Greg Minnaar WINS Fort William Downhilll World Cup

Have we just witnessed the best downhill World Cup race ever?

Victory is sweet, Greg Minnaar.

This has to be the best, craziest, most bonkers World Cup race ever. The headlines are that Greg Minnaar took the win with Danny Hart in second, but that is only a tiny bit of the story. I don’t really know where to start, it was the best race I have have ever seen. Goose bumps and deafening noise were the order of the day.
The hot seat went from Hannah to Button to Penamanaud to MacDonald…it stayed there for some time. At one time New Zealand riders took the top four spots on the podium. Brook MacDonald had been looking amazing all week, and his third place finish was hugely deserved.

Danny Hart...what can you say. Second place. The start of something big.

Camellini was up on the first split but then punctured, Barel crashed out, Cunningham was up, so too Steve Smith, Hill came down and went into third but ended up a disappointing ninth. With MacDonald guaranteed his first World Cup podium there was just Minnaar, Hart and Gwin to go.

Minnaar put almost 2 seconds into the New Zealander’s time, but no sooner had the cheers died down that Danny Hart’s first split time appeared on the big screen. He was up on Minnaar and hauling his sketchy ass (in the top section) all the way down the hill. Quite how he does it I will never know. He has the skill but he looks slightly under powered (to me). How wrong could I be. He was up on Minnaar at both of the splits but must have faded a little down the last section dropping him down to second.

A much deserved third place for Brook MacDonald.

Atherton came down but had obviously had some trouble along the way, all was not well.

Then Gwin…holy s–t! You have never seen anything like it. He was over 5 seconds up at the split. That is unheard of. That kind of lead is almost unbelievable. Then disaster stuck. He fell and would end up losing his five second lead and then another three. It was a cruel blow.

This result has really shaken things up. A gaggle of new young riders, some big names off the podium, some riders missing out and Gwin scaring the living daylights out of everyone. In seven days time it happens all again in Austria. Can’t wait.

Oh my...Aaron Gwin. Everyone should be very worried.

All photos Ed H.

Photo: Leopold Alcocks

Greg Minnaar takes the leaders jersey


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  1. smithers

    what happened to aaron!! killed it on the first two splits

  2. VonDH

    Aye fooking shocking freecaster needs a kick in the pants

  3. Bruno

    F*** you freecaster !!!!

  4. Tobias

    i watched the whole thing on freecaster your the one who needs a kick in the pants

  5. dan

    i’m never going to buy anything advertised on freecaster again

  6. Tom Tom

    completly unfair that we were all let down by freecaster

  7. Stefan

    All you guys annoyed about freecaster, you can watch it on – http://www.mtbworldcup.com/dhi/videos/ next time, it was freecaster yet it all worked fine on here.

  8. Deon

    What a race … WHAT A RACE!

  9. dan

    my fantasy team did so bad

  10. Anoobis

    Awesome stuff, watched it all on freecaster and it was brilliant. danny hart getting LOOSE. so easily could have won i think.

  11. Churchie

    Yeah, perfect timing for it to f@ck up… well peed off

  12. Deon

    My fantasy team rose a few ranks after today! :D

  13. doddsy

    freecaster wasnt so good for round 1, but ive just watched all of round 2 with only a couple of minor glitches, otherwise really worked well, and how danny hart stayed on his bike is beyond me, boy was lettin it all hang out!!

  14. TommyD

    Danny Hart’s run was absolutey wild! Class racing this weekend, gutted I couldn’t be there to see it because of exams!

  15. Stephen

    my freecaster was pretty good right until then end then it decided to skip the last 4 riders and go to gwin crossing the line

  16. r_mac

    HART!!! unreal run. my fantasy league never got of to a start, this year is a well mixed bag. Minnaar shows how he can be boss. But seriously that xc section, are they going to do anything with it next year? That xc section messed alot of ppl up

  17. james

    freecaster was fine for me didnt have any freezes and i think the live timing was saying that the person was faster than the person in first not the fastest overall

  18. Andy K

    Freecaster worked well for me. Hart was rulin

  19. chris

    i was sate infront of my laptop with beers at the ready. watched about 30mins of it then the bloody site kept on crashing and then i lost it alltogether gutted.!!!

