Cairns World Champs: Women’s Downhill

The ten or so seconds between when Tracey Hannah went over the bars in her race run and when she finally got the wheels rolling again was the longest we can remember. She was on a blinder, and the collective feeling of shock which reverberated around the finish arena when she went flying into the vines was crushing. The amazingly dusty surface was so unpredictable, and Tracey has simply pushed too hard at the wrong time.

As she got cranking again, and hit the next split, the arena went bananas. Somehow, god knows, she was only two seconds back! But there was no miracle finish, and Tracey’s World Champs dream would end with a bronze medal. Tahnee Seagrave, the other  favourite, also went down hard, and suddenly the race was there for the taking – Canadian Miranda Miller seized it.

Danni Beecroft absolutely killed it too, charging to fourth, with Sian A’hern also grabbing a top ten. You can get the full results here, and jump in below for our massive photo gallery.

Danni Beecroft absolutely killing it!
Sian A’hearn on her way to a top ten.

Kellie Weinert, 13th.
Sanders up on the hill!
Want onions?
Tracey Hannah, fast as hell up on the top of the track, before disaster struck.
Danni Beecroft with her Nan. “I’m very proud of her. She’s my favourite, but don’t tell the others that!”
Seagrave throws it away.
Pinned and tangled in her bike, there was no coming back from this crash.
Miranda Miller on the hot seat. She didn’t give up the top step and is the new 2017 Elite Women’s World Champ.
Tracey Hannah clawed back time after her crash, but just couldn’t do it.
Hannah sprints for the line.
Tracey with Charlie, a good friend after a tough day.
Dan and Bec were out to watch, looking a little shady after getting their off season started in fine form in downtown Cairns.
Miranda Miller, a surprise World Champ.

Hannah and Miller.
Sian A’hearn vs Matt Staggs.
Even though she must’ve been feeling pretty crushed, Tracey still signed autographs galore. Legend.
Sally Potter, 12th in Junior Women.
Ellie Smith, taking out fifth in Junior Women.

Cairns World Champs: Men’s Downhill

It was a truly amazing race. Sam Hill, the people’s champ, held the hot seat for over 50 riders before Mick Hannah strung together the perfect run and knocked him to the second step. It looked like an unbeatable ride, but Loic Bruni did it to us again here in Cairns, grabbing the rainbow stripes out from under Mick’s nose.  Jack Moir and Troy Brosnan, the last two Aussies down the hill couldn’t make it an Australian gold, and so we settle for silver.

All the results are available here and jump into the photo gallery below to feel all the drama.

Sam Hill was the first rider down the hill and he held the hot seat for over 50 riders before he was bumped off.
Hill lunges for the line.
Sam Hill settled in for a long stint in the sun.
And the winner for the loudest air horn of the day goes to… this bloke.
Gee Atherton has had a season to forget. 18th place.
Connor Fearon charges into the finish.
Josh Button had a tough run. Cooked.
The lunatics had really taken over the asylum up on the hill.
Dean Lucas, 12th.
Dean Lucas.
Don’t ask. This crew were going bananas.
9:30am, World Champs Downhill Finals Day. Tim and Danny from Thredbo.
Greg Minnaar was seen running some pretty light tyres in practice. Not sure if he kept them on for racing, but he was the victim of a flat and out of contention.
Mick Hannah was the man everyone was watching. The pressure must’ve been huge, but he still strung together a flawless run to take the lead by 5.5 seconds over then leader Sam Hill.
Hannah through the dusty first corner.

Would the dream of a World Champs win finally come true for Mick Hannah?

Aaron Gwin’s run was peppered with little mistakes that all added up, including forgetting to unlock his rear shock after the whoops.
Jack Moir was another top contender, tipped hotly for the win. He’d finish fourth in the end.
Jack Moir.

Bruni arrives and crushes the Hannah dream by 0.339 of a second.

America’s lone top ten appearance was Aaron Gwin.
Awaiting the arrival of Loic Bruni.
Troy Brosnan was the last rider down the hill, but he couldn’t knock off Bruni.

The junior men’s racing always has an element of crazy to it, but amongst the madness, there was one battle that everyone was focused on – the showdown between Matt Walker of Great Britain, and Canadian star Finn Illes.

