In case you’ve not been paying attention for the last few years, Thredbo is on a mission to reassert itself as Australia’s premium alpine mountain bike destination. After a little while lying low, the Thredbo team have been investing in new trails, better infrastructure and new events like the Toyota Cannonball MTB Festival.
We’ve been to the last two editions of this awesome long weekend, and we like what it’s all about. With multiple events across the three days, it brings a bit of a festival vibe to Thredbo and the racing is top notch, with a big prize pool attracting a lot of fast names.
Make sure you check out our coverage from last year, and watch our video wrap up from 2013 too.
Read below for the official lowdown from Thredbo, or just take our word for it and get amongst it!
The Toyota Cannonball MTB Festival returns to Thredbo in December 2015, promising a spectacle of dirt, vert and freewheeling action. Pros, rising stars and amateurs of the mountain biking world alike will take on five incredible events over three big days, for a share in a massive prize pool of over $45,000.
The headline event the Australian Open Downhill, races on the famous 3.5km Cannonball Downhill track, it promises a ride of intense, non-stop gravity that will challenge every rider both mentally and physically.
Attracting riders from around the world, it comes as no surprise that Thredbo’s Toyota Cannonball Festival was voted MTB Event of the Year at the 2015 Mountain Bike Australia Achievement Awards. This year, the action packed weekend includes the side-by-side SRAM Dual Compressor, RockShox Pump Track Challenge on Thredbo’s new look pump track, the ODI Whip Wars Big Air, Maxxis Flow Motion Cup and the jewel in the crown, the Australian Open Downhill.
The festival runs from 4-6th December and will showcase the diverse terrain on offer in the Snowy Mountains, highlighting why Thredbo is Australia’s home of Gravity Mountain Biking.
Australian Open Downhill – Sunday, 6th December
The main event, the Australian Open DH on Thredbo’s famous Cannonball Downhill, will take riders to their physical and mental limits. The 3.5km course of fast, intense, non-stop gravity starts at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift and will be the best one yet. We will see the return of the old favourite, the no holds barred Thredbo Fire Road and this is exclusive to the Australian Open DH. Along with other substantial changes that will widen sections and add more fall line riding, this event also has the biggest prize purse on the Australia DH calendar. Online entry closes midnight, 2ndDecember 2015.
Maxxis Flow Motion Cup – Saturday, 5th December
The Kosciuszko Flow Trail is the track for this one, it winds down the famous ski runs. This all mountain race is about endurance as there is 5km of flowing single-track to negotiate on varied terrain plus the odd flat pedal, this event can cater to most levels of riders and bikes. Online entry closes midnight, 2nd December 2015.
RockShox Pump Track Challenge – Friday, 4th December
Get ready for the ROCKSHOX Pump Challenge on Friday night. See Thredbo’s new look Pump Track on the Village Green in full flight as the smooth momentum masters set the perfectly sculpted course on fire. A test of ultimate skill and stamina, as riders pump, double and manual around the 2-3 lap course without a single pedal stroke. Online entry closes midnight, 2nd December 2015.
SRAM Dual Compressor – Friday, 4th December
Racing at its most raw, the Dual Compressors crowd-pleasing format pits two competitors side-by-side to battle each other and the clock as they race to avoid elimination each round. The finely tuned course of jumps, berms, rhythm sections and drops makes for a gruelling battleground, challenging both pump-track specialists and the true downhillers. Riders will race on equal course side by side before integrating and pushing one another through to the finish. Online entry closes midnight, 2nd December 2015.
ODI Whip Wars – Saturday, 5th December
A crowd favourite will see the best riders in the country send their bike sideways off a purpose built show-time jump at the Thredbo base. This will see a mix of downhillers and free-riders come together to settle the debate of the King of Style. You may not win the main event, but you may take home some cash for a crowd-pleasing trick.
*Entries available on the day.
With revamped existing tracks and a fresh new trail network, 2015 delivers 25 kilometres of epic riding to the region, including the latest and greatest Thredbo All-Mountain Trail, which promises unrivalled views down the Thredbo Valley towards Jindabyne. Boasting tracks for all abilities including downhill, cross country, all-mountain and a BMX style pump track, there is lots to love about riding in Thredbo this summer.
To ensure the weekend offers just as much off the trails as on them, both sides of the resort will be pumping during the iconic mountain biking celebration. Across the three days, Thredbo village will play host to DJ’s and live acts, with the region’s stellar offering of bars and restaurants also open.
Inviting riders of every level, registrations are now open via the Thredbo eStore with a 15% early bird discount for those signing up before midnight 31 October 2015. Visit www.thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival for full event details or join the Thredbo MTB Facebook page for all event updates.
Accommodation options throughout the Village will help spectators and riders to be well rested ahead of each massive day. The layout of Thredbo ensures all accommodation is only a short walk to the Cannonball event hub, chairlifts and village activities. Options include catered lodge style hotels, luxurious apartments and self-contained units.