  20. Andy D

    Gwins 2nd split time was amazing!
    Not sure what happened to his run at the end as wasnt covered by freecaster’s camera but helped my dream team out massively!

  21. paul

    Seems retarded that so many complain about freecaster?? It is after all free!!

  22. Dan

    The FREE freecaster coverage worked perfect for me. Only bettered if they can fix the on screen timing for the next round. Top result for Danny, awesome to see the sport constantly developing!

  23. Stu

    Freecaaster! stop your moaning, we all know that you get what you pay for!

  24. Tobias

    wow gwin crashed!! that man is james stewart on a mountain bike

  25. Mike

    Freecaster worked great for me, good job guys.

  26. ddmonkey

    Hart! Amazing, shame Barel crashed out would have been a solid load of points for the Fantasy team otherwise. Freecaster dropped out early on for me and then I couldn’t get back on the site, dissapointing.

  27. rayhaan

    I would be lost without freecaster! awesome job by those guys…what a race!!!

  28. Hagar

    No issues with Freecaster today, top racing. Wish i’d bothered to drag my arse out of bed this morning and make the journey north!!

  29. Snakebite

    @Stu, Dan, Paul It’s not actually free, you pay for it via the products you by. Look at it as a form of tax. Look, either do a job right or don’t do it at all..I missed the whole thing despite taking the day off work to watch the race. I feel very let down, as do ten’s of thousands of others. True, it worked for some people, but for the majority of people it didn’t. If I ran the company I would be ashamed.

  30. adamg

    Well done to Danny! The pressure was on him and he came through. My fantasy league will definately be doing a bit better now!

  31. doddsy

    anybody know why bernard kerr wasnt there? hes well helping my team out……….

  32. ag96

    Freecaster was fine for me, just refreshed it a couple of times and it worked a treat

  33. billy

    Berny punctured in Qualifying

  34. Daire

    Fort William killed my fantasy team, barel DNF and Gee’s poor finish, Pugin got me some points in the womens at least

  35. jonesdirtmag

    Anyone know where the second split was? Into man made lower section? That’s where the race was WON and LOST. Greg 2 seconds quicker than Stevie Smith over that last minute or so, and where Gwinn crashed and lost 9 seconds to Minnaar. Danny lost a fair bit of ground down that bottom part.

    How much did the wind conditions account for top part – McDonald in 24th up there! Then 3rd at split 2!

  36. Isaac

    Anyone know what this does to the overall? I presume with Aaron’s good qualifying result plus his 5th (which let’s face it isn’t too shabby, if he’d have come 5th a year ago we’d have been stoked) he is still leading the series but Minaar has tightened it up?

  37. SmurfSmut

    I thought it was all a bit sh!t really, fort bill is just getting repetative and seen it all before. Same old riders not developing any new skills or pushing the boundaries. They know they get paid no matter where they come. Yawn.

  38. Spandex Chad

    Here here smurf smut, give me ‘The Tour’ any day if you want to see riders really trying. the standard of the current crop of WC DHers is way low.

  39. gee

    Thought the coverage quality was excellent, shame about the timing glitches – but most of all – shame about the camera placement – you saw very little skill. Some rocky sections would have been more entertaining than a view of them pedalling down a fire road.

    For all the criticism of the SA track, Freecaster coverage made it look far more technical than Fort Bill.

  40. Jack

    Think Brook Macdonald needs some congratulations as well! Massive result for him. Absolutely killed it in his run, Big up to the man of the moment!

  41. Steve

    If danny didn’t scuff at the top… First WC Win?.. What an animal

  42. Michael law

    What happened to Steve peat?

