Throwback Thursday: 16 Years of Greg Minnaar & Santa Cruz

Dec 7, 2023 at 10:47
by Ed Spratt  
Greg Minnaar

Following the news of Greg Minnaar's departure from Santa Cruz after 16 years with the brand, we have taken a look back at his time on the team and pulled together his results, race bikes, winning runs and some video highlights. It will certainly be strange seeing Greg taking on World Cups without a V10 race bike.

Greg's Santa Cruz World Cup Wins - 16
Greg's Santa Cruz World Cup Podiums - 57

Greg's Santa Cruz World Champs Titles 3
Greg's Santa Cruz Fort William Wins - 6


Round 1: Maribor - 5th
Round 2: Vallnord - 3rd
Round 3: Fort William - 1st
World Champs: Val Di Sole - 4th
Round 4: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 1st
Round 5: Bromont - 2nd
Round 6: Canberra - 1st
Round 7: Schladming - 5th



Round 1: Pietermaritzburg - 1st
Round 2: La Bresse - 6th
Round 3: Vallnord - 3rd
Round 4: Fort William - 1st
Round 5: Maribor - 3rd
Round 6: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 22nd
Round 7: Bromont - 1st
World Champs: Canberra - 2nd
Round 8: Schladming - 3rd


Round 1: Maribor - 1st
Round 2: Fort William - 3rd
Round 3: Leogang - 1st
Round 4: Champéry - 2nd
Round 5: Val Di Sole - 2nd
Round 6: Windham - 2nd
World Champs: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 3rd



Round 1: Pietermaritzburg - 2nd
Round 2: Fort William - 1st
Round 3: Leogang - 3rd
Round 4: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 18th
Round 5: Windham - 12th
Round 6: La Bresse - 1st
Round 7: Val Di Sole - 6th
World Champs: Champéry - 8th



Round 1: Pietermaritzburg - 1st
Round 2: Val Di Sole - 2nd
Round 3: Fort William - 6th
Round 4: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 2nd
Round 5: Windham - 9th
Round 6: Val d'Isére - 4th
World Champs: Leogang - 1st
Round 7: Hafjell - 3rd

Greg Minnaar s World s bike.


Round 1: Fort William - 8th
Round 2: Val Di Sole - 3rd
Round 3: Vallnord - 6th
Round 4: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 4th
World Champs: Pietermaritzburg - 1st
Round 5: Hafjell - 5th
Round 6: Leogang - DNS

Minnaar Limited Edition V10 Replica 2013


Round 1: Pietermaritzburg - 3rd
Round 2: Cairns - DSQ
Round 3: Fort William - 7th
Round 4: Leogang - 2nd
Round 5: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 7th
Round 6: Windham - 11th
Round 7: Méribel - 10th
World Champs: Hafjell - 30th

UCI World Cup 2014 Rider Profiles


Round 1: Lourdes - 22nd
Round 2: Fort William - 1st
Round 3: Leogang - 5th
Round 4: Lenzerheide - 1st
Round 5: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 4th
Round 6: Windham - 2nd
Round 7: Val Di Sole - 54th
World Champs: Vallnord - 2nd

Greg s V10 - Lenzerheide World Cup 2015.


Round 1: Lourdes - 15th
Round 2: Cairns - 17th
Round 3: Fort William - 1st
Round 4: Leogang - 5th
Round 5: Lenzerheide - 3rd
Round 6: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 6th
Round 7: Vallnord - 2nd
World Champs: Val Di Sole - 7th

Greg Minnaar s V10


Round 1: Lourdes - 59th
Round 2: Fort William - 1st
Round 3: Leogang - 3rd
Round 4: Vallnord - 2nd
Round 5: Lenzerheide - 1st
Round 6: Mont-Sainte-Anne - DSQ
Round 7: Val Di Sole - 79th
World Champs: Cairns - 61st

Greg Minnaar V10 29er


Round 1: Lošinj - 13th
Round 2: Fort William - DNS
Round 5: Vallnord - DNS
Round 6: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 16th
Round 7: La Bresse - 58th
World Champs: Lenzerheide - 8th

