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Greg Minnaar breaks three vertebrae at Val di Sole season ender

South African updates after big crash in Italy

Photo by: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Greg Minnaar was forced to end his World Cup season early when a serious injury took him out of the Val di Sole downhill over the weekend.

Minnaar was surely imagining a different ending to his season when he arrived in Val di Sole, Italy. The final World Cup of 2022 returned to the same venue where the tall South African earned his fourth elite downhill world championship title one year before. Instead of turning that into momentum, Minnaar crashed in practice. The Syndicate rider went down hard, leaving the mountain in an air ambulance.

Minnaar updated fans on his injury, saying he’d broken three vertibrae in the crash.

“Pretty horrible crash in practice resulted in a quick helicopter ride to hospital and a scary couple of hours figuring out what the damage was. Still getting a couple of results back, but what we know is that I have three fractured vertebrae. The good news is that they are stable, the bad news is I’m in a neck brace for the next three months.”

“Not quite how I pictured wrapping up the season,” Minnaar added, “but s*it happens.”

Despite missing the race, Minnaar still finished 10th overall in the 2022 World Cup standings.