The 2014 Cannonball MTB Festival at Thredbo again attracted its fair share of weather. Last year, it was snow, this time around rain and lightning came into the mix and shut down Saturday’s racing. Despite the compressed timeframe this gave racing, the event was again a huge success. Thredbo just makes for great racing! Make sure you check out Damian Breach’s photo galleries each day of the event too:
Read the official word from Thredbo below.
The Toyota Cannonball Festival in Thredbo this weekend saw some of the world’s best mountain bike riders mix it up with Mother Nature’s most extreme weather on Australia’s famous downhill all racing for their share of the $45,000 prize pool on offer.
Blending mud, a mountain and adrenalin certainly created exciting racing across the weekend with over 300 riders ascending to Thredbo for a weekend of gravity fuelled battles across five big events.
Rain postponed Saturday’s racing, making Sunday one massive downhill day. The headliner event the Australian Open Downhill had the crowd on the edge of seat right up to the last rider of the day. Young Thredbo MTB rider Andrew Crimmins pulled out the ride of his life and smashed the 3.5km course in an unbeatable time of 5 mins 17 secs just ahead of his brother Thomas, with 5 x world champion Sam Hill in third place. But it was the Bredbo brothers and Thredbo MTB riders Thomas and Andrew who had the crowd on their feet elated with the local win.
“I had an amazing run, conditions were pretty wild all weekend but the track turned it on this afternoon, so it was pretty well perfect for my race run.
“I’ve been racing here for 6 or 7 years so it’s pretty handy to know where I can make up time” said Andrew.
In the pro women’s division, hot favourite junior World Champion Tegan Molloy took a heavy fall in practice and could not defend her crown. Tracey Hannah picked up top prize with Sarah Booth and Kellie Weinert placed second and third respectively.
The Flow Motion Cup started above the clouds with both local and international riders racing the five kilometre Kosciuszko Flow Trail course in cracking times, considering the early wet track.
Mud was a menace for some, while others revelled in the conditions. Thredbo MTB rider Thomas Crimmins used his local knowledge to pick the best lines and pick up first place in the pro men’s division. Sarah Booth stood high on the winner’s podium in the women’s pro category winning by the narrowest of margins, 1.5 seconds over Claire Whiteman.
Friday’s warm sunny conditions were ideal for the ODI Dual Compressor that saw dirt raising head to head action, the quickest out of the drop gate held the advantage.
In the pro division Graeme Mudd won the battle of the bikes and Harriet Burbridge-Smith racing over in front in the pro women’s event, just ahead of Thredbo MTB rider Tegan Molloy.
The Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge, had a mix of young guns and old dogs hitting the rain soaked, free-rolling technical track. Pro men’s set a blistering pace with Blake Neilson narrowly edging out Thredbo MTB rider David McMillan and Ryan Hunt in third.
It was a parade of women’s world champs with BMX and MTB star Caroline Buchanan styling it up on the muddy circuit and taking the win, Danni Beecroft rolled into second and Tegan Molloy showing she is a quality all-rounder taking third place.
“It was first Cannonball event in Thredbo, and it was a huge success. Minus the weather, mountain bike lovers of all ages trooped it out. Winning the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge was my highlight of the weekend. The changes made to the mountain biking in Thredbo was really refreshing and a great vibe all round” said Caroline Buchanan
A fun new twist for 2014 event is points from each event will be tallied to crown the King and Queen of the mountain in the Pro Division, the higher you place, the more you score. This year Thomas Crimmins and Kellie Weinert were officially placed into Cannonball royalty.