Thredbo Mountain Bike Park Now Open!

Friday night, bike laden cars snaked their way up the Alpine Way, the forecast was full of sunshine and anticipation was high. Chatter in Pub was a lot like winter on a powder day, who is lining up for first lifts?

Come Saturday morning and we were ready to roll – an hour before lifts opened, riders were lining up at the access gates and those who weren’t, were pushing up the hill to ride the fresh lines into the finish arena.

The lift spun and bikes were loading, the line meandered around the chair shed with pumped riders talking amongst themselves about bikes, parts, places they have been and the day ahead – everyone was eager to hit the slopes.

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We can’t wait to do some Thredbo fire road bombing when we head to the Cannonball MTB Festival in just a few weeks time!

Over 350 riders ripped into a mountain of freshly built trails on opening day – what was great to see was the great mix of ages and abilities, full and open face helmets, downhill and all-mountain bikes, Thredbo had swung open the doors to everyone.

The Thredbo trail crew had a hectic lead in turning the mountain from winter to summer in a matter of weeks but they rewarded riders with stand-out opening conditions. Both long-time Thredbo riders and those here for the first time were enjoying the opening day vibe.

Australian pro-rider Thomas Crimmins was one of the first on the mountain.

“It’s probably the most fun I’ve had at Thredbo. All of the work the Thredbo trails crew and Dirt Art have done is amazing, and can’t believe how many riders are here. It’s by far the best trails I have ever seen at Thredbo said Crimmins.

While others who have not visited in a while were equally as impressed at the calibre of trails.

“Last time I was in Thredbo was back in the early 2000’s and all I can say is WOW. The expansion of the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park is rad to see and I can’t wait to get down for some more laps this summer said Andrew Threlfall – Intense Cycles Australia Brand Manager.

The Kosciuszko Flow Trail was the voted most popular on the day, all refreshed boasting more flow and features. The traverses have a line-up of rollers that can be pumped, doubled or tripled and the berms are massive, with plenty of riders ripping into them across the weekend.

The skilled up riders let loose on the Cannonball Downhill, they loved the new jumps lines with plenty of riders sending it into the perfect blue sky. With snow still covering the top section of the All-Mountain Trail, a steady flow of riders took to the lower eucalypt forests, switchbacks and berms – with one rider exclaiming it was the hidden gem of Australian mountain biking.

There is so much to look forward to in the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park this summer. Still to come:

  • New Beginner Skills Park
  • New Intermediate Skills Park
  • Opening top to bottom of the All-Mountain Trail
  • Upper section re-direction of the Cannonball Downhill from Kareela to Snakes & Ladders giving it double black diamond status
  • New access to All-Mountain and Flow Trail eliminating the use of the fire road
  • Kids skill park
  • Huge line-up of events including the famous Cannonball MTB Festival and the new and exciting Thredbo Super Enduro.
  • Gravity Girls Sessions
  • Refreshed Pump Track

All this plus with a huge hire fleet and lessons, clinics and trails for all levels. Thredbo Mountain Bike Park has something for you to enjoy this summer.

What's not to love about a climbing free ride and some of the best views you'll ever see.
What’s not to love about a chairlift and some of the best views you’ll find anywhere.

To find out more check out – https://www.thredbo.com.au/activities/summer-activities/biking/

Singlespeed World Mountain Bike Championships return to Rotorua. Dates announced.

Race day will be Saturday, November 18 2017.

“We want to make a week of it leading up to the race,” said Graeme Simpson from the host club, the Rotorua Singlespeed Society. “We’ll run a variety of events including a film night.”

The Society expects to announce their naming sponsor before Christmas.

“I think people will be really pleased when we do, they are great supporters of Rotorua and New Zealand mountain biking,” Simpson continued. ‘The official event HQ will be the Pig and Whistle Historic Pub, who’ve backed us since we set up the Society in late 2007.”

For Gregg Brown from the Pig and Whistle it was an easy decision. “We are well-stoked to be involved in such an awesome event, again,” he said. Brown is chair of the Rotorua Trails Trust, which will be the primary beneficiary of the championships. “They do great work, in their own time, for all recreational users of the Whakarewarewa Forest,” said Simpson. The Society has donated $30,000 to a variety of causes since 2007, including the local trails.

