Cannonball MTB Festival, Thredbo – Day 2

Words by Flow | Images by Damian Breach

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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. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_C5 The Flow Track was almost split in half in terms of conditions; the top was still a challenge in the wet, but the lower two-thirds was dry and fast.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-4 Mick Hannah. Even the pros were all talking about the fact Mick had gapped the top two water bars on the Eagles Way fire road. With the snow on the left of the road now, we don't think anyone else will give it a go.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-6 Playing in downhill practice. A bit of snow has stuck around up top, with just enough if the white stuff to give everything a beautiful backdrop.[/caption] Thredbo_Cannonballl_C3 Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-9 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-12 Tracey Hannah tucks on the fastest part of the downhill track, the run-in to the nine-metre canyon gap.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-13 Sebastien Deubel of Deubel Bicycles is as enduro as it gets, loving life in the Flow Motion Cup.[/caption] Thredbo_Cannonballl_C4 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-14 Dennis Turkey Turkovic…. gobble, gobble, gobble.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-15 Tegan Molloy made it two wins from two events in the festival so far winning the Flow Motion Cup. Can she cause an upset and grab the downhill crown as well?[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-16 Ben Cory showed us all that he's got the fitness to match the skills, setting a new course record of 8:11 on the Flow Track on his way to a win.[/caption] Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-17 Thredbo_Cannonballl_C1 Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-18 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_C2 Even the 'second tier' events at the Cannonball Festival have solid cash prizes. Molloy and Cory bagged $500 and $750 respectively in the Flow Motion Cup. The downhill has a $5000 first prize for the pro men too. For Australian racing, that's big money.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-19 Troy Brosnan spent plenty of time in the hot seat in seeding. He was the second rider on course and no one could match his time.[/caption] Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-20 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-21 Luke Ellison with effortless, light style in the Whip Wars.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_C6 The Whip Wars had an awesome vibe, just like the pump track event had on day one. Music, great banter from the MC and plenty of room to lounge in the grass while spectating.[/caption] Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-22 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-23 Tim Eaton busted out some of the most consistent whips of all but missed out on a podium spot.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-24 Dave McMillan had his name on all over this event from the word go. His lazy, effortless style is so relaxed. In the ended the judging panel couldn't split the difference between Dave McMillan and Luke Ellison, awarding joint first place.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-27 Bad ass whippers: Luke Ellison and Dave McMillan.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Thredbo_Cannonballl_Day2-28 10-year old Troy Weinart was the crowd favourite, boosting almost into orbit. As Danny the MC put it, "For Troy, that jumps actually 70 feet long!"[/caption]