Cannonball Festival 2018 bike checks


Round 1: Maribor - DNQ
Round 2: Fort William - 6th
Round 3: Leogang - 2nd
Round 4: Vallnord - 11th
Round 5: Les Gets - 7th
Round 6: Val Di Sole - 7th
Round 7: Lenzerheide - 2nd
World Champs: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 5th
Round 8: Snowshoe - 5th



World Champs: Leogang - 27th
Round 1: Maribor - 5th
Round 2: Maribor - 9th
Round 3: Lousã - 1st
Round 4: Lousã - 2nd

Photo: Sven Martin/Santa Cruz Bicycles


Round 1: Leogang - 12th
Round 2: Les Gets - 7th
Round 3: Maribor - 4th
World Champs: Val Di Sole - 1st
Round 4: Lenzerheide - 19th
Round 5: Snowshoe - DNF
Round 6: Snowshoe - DNS



Round 1: Lourdes - 16th
Round 2: Fort William - 7th
Round 3: Leogang - 41st
Round 4: Lenzerheide - 3rd
Round 5: Pal Arinsal - 9th
Round 6: Snowshoe - 5th
Round 7: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 30th
World Champs: Les Gets - 11th
Round 8: Val Di Sole - DNS


Round 1: Lenzerheide - 29th
Round 2: Leogang - 27th
Round 3: Val Di Sole - 28th
World Champs: Fort William - DNF
Round 4: Pal Arinsal - 2nd
Round 5: Loudenvielle - 12th
Round 6: Les Gets - 7th
Round 7: Snowshoe - 17th
Round 8: Mont-Sainte-Anne - 32nd

Greg Minnaar

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,052 articles

  • 151 5
 Thank you for doing a proper tribute and send off for the GOAT. So much better than that 2 minute "dont let the door hit you on the way out" release from Santa Cruz.
  • 58 0
 Rumors have it, that Norco will release a "V12", because there is no replacement for displacement.
  • 8 0
 The crew at Motortrend approve this message.
  • 5 0
 Or perhaps the w16
  • 45 0
 He’s off G cross Honda?
  • 8 0
 He's off Global Orange?
  • 5 0
 So you're telling me that he doesn't ride for Haro anymore?!
  • 40 0
 That last Worlds win was a f*cking biblical moment in DH history. Totally needed that coming off the lockdown misery.

Godspeed GOAT
  • 16 0
 That was an AMAZING moment.
  • 28 2
 Santa Cruz and everyone that made the brand what it is are leaving now. Selling to an investor group was probably a terrible idea.
  • 16 1
 It would appear that Roskopp agrees. Well, maybe not on the actually taking the payday part, but hey, at least he's actually sharing his opinions about PON-era SC.

Although I'm personally disappointed to not see Minnaar finish out his career on a Santa Cruz, I can't be the only one who's stoked that the GOAT will be back next year with a brand that will leave no stone unturned in getting the legend up to speed. #greatestever
  • 1 1
 @DirtCrab: your last point is the key here, he will have a brand that backs him completely. Not that SC didn’t, but I’m sure the same frame(sort of) kinda gets old.
  • 2 2
 Yup, soul is gone and with it, any inkling of me ever owning one again. Too bad, were my go to bikes for a long time.
  • 1 0
 The Syndicate made Santa Cruz. Since the fall apart of the Syndicate, the bitter taste drops onto Santa. Definatley not the brand i was looking up to anymore. The VP Free was my dream bike back in the days. Now I wouldn't even touch a Santa with a ten foot pole. yes i know, the vp free released before the Syndicate. But the Syndicate made Santa visible for me.
  • 4 0
 @mikedk: I'm 100% with you and I know I've heard this from others as well. way to piss off a the older demographic with disposable income... now buying bikes for our kids.
  • 19 0
 This is infinitely better than that video on insta.
Thanks PinkbikeSmile
  • 16 0
 I want to know the real story. No way Santa Cruz lets him walk after 16 years of being the face of the company. Hell, even Peaty is still around working with the team. What's the drama behind this move?!
  • 16 0
 It is very interesting. On the farewell podcast, Greg mentions being "blind sided" by it, but they don't want to get into many details because the SC media guy "isn't happy about the situation" and wanted to keep it cheerful. Then in Rob Roskop's instagram post, he says "I can understand why you wanted to leave", while going on to talk about the new SC leadership doing a terrible job. I hope we get to know more at some point.
  • 4 0
 corporate decision?
if you have the future (probably) goat aka jackson on the team and a soon to be retired goat but only have X amount of cash to spend on the team and you need to let someone go. who do you kick out?
  • 2 0
 @mammal: can you share the link to the podcast? I am also puzzled why they let him leave when he is still delivering decent results and is a legend of the freakin sport....
  • 8 0
 I can't help but feel that the arrival of Jackson as a stand out racer changed the power dynamics within the team, and as other folks have already pointed out, the increasingly corporate nature of those pulling the levers at Santa Cruz probably has a lot to do with this. My guess is that those in control of the corporate purse strings don't value his prior contributions and legacy, but rather question whether his continuation with the team was necessary.

