Hometown Hero - Sebastian Schieck
Coming into the 2013 World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Greg Minnaar was without a doubt the favourite for most people. He had won the World Cup race here the year before and came as the reigning World Champion to defend his Rainbow jersey and number one plate.
It probably became the biggest race of Greg’s life. Worlds not only in his home country but in the heart of his hometown, the very place where he started riding all those years ago. An experience only a handful of riders will ever be able to have. You could tell that this would be a very emotional and special occasion, racing for the title in front of family and friends.
The expectations and excitement couldn´t have been any higher by the time Greg was ultimately sitting in the start gate for his final run. All eyes were on him, dropping in and making his way down the course he has ridden countless times before.
You could feel it in your chest, it´s electrifying but at the same time takes your breath away. The South African crowd carried Minnaar those last couple of sections, pushing him on harder and harder and over the line. A moment of hesitation followed by an even bigger outbreak of the crowd. The light on the timing board went green.
In the aftermath, while the sun is setting over Pietermaritzburg, a Greg Minnaar, still looking tense and focused, contemplating on what just happened, surrounded by an ecstatic crowd – his team, friends and family, the one life crew and the media.