When the Society hosted the Championships in 2010 it attracted 1000 entries with Canada, Italy, Australian, South Africa and Ireland bidding for the 2011 championships. The finale of that was horizontal bungee, which Ireland won by the width of a beer can.

“It was great that South Africa went on to host in 2012,” said Society president, Gary Sullivan from Nzo dirtwear. “Since then it’s been in Italy, Japan, Alaska and Australia. Great venues, but lots of people still mention Rotorua as the best ever in twenty years of Singlespeed World Champs history. We have a bit to live up to.”

Enthusiasm is already high around the world. “People started booking accommodation minutes after we announced the dates on our Facebook page,” Sullivan added. “Apparently, we are really popular in South America. Who knew?”

Entries will open in the new year.

“We’ll definitely be offering entry to riders from the 2010 champs, first,” said Sullivan. “It’d be rude not to.”

https://www.facebook.com/SSWC2017NZ

Buchanan and English MTB Riders of the year, 2016 Jayco Cycling Australia Awards

Buchanan received the prestigious award ahead of fellow nominees, world champion downhill bronze medallist Tracey Hannah (QLD) and world championship Trials silver medallist Janine Jungfels (QLD).

The Canberra rider clinched her fourth Four-Cross World Championship title in Italy in September adding to the bronze she won in the dual slalom at Sea Otter 2016.caroline-award

“It was a bitter sweet year for me. To bounce back like I did the rainbow jersey means a lot especially being in this room tonight,” Buchanan said.

English was awarded the male equivalent in a tough field, which included downhiller Troy Brosnan (SA) who claimed six top ten finishes on the world cup circuit and Sam Hill (WA) who won a round of the Enduro World Series and finished second in two others.

The Port Macquarie teacher won the 2016 World Solo 24hr title for the seventh consecutive time, a record unmatched by any rider in the history of the sport.

“It takes a lot to get this far and I couldn’t do it without my family supporting me so it means a lot,” he said.

After a 2016 which saw him claim silver in the junior men downhill at the Australian Championships in March, and a bronze medal at the Fort William round of the world cup circuit Jackson Frew (ACT) was named the MTB Junior Male Rider of the year.

Caroline Buchanan and Jackson Frew.
Caroline Buchanan and Jackson Frew.

“My very high personal expectations weren’t met this year, but that’s the way it is in this sport and it is certainly an honour to be sitting in this room with such amazing names.”

Fellow nominees were Remy Morton (QLD) and Joshua Clark (NSW).

Sian A’Hern (ACT) along with Sarah I’Ons (NSW) and Ruby Wilson (ACT) were nominated in the Junior MTB Female category, and it was the downhiller A’Hern who took home the award after a season which saw her win the junior women’s world cup as well as the national championship and series.

Sian Ahern and Jackson Frew.
Sian Ahern and Jackson Frew.

“Definitely learnt a lot this year and had amazing experiences and feeling more hungry and motivated more than ever.”

In the Masters MTB Categories, Sharon Heap (QLD) was honoured with the female award for her world championship cross country win in Italy, while Jason Archer (VIC) claimed the male award after he took out the world championship title in the Solo 24hr Masters 40-44 category in New Zealand.

“Massive honour, and to be recognised for mountain biking in a room full of epic people is awesome,” Archer remarked.

“I’m pretty excited and I’ve been chasing this award for three years and now I’ve finally cracked it,” an emotional Heap said.

Mary Daubert (nee Grigson) was also inducted into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame, becoming the first mountain biker to be honoured.

Daubert, who lives in the United State and was unable to attend the ceremony, is still the only Australian female to have won an elite cross-country world cup race.

Quarq Set to Revolutionise EWS Coverage for Fans and Athletes

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For the first time in mountain biking, fan and athletes can be privy to every detail of every stage of every race thanks to new technology developed by Quarq. The results are just the final chapter of a race – and the introduction of Quarq’s new analyser will tell the rest of the story. Riders who have carried a Quarq GPS tracker at any of this year’s eight EWS races will now be able to review their performance on every stage in stunning detail. They’ll not only be able to monitor their own race – but also directly compare it against their competitors so they can see where they gained and lost time on every stage they raced this year.