IMO its a poor PR move that tarnishes an otherwise storybook relationship between the GOAT and arguably the best DH team ever. That said, I'm over 40, and perhaps they think Jackson is a big enough star to be the future of the team/brand.

But wtf do I know?
  • 2 0
 @cro-magnon: If this is the case why Minnaar? Greenland seems like the easy choice, yes he's a good racer but his name doesn't float around the industry like Jackson and Greg.
  • 2 0
 @DavidMcComb: You're right!
Could be budget cut and Jackson price increased after last season so they couldn't afford two end of the tier earners.

If rumors are true, there will be a junior women coming. So wild guessing: Budget cut + jacksons plus earnings + junior women = Gregs salery.
  • 1 0
 @joaoamaral66: look up "The roller door" podcast, it's SC's in-house podcast.
  • 1 0
 @DavidMcComb: Maybe Greenland's contract wasn't up yet and Greg's was? Hard to say.
  • 5 0
 @jaytdubs: they could value his prior contributions and still question if his continuation was necessary. Corporate decisions arent made with hate and dislike
  • 1 0
 @Treehouse15: agreed, its not black and white. As a fan of Minnaar and the Syndicate, and not being in the decision making position, my view is skewed.
  • 4 0
 @Treehouse15: Spot on, but also I think there's a lot of people chyming in with thoughts about "corporate decisions" who don't understand the relationship between Santa Cruz and the Syndicate. I don't know about now, but the Syndicate was a separate entity from Santa Cruz since it's inception. They were both owned by Roskopp, but the Syndicate was not technically the "factory" team of Santa Cruz.

