Video: Cannonball MTB Festival, Thredbo

Words by Flow | Images by Flow, Damian Breach

The inaugural Cannonball MTB Festival at Thredbo was unreal. It had everything; from snow to dust, pump tracks to whip offs, greasy poles (you’ll see) to downhill racing. We’re sure this event is going to become a classic on the calendar. It really felt like the good old days of Thredbo racing, but spiced up, professional and really exciting at the same time.

The Cannonball MTB Festival is already locked in for the first weekend of December next year once again – see you in Shredbo.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-1

The Thredbo team couldn’t believe their (un)luck when a huge dump of snow arrived in the first week of summer, two days prior to the Cannonball MTB Festival. In the end it actually added a really cool element to the event, as the snow had all but disappeared by Saturday morning. By Sunday it was genuinely dusty out on track once again. Crazy alpine weather, huh?

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C2

Loads of respect for Mick Hannah who embodied the ‘no dig, no ride’ ethos, helping to shovel snow with the other volunteers.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-10

This is what Bunny Walk on the downhill track looked like with practice due to start in half an hour! The first practice session was run from mid-station, but the whole mountain was open and running after lunch.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-15 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C1 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-17 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C3
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-23

The Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge was a seriously cool event – a perfect afternoon with the finals held under lights, a DJ and grandstand seating.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C6 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-24 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C7 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C8 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-34
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-35

Thomas Crimmins hooks in on his way to third place.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C9

Cash prizes were part of the appeal of the Cannonball MTB Festival for the fast crew – no hats or old tyres for the elite riders here!

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C22

Troy Brosnan and Tegan Molloy nabbed the wins on the pump track. Tegan got super lucky, handed the win after Tracey Hannah and Danielle Beecroft were DQ’d for accidentally chucking in a pedal stroke. Brosnan looked calm and in control, never getting loose or pushing it too hard, but lapping fast and clean.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-36

Remy Morton definitely had the speed to take the win, but pushed it too hard in the slippery exit of this berm that claimed a few. This Queenslander kid is on the rise, big time.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-45

Day two was massive: downhill practice, the finals of the Flow Motion Cup, downhill seeding and then the whip wars to cap it all off. Here: the iconic Eagle’s Way fire road corner.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C4 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-47
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-52

Canberra’s Old Jamesy Collins in the Flow Motion Cup.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C11

The snow melt left the top third of the Flow Trail a little muddy, but once the track emerged from the woods on the ski runs, it was perfect.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-53

Danielle Beecroft had a huge weekend; third here in the Flow Motion Cup, a win in the Whip Wars, and third in both downhill and the pump track too. She was the only woman to take part in all four events – legend.

 

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-54

Ben Cory proved once again that he is a pure animal on any bike. A convincing first place in the Flow Motion Cup.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-66

It was a good weekend for Tegan Molloy – her plentiful time on the hill paid off to the tune of $500 (and a handful of cannonballs) in the Flow Motion Cup.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-55 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C5
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C15

Andrew Crimmins, left, showing a hint of the speed that he unleashed in the downhill final.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-57

Thomas Crimmins and his brother Andrew call Thredbo their local track, and it showed.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-58

Troy Brosnan, fast qualifier and the brightest bike.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-62

WHIP WARS! Such a simple, awesome event. Take one big jump. Best whipper wins. Easy.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C12 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-63
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-65

Tim Eaton, cracking it.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-68

Dave McMillan and Luke Ellison were the joint winners of Whip Wars. Effortless, lazy, crazy style.


Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-69

Blue skies for race day. The weather gods smiled on the Australian Open Downhill.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C17

With a massive tail wind, the canyon gap (bottom left) saw a few race day casualties.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-72 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C10 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-76
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C19

There was a lot of expectation place on Troy Brosnan and Mick Hannah (shot below). Everyone expected it’d be one of these two internationally experienced pros standing on the top step. But in their off season, that wasn’t how it panned out.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-79 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C13 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-83 Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C14
Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-90

Andrew Crimmins knocked his older brother out of the hot seat and that’s where he stayed, taking a huge win against some of the world’s best.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C16

The consummate racer, Mick Hannah finds a way to avoid a jump that others launched – low is fast.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C18

Crimmins, top, ragged, wild and hanging on. McMillan, below, looking good as always.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C20

The greasy pole, something we haven’t seen at a mountain bike race since 1995! Go Thredbo, bringing it back!

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-98

Three balls. That’s what it takes to win $5000 at Thredders.

Feature_Cannonball_Fest_Thredbo-C21

Tracey Hannah’s experience came to the fore when it counted, but Tegan Molloy and Dani Beecroft aren’t far off the pace. It’s great to see some quality women’s racing. In the men’s it was a great day out for the Crimmins family, with Troy Brosnan splitting the siblings in second.

You