who). Congrats to Minnaar. Bummer for smith.
  • + 11
 Jared Graves!!! Once A Champion, Always A Champion!!! No matter what Clementz did in EWS, if Graves wore the rainbow jersey, he would have smoked him!!! Not that with 3rd he did any less, but this would make hime the first to wear the jersey in both DH & 4X!!!
  • + 8
 It's always great to see guys like Nick Beer and Matt Simmonds get great results as well, even if some of the big(ger) guns had issues on track
  • + 4
 what an advert for the sb66 (c) too. Better than a million positive PB reviews. All you SB66 owners must be smug as hell, and not too arsed about the sb75
  • + 5
 Graves was amazing - he was the fastest rider from the 1st split down to the bottom.
  • + 4
 Still can't believe how close Minaar and Mik finished
  • + 0
 I think the whole house heard that smith went down. so disappointed
  • - 15
 Smith wouldn't have won anyway, let's be honest - He's no Gee
  • - 8
 haha smith is currently the best dh rider in the world!
  • + 5
 I really wanted to see Hannah win. He's been at this for a long time and he's due. Graves run was awesome but Hannah's blew my mind. Greg had more strength left for the bottom, but I hated seeing Sik Mik so close but so far.
[Reply]
  • + 69
 Greg Winnaar......
  • + 11
 Greg Pinnaar
  • - 9
 Greg Shreddaar
  • + 6
 And he didn't need a "one-off" bike to win it! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 47
 good job GREG MINNAR!!! i was rooting for you to win in your country . CONGRATULATIONS.
[Reply]
  • + 33
 Blinkys style freaking rocks!!!!! And minnnars face when he knew he won almost made me cry.
[Reply]
  • + 32
 Shame about Stevie going down so early
  • - 34
 Yeah but he did give fans what they wanted, not riding slow as f*ck and do nothing! ( I Mean when other people crashed)
  • + 42
 Seriously Dream? Those other racers who crashed were probably injured and hurting pretty bad. They could have just walked off the course, but instead they decided to hang in there and finish.
  • - 63
 I'm with you Dreamdownhillmax, he was a proper hero today. Everyone else who binned it just rolled down, Stevie gave us something to look at off every jump. And he was a favourite for the title, unlike most of the other guys. With the exception of Hill, who looked beaten up as fuck, they all should be ashamed of themselves.
  • + 43
 The difference bening was the rest CRASHED and smith just had a little slide out...
  • + 3
 Loooool, The two guys that say that probably cry for their mother when they got a little scratch on the knee. This is the one day course, the 2nd is the first looser. When you put a year of efforts into training and you failed on the D-day, sorry but i can understand that you are bummed....That just show how bad they want to be on the top, you should respect that.
  • + 6
 If there is any debate about who's the best at riding after a crash then the only possible winner is Peaty at 07 champs, styling it up for the crowd with a sheared off seatpost. I know it was a while ago but that was just epic.
  • + 3
 Agree with Aksel31. These guys work so hard for a win. They know Worlds is their chance to make a big splash and when they crash half way down the track its probably a crushing blow to their ego. I would rather dump at the first corner and say "oh well, next time" than dump near the bottom and say "f*ck, I'm so stupid!"
  • + 2
 yep Agree, All the pressure came down, and you probably feel, very very very lonely on the side of track!!
  • + 3
 at least he salvaged some sportsmanship and cleaned up in the style comp
[Reply]
  • + 31
 Graves just did more good for AM/Enduro bikes than any article/ad/vid could ever do!
  • + 8
 I buying a Yeti SB66 now!!!
  • - 11
 Love my Pitch Pro, 160mm of awesomeness.....thanks to me of course, that thing will go up/down and all around. I've ridden some of the gnarliest trails on that thing most choose only ride full DH bikes on. I take a bit more of a beating, but it's quite capable. It only takes a few of us to show these cats if you spend your money right, you can get away with just one bike.....
[Reply]
  • + 26
 That was one hell of a photo epic. Great job guys. Those photos really told a great story.
[Reply]
  • + 21
 Stoked for Greg - he is a force. I'd love to see him keep riding for ten more years. Phenomenal run by Mik - staying so low but flying so far on the jumps. Super stoked for Grubby Graves and his SB-66 - the man's a beast. And thrilled that nobody has said anything about wheel size yet...wait for it...
  • + 5
 @herzalot unfortunately if you look at the comments under the earlier results list you cant get away from the bloody wheel size debate. Anyway, fair play to Greg there cant be anything better than winning on home turf. Bit disappointed for sick Mick though, this was his real shot at champs and he was so close.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 Minnaar gained 1.2sec after the 2nd split...on Hannah, no less. I'm pretty sure Chuck Norris approves. Stoked for Greg and gutted for Mik. Awesome photo-journalism, btw!!!
[Reply]
  • + 18
 Fischbach Team Austria???... well, Johannes is German...
  • + 8
 He is already a 4 cross legend and should be on the radar but maybe out of canadian woods he´s just another euro. 9th place and he doesn´t even ride the whole world cup hope this attracts bigger sponsor.
  • + 2
 Yeah, Nick Beer was listed as the only Swiss competitor on the final national points tally.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Minnaar nailed it, Sik Mik almost got it, and Jared was the one surprised us!
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Blenky still wore his watch in the picture. Just incase he wants to know the time during his race run
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Greg and Rachel....fastest offspring ever!!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 So proud of Marcelo!!! Powerfull as f*ck!!!
  • + 1
 ayyyyy guepuchas!!!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 it's nice to see guys like Blenki mostly knows as flat pedals and full style shredders stepping up their games now he's on clipless, have the power and still deliver in style, way to go Blenki!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I hope somebody has a shot of Stevie's sick no-hander.... link please Smile
