Cape Town - South Africa's Greg Minnaar, the most decorated downhill mountain biker of all time, won his 19th UCI MTB World Cup title when he blitzed the field at Fort William in Scotland on Sunday.
Nobody in the history of the sport has won more World Cups than Minnaar, but it had appeared that the 34-year-old was in for a tough season after finishing 15th at Lourdes and 17th in Cairnes.
But Minnaar's season is back on track and he finished ahead of America's Aaron Gwin and Britain’s Danny Hart to win with a time of 4.35.601.
The race also saw riders and spectators pay tribute to Canadian Steve Smith, who passed away this year after a motorbike accident, while former world champion Steve Peat was also honoured in what was his final competitive appearance at the venue.
"It was a really emotional race. The whole event has been emotional and the ghost run put on for Stevie was really special. The team here at Fort William have done a great job, it was such a surprise what they organised to commemorate him," Minnaar told the event's official website.
"I was a little bit late coming to the start – I thought I had more time prior so I had to calm down and relax so I would ride smooth and fast. I kept thinking I’ve got to this win this event. I came in on good time, but I wasn’t sure it was going to hold because some guys came close."
The result means that, despite his poor start to the season, Minnaar moves up to fourth in the World Cup standings.