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All season, the top 100 ranked men, top 30 women, top 10 Under 21 men and top 10 Masters have carried the Quarq units known as Qollectors, which use GPS technology to track their location and speed. Now the technology is going one step further, and by visiting this site athletes and fans can see in detail where racers not only gain and drop time, but will eventually be able to deduce where racer’s strengths and weaknesses lie and even begin to predict which stages will suit which riders.

We bet there's a few people keen to analyse Richie Rude's complete dominance in 2016.
We bet there’s a few people keen to analyse Richie Rude’s complete dominance in 2016.

Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “I’m so excited about this new service – it’s going to add a whole new dimension to our races. It’s going to let people not just discover the results of the race, but understand exactly how it unfolded, stage by stage.

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For fans of the sport it’s going to bring a whole new layer of interest to each race and for the riders themselves it will offer an invaluable service. In terms of a racer understanding their own performance, I don’t think there’s ever been a more valuable tool.”

Nico Lau is known to be strong on the longer stages, now you'll be able to see exactly where he pulls ahead.
Nico Lau is known to be strong on the longer stages, now you’ll be able to see exactly where he pulls ahead.

Jim Meyer, Quarq Technology Director, added: “Every race has so much story hidden inside. From time lost and gained, to athletic prowess and power output, to performance of a bike’s suspension, there are so many aspects of racing that are hidden from fans and spectators. We are dedicated to revealing this hidden world through the lens of Qollector and Quarq Race Intelligence. We are excited to work with the Enduro World Series because they share our vision. This is just the first step to revealing a whole new level of insight for enduro racing.”

Racing: Bundanoon’s Highland Fling, a Weekend of Racing in the Southern Highlands

The Highland Fling kicked off on Saturday afternoon with the Bundanoon Dash, a fast and furious short course around town that sees riders, including mountain biking’s elite, line up to test their legs against each other before the main racing on Sunday. Cameron Ivory backed up again to take the win in 11:22 for the men, and Peta Mullens in 11:49 for the women.

The day wasn’t all about serious racing. The Kid’s Skills Clinic saw our next gen riders picking up some new moves on the bike, spectators were entertained by The String Family and our roving magician, and those who didn’t want to risk their taper took part in the Rolloff World Championships to see who could roll the downhill distance fastest or checked out the latest bling at our Sponsor expo.

Riders were welcomed to the start line on Sunday morning by the traditional dawn Bagpipe wake-up call.

The 100Mile and Full Fling (non-elite) riders set off at 7:20am, followed by the hotly contested Full Fling Elite race. This year saw a very strong line-up including both 2015 winners Andy Blair and Lucy Bechtel. They were joined by contenders Brendan Johnston, Cameron Ivory, Shaun Lewis, Tristan Ward and Michael Potter in the men’s race; and Peta Mullens, Briony Mattocks, Eliza Kwan and Imogen Smith in the women’s race.

In the men’s racing it was Brendon Johnston of Trek Racing Australia who took line honours in 4:21:57, also making him the first rider to win three Highland Fling mountain bike marathons.grp_whhf16-0570

“I really had no idea how far in front I was. I left Wingello and tried not to look back. Cam with with me, but I had my plan to make a move on The Kick and despatch him. From there I was by myself. It was as tough a course as ever, but I’ve done the work through the year and am proud to take the win against such tough competition.” 

In the women’s race, Peta Mullens was the first to cross the line in a time of 5:08:12, also giving her a third Highland Fling win.grp_whhf16-0405 grp_whhf16-0619

“It was hard out there. Like a five hour time trial! At first Briony, Lucy and I were together and that was the plan, to ride together, but our strengths and weaknesses were just too different. I made a break on a rocky descent and from there hit out on my own. Once I hit that last bit of single track, if there are no other girls with me, I know I should be home. The tailwind on the way home was a nice touch, thanks!” 

In the 100Mile, Ed McDonald was once again the strongest rider, taking the win in 7:51:01. In the women’s race, Charlie McCabe took first in 10:33:07.

