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