Illes was the last rider down the hill, and he buckled under the pressure, making mistakes that were seriously out of character. Walker will wear the rainbow stripes, and we’re sure that Illes will learn a lot from the experience. Full results are up right here. 

There’s always something a little loose about the juniors…
Josh Clark was the top ranked Aussie, and the second last rider down the hill, but ended up in 14th.
Ben Zwar was the top placed Aussie junior man, in 6th.
Darcy Coutts, 11th.
Patty Butler.
Custom Aussie Junior helmets, made possible by Office Works.
Pointy, hard.
Fair dinkum!
This horrendous crash early in the day was a stark reminder just how rough downhill can be. We’re glad to report this rider is ok-ish, with a broken hip.
Finn Illes was the favourite, but he threw it away with silly mistakes, including blowing both feet out of the pedals after the rock garden.
A devastated Finn Illes.
Matt Walker of Great Britain takes the win by over three seconds.

Cairns World Champs: XCO Saturday – Elite Men’s Photo Gallery

The final race of Saturday’s XCO bonanza, the Elite Men’s, was truly epic. The battle between Jaroslav Khulhavy, Thomas Litscher and Nino Schurter was intense; Khulhavy’s brutal pace couldn’t unsettle Schurter, who waited until deep in the final lap to hit the afterburners, ripping himself a gap on the climb and then storming the descent to victory.

Aussie Dan McConnell showed incredible grit, clawing his way back into ninth place in exciting style, his best ever World Champs finish too. You can check out the full results here, right after you’ve soaked up our massive gallery below!

Gone in a flash.
Kyle Ward.

Nino Schurter lofts it in off Rodeo Drop. Style, all day long.
Cam past the mob.

Kyle Ward, pumping out of The Crusher.
Khulhavy had the lead for most of the race, with Schurter content to wait patiently till the last lap to make his move.
There was a great crowd round most of the track. The Crusher was a top viewpoint.
Cam Ivory grinds it out.
D-Mac C-Roc.
D-Mac, chasing wheels and clawing back places.
McConnell tames Jacob’s Ladder.
Khulhavy drops into The Crusher.

It’s dusty even when the dust clears..!?

UCI scanning machine missed this motor.
Nino, tidy.
After getting an early front flat, Mark Tupalski decided to spend every descent styling it for the crowds. Respect to this man for always having fun.
Sebastian Jayne and Kyle Ward hit a bottle neck.
Russ Nankervis, hooking in.
Plenty of viewers were tuning into the live feed on their phones course-side.
Lukas Flueckiger.
Yeah, Cairns!
Dark places.

D-Mac hunting back through the field.
Selfie with a legend.
Nino wraps up the perfect season. Unbelievable.

World Champs: DH Seeding Results & Photo Epic

There’s no chairlift, so it’s stinky bus rides and shuttling of very nice bikes, securely!

Elite Men (Timed Session) 

1. Mick Hannah – 3:30.620 – AUS
2. Loïc Bruni – 3:31.730
3. Jack Moir – 3:32.870 – AUS
4. Aaron Gwin – 3:33.120
5. Rudy Cabirou – 3:34.810

12. Sam Hill – AUS
21. Connor Fearon – AUS
24. Josh Button – AUS
30. Dean Lucas – AUS
37. Jake Newell – AUS
62. Troy Brosnan – AUS

Elite Women (Timed Session) 

1. Tahnée Seagrave – 4:03.420
2. Myriam Nicole – 4:06.160
3. Tracey Hannah – 4:10.090 – AUS
4. Emilie Siegenthaler – 4:14.550
5. Eleonora Farina – 4:18.620

9. Danielle Beecroft – AUS
11. Ronja Hill-Wright – AUS
13. Tegan Molloy – AUS
14. Sian A’Hern – AUS
15. Kellie Weinert – AUS
16. Shelly Flood – AUS
17. Kaitlin Lawlor – AUS

Junior Men (Seeding) 

