Greg was on the track testing but there was no racing for him this weekend here in Andorra.
After a crash while testing at Fort William fractured his arm, Greg Minnaar was planning on being out the next two races, working to get back on the bike by Val di Sole. That time has long come and passed and while there was speculation of whether Greg would race or not here in Andorra this weekend, he didn't. I caught up with Greg just before the start of finals today and got the lowdown on what the current status of his arm is and what his plan is for the rest of the season.
How is everything feeling? I saw you riding this weekend in practice but, obviously, no racing today.
Well, coming into the weekend, the plan was to race. When I had the last scan on my arm, the bone wasn't completely knitted so I've still got another two weeks. It's so close to the elbow that if I did crash, it could go into the elbow which would cause complications.
We decided I would come and do some riding, because I haven't really ridden much on the new bike and there's no better way than to ride than on a great track like this and just feel the elbow out...which it wasn't great but we still got a good bit of testing in and it's just nice to be back riding on a race track. So that was the plan but then obviously not to race because then we could risk something happening.
How does the new bike feel?
It's cool. You know, we've had a few changes with the links, just trying to refine it and get to the bike we want. With Luca and Loris continuing to ride and race while I've been injured, the bike has developed a bit. I'm halfway there...I'm on the old links right now, which felt really cool, the new ones for my bike aren't here yet, but, when we get back to Morzine this week, we'll be able to be on a race bike similar to what they're riding now and then we'll have a go on that.
For healing and recovery, what are you doing on a daily basis?
I've been trying to be in the gym as much as I can so that once the bone heals, I'll be able to be back sooner. Just sitting around the muscle just withers away so I'm trying to be strong and maintain decent strength in my arm then it's just the finer muscles that need work.
You work with the younger guys (Luca and Loris) on a regular basis on the track. With you being off the bike and not focusing on your race run, per se, how has that your role in working with them changed?
It's been really cool. You know, those guys are really established riders so they don't need too much refinement. If I find something like, here, when I was riding, I noticed a few things but it may or may not be helpful for them. I really just wish I was back racing.
What is the goal for you now? Do you have a specific race in mind? It's obviously changed some since your were first injured.
I've been setting goals the whole way. I wanted to be back for Val di Sole but my arm wasn't ready so I want to be back for Mont Sainte Anne. I don't want to just wait for worlds and have a shot at worlds, I want to be back on the bike and racing. I'm missing racing. I'm missing racing World Cups.
I've been going to Mont Sainte Anne since 1998. I rode there as a junior so it's pretty cool to go back there...this is my 20th year. So yeah, it's cool. It's a track I like. It's going to be pretty hard. Then again, I was talking to a few of my friends and they're like, "Andorra's a rough track to come back to." You know...any World Cup track is a rough track to come back to. They all get beat up and smashed so you don't really pick your battles, you just have to go full in.