It was one of the feel-good moments of the weekend with Joshua Button (NSW) returning from serious injury to claim the 2017 Oceania Continental MTB Championships in the Elite Men’s downhill at Jubilee Park, Toowoomba on Sunday.
After a 2016 that saw Button reach the heights of a world cup podium in April, before crashing to a horrible low breaking his hip in June, Button made it back to racing and the top step with a surprising run to take gold.
“I thought I could have gone a bit faster but I’ll take it, really stoked.” “Just great to be back racing and can’t wait for next weekend,” he said.
Qualifying in fourth spot on Saturday, Button had a nervous wait as Graeme Mudd, was last down the hill.
But the Newcastle rider couldn’t top the 2:46:05 laid down by Button only moments earlier.
Mudd, who would end up fourth behind New Zealanders Keegan Wright and Wyn Masters, still produced the fastest time of the weekend in his qualifying run.
“I felt a bit flat as I didn’t eat enough in the hot weather, a rookie error.”
While in the women Danielle Beecroft added the Oceania Elite Women Downhill title to her 2017 national series victory, more than two seconds faster than Lisa Mathison (QLD) and Ronja Hill-Wright (NZL) who claimed the silver and bronze.
Four years ago, Beecroft from New South Wales, took out the U19 women’s category when the event was held in Glenorchy, Tasmania, but has never competed in an elite Oceania race.
“The run was great I made up a bit of time at the top so am really happy,” Beecroft said.
“It’s quite a simple course but hard to race cause it’s slippery and go too fast you could end up with a crash.”
Mathison, who finished second at last year’s national championship, turned up the heat on the regular national series riders and found herself again taking home silver.
“Haven’t been able to put in too much training so really don’t know how I would go but it’s great to be up amongst it,” the former cross-country Olympian admitted.
“I was conservative after a crash in practice yesterday but I knew there were areas you could stay off the brakes in some sections and it was a nice clean run.”
For Tegan Molloy (NSW) it was hardly the weekend that went to plan with the Thredbo rider struggling to put together a clean race run after her flat on Saturday and finishing seventh.
“I was going all out today and paid the price.”
“I rode off the track, hit a loose rock and rode off track and got caught in the bunting and lost a lot of time,” the current
Despite having notched up the wins at the recent national series, Baxter Maiwald (VIC) would have to play second fiddle by the barest of margins .1 to Joshua Clark (NSW) in the Junior Men with Josh Oxenham (NZL) third.
“Haven’t been on the bike much lately but it’s great to come back with a win and heading into Canungra.”
Full results timedresult.com