I can't see the Syndicate (or Santa Cruz) wanting it to go this way unless they were far apart on something (retirement?) I wonder if Santa Cruz had planned a huge farewell tour with Greg, then he pulled a Brady and changed his mind about retiring.
  • 1 0
 @cro-magnon: you are smart guy and your comment make lots of sense. Even though many do not like it, running a sport tream is a business. Greg was possibly very expensive and they count every penny and the most important is the perspective Goldstone is more perspective than Greg and with limited budget they need to chose.
  • 2 0
 @jaytdubs: Santa Cruz and is now part of a much bigger company and it you know anything about large companies you’ll know that the 2024 budget will have had to have been submitted and approved at least half way through 2023. All the noise was that Minnaar was due to retire at the end of this year and if that was indeed the plan then SC will have likely not budgeted for his salary in 2024. So when Greg changed his mind because of a lacklustre season what are SC supposed to do? Dropping Greenland so they can keep Minnaar most likely would mean buying Greenland out of the remainder of his contract not strategically smart when Greg would be leaving at the end of 2024 anyway.
  • 13 0
 Amazing how long this guy has been competing and dominating!
  • 10 0
 2016 wins the best looking V10 category.
  • 1 1
 @powderhoundbrr I think the 2020 one is the best looking personally. But maybe that's just me. To each their own. Cool
  • 1 0
  • 9 1
 Thank you Greg for your hard work, passion and dedication to this awesome sport!
  • 4 0
 Thank you PB for a proper Article on the GOAT. It is mind blowing the stats he as, he average one win per year on SC, I think the next closed one may be Loic and I don't think he aveg one per year. His consistency is just nuts
  • 5 0
 Crazy that with those results in 2010 that he didn’t win the World Cup Series. Imagine your worst finish being 3rd place and finishing second in the series.
  • 7 0
 Yes! Back to Honda \,,/
  • 3 0
 Reading his results year after year is crazy, what a career! Total legend. I sincerely hope he absolutely slays it in 2024. A big thumb on the nose to SC.
  • 2 0
 The kits were loose and the bikes were small. Such a great rider. Really loved the Minaar peaty and Ratboy time. God I fell old. Best wishes to Greg an I hope you can get a couple of wins in the future
  • 6 0
 Still doesn't sit right
  • 2 1
 Has anybody ever asked Greg who he thinks is the G.O.A.T. ? Greg has had a great career but the rider that deserves the title is Nico Violluz. No has ever dominated like Nico did and even Greg won't come close to the record of Nico.
  • 5 0
 Not taking away from Nico's efforts but do you think he had the same level of competition as Greg for the majority of their careers? Quite amazing Greg was still competitive in 2023 and still able to take world champs title in 2021 so long after starting to race. Nico's first 5 wins were 1st place out of 3 competitors back in the mid 90s. It's the same reason I think Gwin could have claimed the GOAT status if he didn't suffer injuries later in his career because he came into the sport older and still did so well against a super competitive [established] crowd, albeit with no champs titles.

Either way, both incredible careers and it's quite remarkable Greg is still going at 42!
  • 1 0
 I have just watched the first 2 and as one of the longest syndicate fans it saddens me that the team and DH as a whole has lost that wild party attitude, Ratboy was soooo young and its good to see the stoked crowd and afterparty. Those were the golden years of Downhill and today feels so much more sterile and serious, the only thing thats got better is the camera work. All the very best to Greg next year and all the wild boys of DH keep going we love Pinky, Charlie and the wild juniors that have come up to seniors. If you want to be to serious rather go ride XC. Long Live DH
  • 3 0
 Hell of a career. Showing all the bikes he rode is a really cool way to show it off too
  • 2 0
 Rode with Greg in Stirling, North Third, he is such a gent. I'm a big fan of seeing Greg on SC but I'm excited to see him on another brand.
  • 2 0
 Not sure if it’s in there but we should not forget the famous ‘bike snap’ video. The one where he cleaved his V10 in two.
  • 4 0
  • 4 0
 Rennie sighting.
  • 3 0
 Why couldn’t SC have done a tribute like this?
  • 4 1
 Cause that shit cost money!
  • 2 0
 That gold V10 is extraordinary.
  • 2 0
 It still feels wired to imagine a DH race without the GOAT,
  • 1 0
 I think he'll still be racing, just on a different bike.
  • 2 0
 That 2020 bike looks soooo good!
  • 2 1
 If you want to see a proper tribute to the GOAT, check out GnarCouch's reel on Instagram.
  • 1 0
 Rad. Thanks for including all the o.g. videos. Those are going to be fun to run through.
  • 2 0
 …that odd time that the Fox 40 was the 49.
  • 1 0
 Has Greg made room for Ronan Dunne to move to the Syndicate and at a fraction of Greg's cost probably!
  • 1 0
 those results on each year speak for themselves...
  • 1 0
 Cough this is actually a "legend".
  • 1 1
 the best thing about those videos is the perfect commentary and not some 2023 bs
  • 7 7
 Should all boycott SC bikes
  • 7 0
 why? everyone is being way too emotional about this. Its their company and they have made a change
  • 1 0
 WTF santa cruz?!!
  • 1 0
 I miss Rennie
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