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Jared Graves 4 President !!! Taking my hat off dude! that was epic!
  • + 15
 Prime Minister
  • + 5
 i support this idea
  • + 5
 me too, F$%#$ legend
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Jared Graves the complete package
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Stoked for all the guys and girls on the podium, and it was a rad race to watch. Particularly pleased for Graves as he's a solid dude, and an old dh'r as anyone who's watched 'synopsis' or hypnosis' will know. Bit split in my opinions of the course selection but i know that's just my view and there's a place in dh for fast, jumpy tracks as well as my preferred steep gnarfields.Hopefully next year will be on something with more of a definite gravity bias. Can't wait for the next world cup round now, so many different riders pushing for the wins this year it's awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 What a win for Minnar!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Something special today for the podium boys from the Southern Hemisphere! Well done.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 well dong Greg !!! World Champ Congrats !! You were fast as hell !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I thought smiths run was great once he'd crashed, a true sportsman. Lots of style on the way down, made it fun to watch. But we'll done Greg. Don't even get me started on single crowns in a Dh event......
  • + 4
 So what about single crowns? If a competitor wants to take a chance on equipment choice to gain a perceived advantage, he can. The diversity of courses is one of the best things about the sport, not limiting courses to stuff that demands full-on bikes every time. Look at Nascar... all those cars have to have the EXACT same body's, aerodynamic shape, etc. And it's boring as f*ck to watch.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Nick Beer needs a Beer!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looking at Sam Hills race run, last big jump before the crash.. A bit odd that he landed with his rear tire...fork tweaks gone wrong? Good that he was ok and definitely stoked for the last two WC legs. GO SAM! Cheers to the winners!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No disrespect to Gee, although he is our local man from here. It was nice to see someone else win and Gee not make podium for a change. Makes racing so much more fun to watch. Well done Greg
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They should make Rachel Atherton race in the men's category. It's not fair, she's been racing against boys, 2 older boys (and hardly average ones at that), since she could walk.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 My next downhill bike is gonna be an AM bike in disguise.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 J.G. you are bad ass bro good job on a enduro bike
[Reply]
  • + 3
 What happened to Gee was there a mechanical or was he just off the pace?
  • + 5
 Gee was certainly off pace but his riding was definitely not as aggressive as we usually know him.
  • + 3
 He was after Smith, probably saw him go down on the corner and then just looked cautious the whole run.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Congrats to Greg and Rachel. The photos were phenomenal ..makes me sad I didn't go.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gwin clipping a tree hard .... giving himself a grade 3 AC joint separation just like I have at the moment, f**king hurt. Anybody got any links to any information on it?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Soooo stoked for Greg and at the same time soooo gutted for Mick. Two of my favorite riders of all time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what happened to Stevie's socks?
you'd think some of these racers could afford invisiline?
guys n gals were f'n pinning it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In the picture with Gee still on his bike and Greg on the hot seat.....did one of the female racers just rip off her pants?
  • + 1
 That's a guy...
  • + 3
 After further review, I concur with your findings. Also makes more sense
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Blinkys run was soo cool with that speed and style but congrats to the new world champ greg
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Gutted for Sik Mik. Happy for Minnar
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Graves runs "ghetto/ split tube tubeless". No mention of Stains.
  • + 3
 No. He says on the video he removed them and put inner tubes couse he felt was unstable at this speeds and jumps...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Stevie one-footer whip riding clipped in!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Marcello has the sickest kit, always!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 really pinkbike, murica?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yarrrrr, how to make these pictures fit my desktop background??? Anyone???
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Congrats to Greg again on his huge win. He tore PMB a new one!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A monster!!! Congratulation for the legend!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No juicy comment abou Aaron Gwin?? Can't believe it!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 You guys just called Danny Hart "The 2011 mud chute hero"............WTF?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 stevie robbed by the sun
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I though Sam Hill used flat pedals?
  • + 4
 He did, what Blenky means is that he clipped the pedal with the rock and crash, he would'nt even use clips in a Velodrome, if any doubt look at this pic in practice run www.pinkbike.com/photo/10032563
  • + 4
 @danieldh thanks for that man. Sam just got unlucky again. Frown

