Video: Greg Minnaar & Andrew Neethling Explore Pietermaritzburg's Best Riding

Jun 30, 2021
by Andrew Neethling  

Words: Andrew Neethling

As a young mountain biker growing up in South Africa, I, like all my peers, looked up to Greg Minnaar. It's not always easy to breakthrough onto the world stage when you're from the southern tip of the African continent, but Greg showed us that it was possible. Indeed he did much more than just break through, he broke records.

After following in his footsteps and racing alongside Greg on the World Cup circuit for fourteen years, I am once again watching from the sidelines, fascinated not only by his ability but also his longevity.


With the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greg has spent more time than ever before in his professional career at home in South Africa. It was the perfect opportunity for me to head up to the sleepy town of Pietermaritzburg to explore the very hill where Greg won the pressure-filled 2013 World Championships, just a couple of kilometers from his home. Fast forward eight years and Greg is still shredding the Cascades trails, sharpening his skills and honing his fitness ahead of the 2021 season. Whether it's utilizing the e-bike to rip up the steep climbs, the trail bike, or the downhill rig itself, there's plenty of trails for Greg to go at.

I believe that Greg's work/life balance is key to his longevity, but also the consistency of his training. He is still as competitive as ever, half-wheeling me on the road bike or chastising me in the gym. At least I can safely say that I've got you on the golf course, Greg!

I asked him about the prospect of racing the 2021 season at forty years old. He said, "I'm going to need to win when I'm forty. If you don't think you can win then it's time to quit!'





Craig Scott Photography


14 Comments

  • 3 0
 Rad content right there. Keep that up. Imagine lining up next to Minnaar on an e-enduro race. I think with e-bikes getting better and better and these athletes wanting to ride competitively well into their 40's and 50's we're going to see e-enduro racing explode. But for now... really hope he wins a few more.
  • 1 0
 Damn, I hate to agree with you, but that makes absolute sense, and I would watch these dudes if that became a thing.
  • 3 0
 I've ridden in an enduro race with him in it. In the same locaiton in the video, Cascades. It was insane, he's sit on his phone during the climbs passing everyone. And obviously on the descends it's not even a question as to who was the fastest. Most of the time he's also the main sponsor in our local enduros. And he's also gone fairly quickly, a reasonably busy man he is.

Have been lucky enough to catch him on trails between races. Genuine dude and he always makes time for people. But bloody hell I'd be happy if my fitness was 10% of what he is achieving.
  • 1 0
 @Bologniusmaximus: That's freakin awesome! And yes... I agree 100% with your assessment of Minnaar. All of my encounters with him have been positive and he always comes off real. Not like he's faking the funk to be nice.
  • 1 0
 @h20-50: They're already transitioning to standard enduro and doing very well. And some are doing reasonably well at both. Only makes sense that as emtb's improve, more races are available and riders get older that it would be a place we'd see folks starting to show up.
  • 4 0
 This is where the word legend is appropriate.
  • 3 0
 greg has so much control in the air! i loooove his style. and +1 for neethling - humble and rippin as always.
  • 1 0
 I have to say - I always wondered when these two would do a video together in SA. I lived in SA for a number years back in the late 80's early 90's - and not too far from Pietermaritzburg. Great seeing them ride together.
  • 1 0
 Right there with you Greg. I turned 40 last month, but you got me on the trails!! You were so close last year. We know you can't stop now!
  • 1 0
 Mr. Hat (the South African police commissioner's affectionate nickname) can't be happy to hear that trails have been built during hard lockdown....which makes it even better!
  • 2 0
 Gregs to fast to need an ebike.
  • 1 0
 Nice work boys, awesome video.
  • 1 0
 love seeing that greg rides both flats and spd
  • 1 0
 liked that

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