The 2016 Highland Fling once again featured the Half Fling and Some Fling events, which also saw some fierce racing and a sneak peek at some of the upcoming mountain biking talent.grp_whhf16-0631


KEY RACE RESULTS IN THE 2016 HIGHLAND FLING:

 

Some Fling Men

Ian Watts (1:13:13)

Dylan George (1:14:58)

Zac George (1:17:36)

 

Some Fling Women

Verity Evans (1:25:07)

Maizy Evans (1:29:34)

Renee Skelly (1:32:58)

 

Half Fling Men

Matthew Dinham (2:17:52)

Callum Carson (2:09:18)

Lewis Cressy (2:10:52)

 

Half Fling Women

Emma Viotto (2:38:43)

Charlotte Culver (2:43:56)

Laura Wilson (2:52:40)

 

Full Fling Men

Brendan Johnston (4:21:57)

Cameron Ivory (4:24:47)

Michael Potter (4:44:32)

 

Full Fling Women

Peta Mullens (5:08:12)

Briony Mattocks (5:21:21)

Lucy Bechtel (5:30:10)

 

100Mile Men

Ed McDonald (7:51:01)

Max Richardson (8:01:48)

Stephen Tomczyk (8:23:30)

100Mile Women

Charlie McCabe (10:33:07)

Courtney Shinn (10:45:43)

 

Full race and category results are available here.

 

Find out more about The Highland Fling at

http://www.wildhorizons.com.au/highland-fling

 


The Highland Fling is made possible with the support of the following event partners:

Major Sponsors:

  • Focus Bikes: Born from a passion for the sport.
  • Ground Effect: Gear for the cycling revolution
  • Shimano: World leading cycling components
  • World Expeditions: One of the world’s leading adventure travel companies
  • GU Energy: GU FOR IT with fast food for athletes
  • Maxxis: One of the world’s most trusted tire brands
  • 4 Pines Brewing Company: Because we really, really love beer.
  • A full list of Sponsors can be found here.

Dubbo’s fun, flowy and fast scenic loop to close out the year for Evocities MTB competitors

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2016 Evocities MTB Series Coordinator, Tracey Whillock, said with only two rounds remaining in the Evocities MTB Series and only one race left this year, Dubbo was preparing to make the most of being part of Australia’s richest MTB series.

“After an extremely wet winter which resulted in the postponement of both the Dubbo and Orange races, we’re thrilled the warmer weather is finally here and that the track has dried out enough to host the sixth round of the series on Sunday, 20 November,” Ms Whillock said.

Ms Whillock said the Dubbo leg of the 2016 Evocities MTB Series will take place at Bald Hill Reserve at Geurie and will be a combination of three single track loops for singles, pairs and teams combining the Oaks and Homestead trail networks through the “link” which runs alongside the Macquarie River and under the Arthurville Road Bridge.

“Following feedback from last year’s competitors and the Dubbo MTB Club we have shortened the track by 2.5km to a 13.5km loop which is fun, flowy and fast with plenty of room to overtake and lots of thigh-challenging climbs followed by fast sweeping downhills.”

“The trail is 90% single track and is sure to reward travellers as it winds its way up and down through Grassy Box Gum Woodland beside stunning spring wildflowers and alongside the Macquarie River under towering River Red Gums,” Ms Whillock said.

The Dubbo Junior Rugby Club will be catering on the day with a fundraising sausage sizzle, while a band performs live music to entertain spectators and waiting riders.

The Evocities MTB Series is the richest mountain biking series in Australia thanks to the generous support of sponsors including Fairfax Media; QantasLink; Forestry Corporation; NSW Mining; Charles Sturt University; Macquarie and Orange Anglican Grammar Schools; Spinifex Recruiting; Maas Group Properties; and Prime 7.

Online registrations for the ‘Dubbo 300 can be made at www.evocitiesmtb.com/enterdubbo. To stay up to date with the series, visit www.facebook.com/evocitiesmtb or www.evocitiesmtb.com.

About Evocities:

The Evocities MTB Series is supported by Evocities, a campaign that showcases the abundance of opportunities in seven of NSW’s leading regional cities due to the lower cost of living, stronger career and business prospects and enhanced lifestyle.

The seven Evocities are Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. Living in an Evocity means less time commuting, working and stressing and more time for you and your family to enjoy NSW’s beautiful natural surrounds.

Upcoming Event: GT Bike Buller Festival presented by Alpinestars in March 2017

With great expectations for another superb event, entries are now open for the 2017 GT Bike Buller Festival that will see three massive days of racing at Mt Buller, Victoria from the 11th-13th of March, 2017.

The schedule has been consolidated for 2017 into 11 main MTB events over three days to maximise racing opportunities for riders, and provide a coordinated schedule that suits everyone.