I hope he wins on the Hafjell and Leogang!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 YOU VE GOT TO BE A GENTLEMAN TO WIN WORLD CHAMPS!!!!
  • + 3
 Tell Gee that back on August 11th.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Who knows what it would be if Mitch Ropelato hadn't failed at the first turn?
  • + 6
 don't do what ifs, he crashed because he pushed too hard and that's his fault nobody else's, if he had been more conservative he would've gone slower
  • + 10
 There was no guarantee he was going to win, just because he was on a 29er.

Ropelato is one of my favourite riders and there is no denying his talent, but there was a whole bunch of guys who have worn Rainbow Jerseys who crashed, flatted, or just didn't go fast enough. The reality is that Mitch could have done very well, but I would have been amazed had he medalled. Or he could have crashed or flatted somewhere else on the course, who knows?

The rider means more than the bike, and there was no way Mitch was going to, for example, out-pedal Graves.

I have had many 26" bikes, some 29ers and I just got my first 27.5. No matter which bike I am on, when I go as fast as I can, there is no bike that is more than a couple of percent faster than another on the same course.

In my opinion Smile
  • + 12
 unless you are racing its all about how much fun you're having not pure speed, those thousands of a second aren't gonna make a difference at your local trails, pick which wheel size you like best and have fun riding it
  • + 2
 I'm not saying he's gonna win the race or what if he didn't fail. He's a great rider, and if he didn't fell off, at least the race would have been more tense, not to mention he's on a 29er Enduro. I myself don't like 29er either, but I still would like to see every rider put their best efforts on the race to make the race more competitive. Of course, failures and fell-offs are also a part of a great race, just feel shamed for Mitch's fell.
  • + 2
 Milanboy, I see what you meant. I jumped to conclusions, sorry.
  • + 1
 No worries mate. My original comment might be a little misleading. Anyway, it was a great race.
  • + 2
 Obviously he would not have crashed if he were on 26" wheels.
  • + 1
 not enough grip offered maybe on 29er rubber. the track was like talcum powder by the time he did his run...
[Reply]
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