Minnaar wins another World Cup

The South African legend grabs victory as Nicole edges out women’s rival Cabirou.

South African legend Greg Minnaar produced a vintage performance to bank his 22nd UCI Mountain Bike World Cup victory in Lousã on Friday as Myriam Nicole edged out compatriot Marine Cabirou to keep the women’s title race delicately poised.

Fresh off the back of the first Maribor double-header, the field landed in Portugal for another week of intense action on a brand new track hailed as “proper downhill”.

Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300641 // Usage for editorial use only //
Another classy display of bike riding by South Africa’s main bru @gregminnaar

The Women’s Race

Fastest qualifier Myriam Nicole was the woman to beat today. World Champion Balanche held the early hot seat until Hoffmann came charging through the finish line. Hoffmann made up time on the bottom half of the track and flew into the finish arena in spectacular fashion. Next up, Cabirou, rode aggresively and cut Hoffmann’s time by 5 seconds.

Marine Cabirou performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300646 // Usage for editorial use only //
“I tried to push more today, a bit more aggressive. The track changed a lot because the grip is a bit slippery in the morning, then dry now. It is not easy.” – Marine Cabirou

Briton Tahnée Seagrave was next down but neither she nor Australian Tracey Hannah could do better until Nicole sent down a phenomenal run to win by 4.397 seconds.

Tahnee Seagrave performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300648 // Usage for editorial use only //
Seagrave rode smoothly but her time would be 5 seconds off the win.

“I am really stoked, it feels like a big release. I have a good strategy on this kind of track. I felt comfortable in the technical part.” – Myrian Nicole

Competitors stand on the podium at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300663 // Usage for editorial use only //
The Women’s podium.


UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s Lousã result
1. Myriam Nicole FRA 4m26.325s
2. Marine Cabirou FRA +4.397s
3. Tahnée Seagrave GBR +5.075s
4. Tracey Hannah AUS +8.290s
5. Nina Hoffmann GER +9.264s

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup women’s standings
1. Myriam Nicole FRA 625 points
2. Marine Cabirou FRA 575
3. Tracey Hannah AUS 481
4. Nina Hoffmann GER 464
5. Eleonora Farina ITA 406


The Men’s Race

Frenchman Loris Vergier was coming off back-to-back wins in Maribor with a win in qualifying and started as the favorite. American Aaron Gwin was the first of the big names to occupy the hot seat as the early leader.

Aaron Gwin performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300652 // Usage for editorial use only //
Gwin’s run was 1.5sec up and looked like it might hold.

Fellow American Dakotah Norton finished just 0.011 seconds off, but it was France’s Loïc Bruni who topped the timesheets before Minnaar’s ‘masterclass’.

Loic Bruni performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
Bruni absolutely smashed the last half of the track to pull back time on Gwin and take the hot seat.
Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300660 // Usage for editorial use only //
Minnaar put on a clinic and went a further 1.5sec faster to take the hot seat.
Matt Walker performs at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300635 // Usage for editorial use only //
Matt Walker was up on Greg at the top of the track but couldn’t hold the advantage to the line.
Greg Minnaar seen at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020 // Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool // SI202010300660 // Usage for editorial use only //
Minnaar’s run was sensational.

With Vergier suffering an agonizing puncture, Minnaar wrapped up a record 22nd win with Walker now leading Vergier overall by 14 points ahead of Sunday’s finale.

I had a great ride down. It is one of those bittersweet wins when one of your biggest rivals – who is also your teammate and good friend and is leading the World Cup – punctures on the way down. I feel real sorry for Loris. I was pretty tired going into today, so I am glad I had the legs to push through it.” – Minnaar

Competitors stand on the podium at UCI DH World Cup in Lousa, Portugal on October 30th, 2020
The Men’s podium.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s Lousã result
1. Greg Minnaar RSA 3m55.239s
2. Matt Walker GBR +1.833s
3. Loïc Bruni FRA +1.960s
4. Aaron Gwin USA +3.062s
5. Dakotah Norton USA +3.073s

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup men’s standings
1. Matt Walker GBR 517 points
2. Loris Vergier FRA 503
3. Greg Minnaar RSA 427
4. Loïc Bruni FRA 427
5. Thibaut Daprela FRA 408


Winning Runs from Lousã Round #1


Credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool


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