World Champion Mountain Biker Attracts World Class Tourism To South Africa


World Champion Mountain Biker Attracts World Class Tourism To South Africa


Durban, South Africa – Greg Minnaar, former World Downhill Mountain Bike Champion and Pietermaritzburg resident, has fronted the launch of a new venture which looks set to raise the International profile of KwaZulu-Natal as a premium holiday destination, to the benefit of local businesses and communities.

At only 29 years old, Minnaar is already a living legend in mountain biking, having won 3 World Cup titles, a World Championship and countless podiums. He was invited to become an ambassador for “The True Collection”, a US company specializing in bespoke luxury vacations, which has just added South Africa to it’s portfolio of retreats.
“It always feels great to be home after a long year of traveling on the World Cup circuit” says Greg “But this year feels better than ever. I’ve returned to start an exciting new project with friends, which will help grow tourism trade, position mountain biking as an exhilarating vacation activity and also give something back to the less privileged in our community.”

Minnaar was joined for the launch by another South African star, pro surfer Tammy Lee Smith, to help present KwaZulu-Natal as a first-class get-away location. A special gathering of guest athletes, celebrities and media were flown out from all over the globe to mark the occasion, held at the exclusive Zimbali Resort, north of Durban.

The guests participated in a series of light-hearted charity team competitions against each other, raising money for a local school in the process. From biking, surfing and beach volleyball, to golf and wildlife photography… each contest carried a financial penalty for the losers, with every Rand raised going towards improving catering facilities for the 1000 children at nearby Thembeni Junior School. All the action can be viewed here:
Santa Cruz Bicycles, a California-based manufacturer of high-quality mountain bikes, and team sponsor of Greg Minnaar partnered the event.
“We feel privileged to be a part of this unique experience” declared Rob Roskopp, founder and owner of Santa Cruz Bicycles “South Africa’s stunning scenery is a dream destination for a mountain bike vacation. As more underprivileged children gain access to bikes thanks to charitable foundations… I’m sure it won’t be long before we see more World Champions hailing from this continent”.
During the launch, Minnaar and Roskopp took time out to officially open the Holla Trails Mountain Bike trail park with an inaugural race. Mountain bike fans were treated to a head-to-head dual between Greg and another legend of the sport, flying Frenchman Cedric Gracia, as they attacked the track at full-speed.
“South Africa is a phenomenally beautiful and diverse addition to The True Collection,” announced Todd Burke, the US entrepreneur who established the company in 2004. “By carefully selecting the finest this country has to offer, and by drawing upon the expertise of our resident elite athletes, we can ensure guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience every time they come!”
The next True Collection athlete event in South Africa takes place in April 2011, when the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup returns to Pietermaritzburg for round one of the season. And this coming July 23rd-31st, True Athlete Nantucket….our biggest event yet!

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Source:  Kathy Sessler

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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