1. Finn Iles – 3:38.000
2. Joshua Clark – 3:40.360 – AUS
3. Joe Breeden – 3:43.980
4. Harry Parsons – 3:45.170 – AUS
5. Matt Walker – 3:46.650
6. Ben Zwar – 3:48.360 – AUS
7. Pat Butler – 3:50.110 – AUS

12. Darcy Coutts – AUS
14. Matthew Carter – AUS
15. Baxter Maiwald – AUS
40. Bryce Heathcote – AUS

Junior Women (Seeding) 

1. Shania Rawson – 4:32.450
2. Paula Zibasa – 4:38.490
3. Flora Lesoin – 4:40.850
4. Ellie Smith – 4:42.700 – AUS
5. Melanie Chappaz – 4:44.340

12. Sally Potter – AUS

Full results can be found here.

Feast your eyes on our photo gallery from DH practice below.

Welcome to the jungle
Mick Hannah was the fastest in the Official Timed Session. The crowd will be behind him on Sunday!

France’s Loic Bruni was second fastest

Look closely at Bruni’s frame and fork. The data collection from practice seems to have paid off in the Official Timed Session!
France’s Loris Vergier ready to drop in

After a flat tyre in Val di Sole destroyed Greg Minnaar’s hopes of the World Cup title (and his rear wheel), he’ll be very keen to lay down a clean run on Sunday.

Five time World Champion Sam Hill is currently leading the Enduro World Series, with one round to go. Having only raced one World Cup DH this year, he was fortunate to make it on the Worlds team. Will his EWS dominating Nukeproof Mega carbon prototype help or hinder him in Cairns?

Josh Button (left) had the race of his life at last year’s Cairns World Cup. His teammate Connor Fearon has been off the bike while recovering from hand surgery, but they are both riders to watch out for!

Imagine what’s going through his head. He really wants this one.

Jack Moir had a sensational World Cup season and was 3rd fastest in the Official Timed Session. Watch this space.

The UK’s Gee Atherton
Arguably 2017’s most consistent downhiller, Troy Brosnan had six top 6 World Cup finishes, seeing him 2nd overall.

Jake Newell winding up his trademark whip

So much dust
NZ’s Sam Blenkinsop getting wild in practice
NZ’s Brook Macdonald

Jack Reading sending Mick’s Drop


Reigning World Champion running the #1 plate, the UK’s Danny Hart.


Cairns World Champs – Pit Walk Randoms

The downhill race track is also a little different to what riders were racing all season, with a steep and rocky start that flattens out toward the finish. That calls for some interesting tech to give the riders the best setup possible.

With one quick wander about the pits, we saw some seriously cool stuff, have a look here.

Jack Moir with the only carbon 29er from Intense. It’s a monster of a bike, he’s a lanky fellow, hence the tall front end.
The tight and compact JS Tuned linkage sits right down low in the bikes chassis.
Lukas Flukiger’s BMC really grabbed our attention with so many sweet little mods and details to point out.
A little weight taped to the rim opposite the valve, that’s a small little detail if there was one.
Carbon KS dropper post.
Connor Fearon’s top tube.
Danni Beecroft so stoked with the paint job from Pivot.

So prototypo. A typo, or a prototype?

Wyn Masters happily dialing in his GT with ACDC album covers stickered over his frame.
Someone help Patti Butler out, he’s in need of a bottle of shampoo.
The downhill bike everyone is talking about, well, it’s not even a downhill bike.
Sam Hill brought both his DH bike and enduro bike to Cairns but has decided on the latter, a small bike for this course for sure. His reasoning was simply that he’s not ridden his DH bike since the Fort William World Cup where he raced to qualify for the World Champs, and the EWS series has tracks far steeper and more technical than this DH track, though not quite as fast you’d have to think. The Nukeproof has a 180mm RockShox Lyrik up the front and the only change from his EWS setup is a DH 7-speed drivetrain.
Marcelo Gutierrez on the Giant Glory.
A FOX shock with remote lockout going onto Brook Macdonalds GT.
Iron Maiden album covers for the Kiwi.
Neko Mulally’s YT Tues is a real beauty, the finish is sublime.