    What’s freecaster? Can you get it on your I phone? I don’t do computers.

  43. Nickkkk

    is the freecaster coverage gonna be up post race? ie: now/soon? id like to watch the coverage this eve!

  44. TallPaul

    Freecaster worked fantastically for me today don’t blame them for your poor internet connection! An oh my God what a fooking days racing! Conrats to T Mo and Rachel welcome back we have missed you. Then the mens what can I say Hart was killing it and sooooo loose bloody brilliant.

  45. Joe Smith

    So Stoked for Danny Hart, Really hope he has some more big results this season.

  46. paul

    Dan you are a bell end.

  47. ross

    four kiwi’s in the top ten how about that then ah

  48. Dirk

    WHAT A RACE, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Danny Hart, Way to upset the normal Podium suspects.

  49. rICH

    Dan you total knob, I would love you to say that in front of me. I would take a fist to your face then follow thru with a kick in balls.

  50. Dirty Dee

    Best race I’ve ever watched, and it’s still pretty early in the season. Some young dogs really shaking up the mix, some podium regulars cruising down the Hill! And Gwin letting everyone know he’s on the next level. MEGA.

  51. Ross

    best race i can remember was worlds in val di sole, canberra when peaty won to. I agree that the lack of cameras don’t give you enough action. What about that mega fast bit below the deer gate?

  52. dylan

    that got me excited reading about it

  53. Dylan

    Brook Macdonald was on fire, poor aaron though :( Sam’s lost his fire? And fuck me Danny…wow…That was crazy.

  54. steveO

    stop dissing freecaster…. at least you dont get “cannot show content due to country boundarys” etc…… thanks to eveyrone for the coverage of an amazing race…. unlucky danny, next time!!!

  55. marcus

    Race was insane. The only shitty thing about freecaster is the lack of cameras. otherwise i thought it was an INCREDIBLE show! Gwin is def next level, and so sick to see new faces on the podium!! Hart is truly the pinball wizard!!

  56. andi

    who was that sam hill again?

  57. VonDH

    @Billy just a thought, with all the personal attacks on here at riders and other people that post on here i think people should have to register before posting on here, its to damn easy to hide behind a fake email address and slag someone of.

    there nothing wrong with not having the same opinion as everyone else but come on to call a young lad a C**T.

  58. jonzo

    Danny has a real overall title opportunity this year… bring it home fella!

  59. luke

    i dont think my fantasy team could have done better… minaar, mosley, hannah, riffle and gracia…
    please update the points!!

  60. bozo

    Danny Hart nearly fell off ten times,
    was that tissot timing working for real?

  61. Dirty Dee

    There was no ‘problem’ with timing. Warner was looking at the UCI live timing feed which gives you the splits compared to all other riders on the day, whereas the on-screen split was compared to whoever was currently in the hot seat, if you understand?

  62. dave

    @jonesy split 2 was just after scotland wallride i believe

  63. PeteG

    I think Sam Hill is protecting himself for the World Champs. We all know what he’s capable of. His result in SA suggests he’s been training hard, but we all know Champery is Sam’s type of track.
    Congrats to Danny Hart, on the ragged edge the whole time, brilliant to watch but lets hope he can keep it sticky side down. Looks like Gwinny has got the outright speed and power, on the basis of this race he just needs to dial it back a fraction. If he gets the balance right he’s going to dominate. Still only his 3rd full season too isn’t it?

  64. craig

    gwin fast on less tech tracks.. hill is gonna b the man in europe

  65. Brad

    Not one mention of the winner… it’s all well and good that a few guys were up at the first and/or second splits, too bad that’s not the time that counts. The race finishes at the bottom, Greg had the fastest time to the line and took a brilliant win!

  66. Dave

    Mr Min was was 2.5 seconds faster than his closest rival (Hart) for that last section, enough said….

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