Over 700 riders are expected to compete at Mt Buller for the 9th edition of the event, with an even larger number of friends and family who also come to the alpine resort to spectate and enjoy the range of other, non-riding activities on offer._dsc6648

The ‘Gravity Gods’ and ‘XC Whippet’ combined-races categories will return again, allowing riders to compete in three different races over the three days to award an overall weekend winner in both gravity and cross-country riding disciplines. Riders need to enter the three designated gravity events or three designated cross country events to be eligible to win the title and claim the cash and prizes.bikebullerday3-m-201 moo_2689 moo_3744 bikebullerday1m-282

Sam Maffett General Manager of Rapid Ascent Event Management said he was excited to have officially opened entries to the 2017 GT Bike Buller Festival, a feeling that would echo through the riding community.

“We can’t wait to get back to Buller – it’s always such an awesome biking weekend in one of the best bike parks in Australia. It is a highlight of the year for many riders from all over Australia,” said Maffett.

“With the return of the popular downhill and gravity events, and trademark short and long XC courses; 2017 will not disappoint.” 

The 2017 weekend will be an incredible celebration of all things mountain biking with a broad range of races for all types of riders who can enter just one event, or a combination of them all.

“Mt Buller is Australia’s most epic mountain biking destination, with some of the best trails in the country. Combine this with a stacked schedule of races and full social calendar the appeal is high for groups of mates to come to the event together as well as riders and their families, no matter what their interest or level.”

The three-day celebration of mountain biking will again coincide with the popular ‘Picnic in the Park’ food, wine and music festival held in the Mirimbah Park at the base of Mt Buller. There will also be an extensive Bike Expo and plenty for non-riders to enjoy, including events designed for spectators and a range of social activities._dsc7354 _dsc7338

Gillian Dobson, Group Manager, Marketing, Sales and Events, Mt Buller said she was excited to have the GT Bike Buller Festival back for another massive event at Mt Buller. 

“There is no wonder this event has become the highlight of our calendar – there are so many options for riders no matter what your level, plus plenty to do for non-riders too, including the popular Picnic in the Park food, wine and music festival in Mirimbah Park on the Sunday,” said Dobson. _dsc7219 _dsc7109 _dsc7202 _dsc6958

“The event gets bigger and better every year, giving participants and their friends and family the perfect balance of riding and fun for a sensational weekend here on top of the world at Mt Buller.”

Peter Kouppas of Monza Imports Cycling said he was very excited to partner with GT Bicycles and Rapid Ascent for what is shaping up to be a massive event. 

“GT is thrilled to be back at the mountain once again for 2017. From supplying the very best equipment to the best athletes around the world we know that GT can produce a mountain conqueror,” Kouppas said. 

“The GT Bike Buller event is a natural fit for Alpinestars. Proven and raced by the very best, Alpinestars mountain bike apparel and protection guards have all the technical specifications ensuring for a comfortable and safe ride. “_dsc6788 _dsc6072 _dsc5863 pumptrack-matt-6

“GT bicycles is very proud to be the naming partner of this event and can’t wait to see you there.” 

The revolutionary GT Bike Buller Festival brings all that is great about mountain biking to the one location for a huge weekend of bikes, single track, fresh air and good times at a spectacular mountain top destination. 

Entries are now open for the 2017 GT Bike Buller Festival presented by Alpinestars at BIKEBULLER.com.


EVENT DETAILS:

When: Saturday 11th – Monday 13th March, 2017 (March long weekend – VIC)
Where: Mt Buller, Victoria, Australia
What: A 3 day mountain bike festival on the spectacular trails at Mt Buller in the breathtaking Victorian Alps. The event coincides with the renowned ‘Picnic in the Park’ food, wine and music festival

GRAVITY RACES:

Outlaw All-mountain Trophy #
ABOM Down Hill #
Gravity Enduro #

 

XCOUNTRY RACES:

Stonefly Circuit 40km *
Buller Blitz 18km
Brake Burner *
Corn Hill XC 20km *

 

SPECTATOR EVENTS:

16” Dual Slalom
Pump Track Pursuit
Picnic in the Park

 

KIDS EVENTS:

Village Ride
Picnic in the Park Bike Fun

*   XC Whippet combined race

#  Gravity Gods combined race

Who:  Mountain bike riders of all levels and riding styles