Local Video: Sam Fox – Road to Worlds 2017

“After years of dedication, hard work, training and resilience, he has already achieved so much. Sam puts in 110% at work, school and his riding. He has an amazingly supportive family and friendship circle. It’s no wonder he is smashing goals and getting the results he is. He is an amazing young man and we enjoy having him in the shop, We are so proud he is on board with Sprung and representing both us, and Australia at the UCI Worlds in Cairns. Go team Fox!” – Troy Reilly / Owner operator SPRUNG

Will you be joining us to cheer Sam on in Cairns? Give Sam some encouragement in the comments below.

Follow Sam on Instagram @samfoxmtb

Follow Jasper da Seymour on Instagram @jdaseymourphotography

Cairns World Champs – Updated Spectator Access & City Live Site

The XC and DH courses have been updated for even better access for spectating!

Updated spectator access – no more long way around to the juicy bits!

Choose from six designated spectator zones for the best viewing of racing action, come find us at the Herbies Pocket Live Site above Jacobs Ladder if you’re thirsty.

For more on the event – head to

The DH track has received a lot of work to allow easier foot traffic up and down the course, so there’ll be less tramping through the jungle to get to your favourite section of track to watch the race, good news for sure. In the previous World Cup events on the same track, spectators would have to walk the LONG way around to reach the whoops and rock gardens up high, but for this World Champs, there’s a track right up alongside the race track.

Want to watch the bikes and bodies flying everywhere at the rock garden? No more long walk around the back side of the mountain needed, straight up the course you go!

Cairns City Live Site 

From Thursday to Sunday, the CBD will host a Live Site right next to the Cairns Lagoon with a stage playing all the action, DJ’s, live music, stunt rider demos, family activities and a mini-expo. Oh, and a BBQ.

Cairns City Live Site Hub, right next to the lagoon in town.

What to do after hours?

Event Schedule.

See you there!

Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Team Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are pleased to confirm the following riders selected to contest the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Queensland 5th-10th September 2017. A team of 64 Australian cross-country and downhill riders will compete against the worlds best at the season ending event, held in Australia for the third time.

Join in the fun; come and cheer on the Aussies!

Leading the cross-country athletes will be national elite champion’s Daniel McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT).

Elite XC National Champ, Dan McConnell
Bec Henderson lead for the first lap at the 2016 Cairns World Cup

While spearheading the downhillers is Troy Brosnan (SA) and Tracey Hannah (QLD), who have won World Cups this season in Andorra and Fort William respectively.

SA’s Troy Brosnan is a hot favourite to take the win in Cairns.
Cairns local Tracey Hannah is having a great World Cup season, and is focused on the top step at Worlds.

This year welcomes the return of downhill legend Sam Hill (WA), a five-time world champion.

Currently dominating the Enduro World Series, WA’s Sam Hill will make a comeback to DH this September.

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin expects the Aussies to make their mark over the five-day competition, “Australia can be very proud of the team that has been selected and we know they will certainly be giving it a red hot crack in front of a very vocal home crowd.”

Troy Brosnan (SA)
Jack Moir (NSW)
Connor Fearon (SA)
Michael Hannah (QLD)
Dean Lucas (VIC)
Sam Hill (WA)
Joshua Button (NSW)
Jake Newell (NSW)
Reserves: Jackson Frew; Graeme Mudd

Tracey Hannah (QLD)
Ronja Hill-Wright (ACT)
Danielle Beecroft (NSW)
Tegan Molloy (NSW)
Kellie Weinert (NSW)
Sian A’Hern (NSW)
Katie Lawlor (QLD)
Shelly Flood (SA)

Josh Button had a long stint in the hot seat in the 2016 Cairns World Cup and finished on the podium in 5th.
Shark Attack Jack (Moir) is currently 5th in the World Cup overall and placed 2nd in Fort William. Another Aussie to watch in Cairns!
South Australia’s Connor Fearon had a strong start to the 2017 World Cup season.
Dean Lucas had his best World Cup result ever in Mont Sainte Anne, 2nd to Aaron Gwin.
Mick Hannah will be motivated for another strong performance in his home town.
Danni Beecroft

Daniel McConnell (ACT)
Cameron Ivory (NSW)
Kyle Ward (NSW)
Mark Tupalski (ACT)
Adrian Jackson (VIC)
Russell Nankervis (VIC)
Sebastian Jayne (VIC)

