The South African crashed during a test run at Fort William, Scotland, at the beginning of the month when he clipped his pedal on a rock and went over the handlebars, breaking his arm in the process.
“It’s definitely going to influence my world cup as I’ve missed two races now. I’d imagine I’m so far behind on points I won’t be able to catch up,” Minnaar told In the Bunch.
“I’m still aiming to be back and hopefully healthy enough for Val di Sole, but I’ll take each race as it comes from there, focus on them and then take on the world championships,” said the 36-year-old.
The Santa Cruz Syndicate rider, who won last year’s downhill world cups in Fort William and Lenzerheide, attended the Leogang world cup in Austria on Sunday to offer support to riders, help them out and give feedback on the track.
“Racing isn’t as easy as it looks and not as glamorous, but it is rewarding. It takes a lot of determination and sacrifice to get there. If you really want it that badly you wouldn’t think about sacrifices.”
The Pietermaritzburg local, who currently boasts 22 world cup career victories, said it was hard to say if there was a magic formula for the amount of success he had achieved.
“You’re forever changing and adjusting over the years. The sport changes, different riders come in and bikes develop. You can never be settled in a certain way.”
Minnaar started out at the age of four on the BMX, then made the change to motocross before eventually switching to downhill racing when his parents bought a bicycle shop in their home town.
“Downhill was a little closer to motocross than cross-country, so that’s why I decided to race that.
“My breakthrough year was in 1999 [aged 17] when I finished eighth as a junior in the world cup race at Big Bear, California. I was put in the British international team Animal Orange the following year.”
Having achieved his ultimate career goal, which is to be a world cup/world champion, Minnaar said he would now focus on enjoying what he does.
“I’m pretty privileged to be in this position, to be able to race and enjoy it and to be on the team I’m on. While it’s going well and while I’m competitive I’ll continue to do that.”
What motivated him the most was to try and be as good as he could be and to get the most out of himself, he said.
“It’s not like something you can repeat over and over again. Every race is a challenge. Winning is definitely the most rewarding and being injured the least. When you want to be on the bike competing but you’re on the sidelines watching then it’s not that much fun.”
Minnaar said the future of SA downhill racing looked promising. “There are a lot of young locals coming through. It would be hard to name one or two as there is a healthy flow of juniors who have enough potential to definitely make it in a world cup.”
He will now return to France for a couple of days before going to Manchester for rehab and to see a specialist about his arm. He will then make his way back to France before the world cup in Italy.