It was a seriously jam-packed day on the hill at Thredbo for day 2 of the Cannonbal MTB Festival, with finals for the Flow Motion Cup, downhill seeding and the Whip Wars to cap it off.
For the Cannonball team it was a dream outcome. A cloudless sky and toasty temps had melted off all but the most resilient snow by mid-morning, and only the upper wooded section of Flow Trail remained really muddy. After the axle-deep drifts of the previous morning, it now looked like riders would be up against genuinely dusty conditions by the weekend’s end.
The Flow Motion Cup was a great scene, attracting a real mix of riders. From kids and old blokes on cross country bikes all the way through to some of Australia’s best downhillers who’d traded the big bikes for their trail bikes for the race.
Tegan Molloy proved that local knowledge counts, convincingly taking out the elite women’s race as many had expected and making it two from two for the Jindabyne rider. The men’s race was wide open however and only a handful would’ve picked Ben Cory as the eventual winner. But the big Canberran stopped the clock at 8:11, three and a half seconds ahead of Graeme Mudd and Timmy Eaton.
It was a quick costume change for the pro downhilers, before they headed up the hill for their seeding runs ahead of tomorrow’s Australian Open Downhill. All eyes were on Tracey Hannah, and despite binning it in the very first fireroad corner she did the job by 12 seconds with Tegan Molloy in second. Danielle Beecroft was looking dangerouns but took a high speed digger.
Troy Brosnan had been keeping a low profile on the downhill track but showed his stripes in seeding, putting two seconds into Mick Hannah. We get the feeling that both Troy and Mick have a fair bit hidden in reserve for tomorrow. Young Andrew Crimmins was the real surprise of the afternoon – everyone knows he’s a threat, but seeing him just a couple of seconds behind Hannah was pretty impressive.
The afternoon wrapped up with the crowd favourite: the Whip Wars. The comp took a freestyle jam format and after half an hour of sessioning the 40-foot table top, Dave McMillan and Luke Ellison were eventually declared joint winners. But it was 10 year old Troy Weinert who got the crowd really pumped as launched higher than anyone, on a bike that probably weighs as much as he does. Danielle Beecroft was the only woman to step up to the plate, sending it big despite undoubtedly feeling the effects of her crash earlier in the day.
Tomorrow is the big one; the Australia Open Downhill. With $5000 on the line for the men’s win and $2500 for the women there’s going to be some serious business done on the slopes of Thredders.