10 Mar 2014

Troy Brosnan (SA) and Tracey Hannah (QLD) are the 2014 National Downhill champions after a day of spectacular action at the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships in Bright, VIC.

Elite and U19 DH Champions (c) Tim Bardsley Smith
U19 and Elite champions – L-R: Andrew Crimmins (U19), Troy Brosnan, Tracey Hannah, Tegan Molloy (U19)

Racing on the final day of the Championships took place in the Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator disciplines.

In Downhill, the star-studded Elite Men’s field was headlined by two of our best riders over the last decade, Mick Hannah (QLD) and Brosnan.

World championship medalist Mick Hannah (QLD) was the fastest rider in Saturday seeding. Young gun, former dual junior world champion Troy Brosnan had severe mechanical issues with his bike on seeding day. Instead of starting in his customary position with the fastest riders at the end of the field, he would start first.

Brosnan set the weekend’s fastest run with a 3:42.90, leaving the field to chase his time. He summed up how to ride in Bright “I made a couple of mistakes but I didn’t really lose too much time, in the end on a track like this you have to make mistakes to go fast”.

As widely predicted, Brosnan would sit in the Subaru hotseat for a long time, making it a long and nervous wait to see if his time would hold up.

Mick 'Sik Mik' Hannah (c) Tim Bardsley Smith
A crash of Mick Hannah kept him off the top stop.

Hannah came down the hill last, but it wasn’t to be his day. “I felt like I was having a really good run and just had a little mistake. I started to lose the front a bit and couldn’t get my foot out in time and hit the ground, getting tangled up in the trees and tape.”. He would go on to place 5th.

It was clear before Hannah finished that Brosnan was the Elite National Champion for the second time, 2012 being his first Elite title.

“It feels amazing to win, my run was smooth, fast, I was feeling fit and strong” said Brosnan. He has high goals for 2014. “I definitely want to get in a World Cup win this year, there are a few tracks that I know I can win on”.

Troy Brosnan (c) Tim Bardsley Smith
Troy Brosnan now officially wears the Aussie colours.

Connor Fearon (SA) has been racing with Troy since juniors, and he would ultimately come the closest to Brosnan today with a 3:45.14. Jack Moir (SA) took 3rd and Todd Madsen (WA) finished 4th.

Under 19s action saw Andrew Crimmins (NSW) took the win from Aiden Varley (VIC) and Max Warshawsky (QLD).

“It’s great to be national champion, it’s my first year in U19s so it’s a bit different stepping up” exclaimed Crimmins.

In the Elite Women’s racing, there was a stunning field, and then there was Tracey Hannah (QLD).

Tracey Hannah (c) Tim Bardsley-Smith
Tracey Hannah.

Hannah today won her sixth national championship, with the last three being consecutive. Hannah was last rider down the hill and blitzed the field by phenomenal 35.91s recording a sensation time of 4:22.44.

“It feels good for the first serious race of my season to come away with the win, and to be able to wear the Aussie flag on my sleeve for another year overseas is the best” said a proud Hannah.

It’s been a tough few years for Hannah with injuries since returning to the sport in 2011. “Coming back from a few seasons of injury I’d just like to get through the whole season and hopefully get some pretty good results the World Cups”.

Emma McNaughton (NSW) won the silver and Shelly Flood (SA) took the bronze.

In the Under 19s racing the Women’s National Champion is Tegan Molloy (NSW). “It’s pretty special to win, I didn’t really have the best run but I’m still happy to come away with the win and ride such a fun track all weekend”.

Tegan Molloy (c) Tim Bardsley Smith
Tegan on her way to the win.