On 13 November 1981 Greg Minnaar was born. And the world hasn’t been the same since. Well, technically, the mountain bike world hasn’t been the same, but for many of us, that IS our world. In fact, we can’t imagine a mountain bike world without him. As the greatest downhill racer of all time celebrates his 40th birthday, we felt it would be a good time to publish 40 Greg Minnaar images you probably haven’t seen…

By Sean Badenhorst

I have been publishing Greg Minnaar content in/on cycling media since 1998. The guy is one of just a few people that I consider a mountain biking legend and it’s been a real pleasure to follow – and document – his career from the beginning.

I can’t believe Greg is 40! I also can’t believe he’s still racing – and winning – at the highest level. There’s so much I have written and so much I still want to write about Greg, who is so much more than a fast bike racer. Fortunately, there are many media guys and girls like me who have captured Greg in photos and video and text over the years, so his legacy will live on long after he’s stopped charging down mountain slopes, pushing the human limit.

We have many images of Greg that we have published and many that we haven’t published. So we figured it would be a good time to publish 40 images that show Greg’s character, versatility and charm. We actually don’t know who shot all of these images, but know for sure that South African photographers, Sven Martin and Gary Perkin, shot quite a few. We have credited those that we know. Some images are from Facebook, taken by fans who tagged Greg. And some are just plain unusual and had to be included.

Anyway, enough chit chat, check out these images of the world’s fastest 40-year-old mountain bike racer…

Interbike Dirt Demo at Boulder City, Nevada, 2008. | Photo: Sven Martin
At the 2007 Cape Epic with teammate Hannele Steyn.
Somewhere, some time with Steve Peat and a cigar…
Media work somewhere in 2017
Ceres, South Africa in 2016. | Photo: Gary Perkin
Competing at a Cyclo-Cross Race in 2015. He finished 4th.
Giving the MTN Qhubeka team some support at the Vuelta in 2015
On the massage bed.
Custom suit fitting in London in 2014.
Personal mechanics are so invested in their riders and it’s great to see Lyle Hyslop share the success of Greg after winning the 2021 World Championships.
Lending his support to raise awareness for a children’s kidney disease charity in 2016
Relaxing in 2013
Riding a wet Sani2c with his mates in 2020.
Dyed hair phase. We think this is about 2007.
Just a cracker recent shot of Greg doing a T-Bog.| Photo: Sven Martin
The tight schedule of a world champion. This was back in 2014 and we think it was linked to the custom suit fitting in London. We’ll get some confirmation.
Greg’s long-time boss, Rob Roskopp, former pro skateboarder (Santa Cruz skateboards) and co-founder of Santa Cruz bicycles and the Syndicate racing team.
So many images show Greg going downhill. We love this recent rare shot of him climbing at Hellsend, Stellenbosch. | Photo: Gary Perkin
Win the World Champs in your home town and expect mayhem. Fans went wild when Greg won his third World Champs title in Pietermartizburg in 2013.
Greg with the South African team at the opening ceremony of the 2013 World Championships in Pietermaritzburg
Ceres, South Africa, 2013 shooting the media for the launch of the Santa Cruz Tallboy 3. | Photo: Gary Perkin
This ridiculously impressive pan shot from the 2021 World Champs had to be included. It’s like Greg’s leaving a South African flag coloured vapour trail. | Photo: The Master – Sven Martin
Competing in a local XCO race in Pietermaritzburg in 2015. | Photo: QuickPix
Proud dad, Jeff Minnaar, after watching Greg win the World Championships in their home town of Pietermaritzburg in 2013.
Greg adding his support at the McLaren Bike Park fundraiser in 2015. | Photo: Bermstyle.com
Two mountain biking legends! Greg and Burry Stander at Coffeeberry Cafe in 2009
Puncture! Well, and a bit more mechanical drama at the Val di Sole World Cup in 2017
Former rival, long-time friend and occasional fool, Steve Peat making the photo of the hometown hero look more interesting.
You won’t find a stronger patriot than Greg. This is at the sculpture at the Nelson Mandela capture site near Howick.
Ah, the heel clicker, mastered by Minnaar back in 2002 or so… | Photo: Mark Dawson
Just another incredible action shot of Greg in 2021.
Just a pic of a shirtless Greg somewhere in Europe during the crazy year that was 2020
And you thought Jeff was proud? Jackie is the picture of the proudest mum on earth after Greg won his third World Championships title in Pietermaritzburg in 2013.
Tyre-pressure check shot. How many times must Greg have done that in his career?
Look at that crowd! Greg on his way to fifth at the 2019 World Championships, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. | Photo: Sven Martin
Adding the finer-touches to his custom painted helmet before the 2013 World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, which he won.
After years of being unfairly and repeatedly overlooked for the award of the South African Sportsman of the Year, Greg finally got recognition in March 2021 when the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture opted to give awards to top achievers in a variety of sports disciplines. Sarah, his girlfriend, was there to witness something we’d never thought would happen.
A regular whip on a regular bike in regular kit. See, Greg can look human… | Photo by Gary Perkin
We love you too, Birthday Boy!
A cold beer after a hot day of riding – the best way to end every day. This was a shoot to launch the Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 during the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. | Photo: Gary Perkin

Cheers GOAT! Happy 40th Birthday, Greg! South African mountain bikers wish you many more.


Note: Please email sean@treadmtb.co.za if you know who images need to be credited to.