Greg Minnaar (centre) celebrates (UCI Twitter)

Greg Minnaar (centre) celebrates (UCI Twitter)

South Africa’s Greg Minnaar stunned the field to win his fourth World Downhill Championship at the age of 39 in Val Di Sole, Italy on Sunday.

Minnaar last won the gold medal at downhill mountain biking’s biggest event of the year all the way back in 2013 in his home town of Pietermaritzburg, having also won in 2012 and 2003. 

Minnaar finished ahead of France’s Benoit Coulanges in second – by 0.277 seconds – and Australia’s Troy Brosnan in third. 

Fifth last down the hill, Minnaar had to watch on as another four riders attempted to beat his time and when none of them could, the reality of another massive win sank in as the popular Santa Cruz rider was overwhelmed with emotion. 

“I just dropped my head and started crying,” Minnaar said afterwards. 

“I couldn’t hold back.

“It is an incredible feeling, so overwhelming.”

Minnaar, who has been on the podium at the World Championships 12 times now over the course of his career, is largely considered the greatest downhill mountain biker of all time with a record 23 World Cup career victories to his name.

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