Tasman Nankervis (VIC)
Reece Tucknott (WA)
Ben Bradley (TAS)
Alex Lack (TAS)
Callum Carson (NSW)
Nick Pedler (QLD)
Michael Potter (NSW)
Luke Brame (NSW)
Reserve: Michael Denton

Dan McConnell is confident descending in Cairns, especially with a dropper seat post!
Cam Ivory had a rear flat in Cairns World Cup last year but still got a great result. Can be better 37th at the World Champs?
Michael Potter (front) and Callum Carson (rear) from NSW will be lining up in the U23 XCO
Callum Carson sails off the Rodeo Drop at the 2016 Cairns World Cup
Luke Brame adding his style to the U23 XCO
Victoria’s Tas Nankervis is familiar with the Cairns rocks
WA’s Reece Tucknott

Rebecca Henderson (ACT)
Peta Mullens (VIC)
Kathryn McInerney (VIC)
Eliza Kwan (ACT)
Sarah Riley (VIC)
Anna Beck (QLD)
Tory Thomas (VIC)

Holly Harris (NSW)
Megan Williams (QLD)
Charlotte Culver (NSW)

Recently crowned Australian Cyclocross National Champion, Peta Mullens, is always popular with the Aussie crowd
Holly Harris was the sole U23 Woman at the 2016 Cairns World Cup. This year she’ll be accompanied by Charlotte Culver, also from NSW, and Queensland’s Megan Williams
Bec Henderson has stood on the podium in Cairns. Let’s cheer her on again!

A number of riders will contest the final round of the World Cup season at Val di Sole, Italy 26-27 August, before returning to Australia for the world championships.

Team Aussie


If you missed it, we announced the Junior Downhill Worlds Team here.

Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Junior DHI Team Announced

The team includes Junior National champions Baxter Maiwald (VIC) and Ellie Smith (NSW) and Oceania Champion Joshua Clark (NSW), as well as a number of world championship debutants.

Baxter Maiwald
Joshy Clark
Ellie Smith at the 2017 Australian Downhill National Championships, Mt Joyce QLD. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

In the lead up to the world championships, a number of the squad will attend a four day training camp in Cairns with national team staff.


Baxter Maiwald (VIC)
Patrick Butler (NSW)
Joshua Clark (NSW)
Ben Zwar (VIC)
Harry Parsons (NSW)
Bryce Heathcote (VIC)
Darcy Coutts (VIC)
Matt Carter (VIC)
Reserves: Niki Barber; Aaron Gungl


Ellie Smith (NSW)
Sally Potter (NSW)

Baxter Maiwald
Harry Parsons

The remainder of the Australian team for the world championships will be released early next month.

Cairns World Champs: Volunteers Needed

Who will be crowned World Champ?

The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are seeking volunteers for the World’s premier mountain biking event. The 6-day event will be held from the 5th to 10th September 2017 on the recently upgraded Smithfield Trails and will feature over 300 riders from 35 countries competing in the Cross-Country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) disciplines.

There are still vital shifts to fill on both the XCO and DHI courses, as well as help needed in Timing, Accreditation, Event Services and Sport Services. There’ll be plenty of training provided, so you don’t need experience, just a friendly and approachable manner with a positive, can-do attitude!

Volunteers get the front row!

As a volunteer, not only will you become a crucial member of the event team, you’ll receive a heap of freebies, and best of all, have front row seats to all the action!

Visit the website for more details:

Or register directly here

Coming to the party?

Cairns World Champs: 50 Days To Go

Today marks 50 days to go until the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, held at Smithfield Regional Park, James Cook University from the 5 – 10 September 2017.

With only two UCI World Cup events remaining before the world’s best mountain bike riders make their way to Australia’s iconic mountain biking destination in Cairns, Australians are dominating in the Downhill discipline, currently holding the male and female number one UCI ranking.

Troy Brosnan placed 2nd at last year’s Cairns World Cup. He’s a favourite for the top step at this year’s Worlds.

Cairns local Tracey Hannah and Troy Brosnan are both in career best form and will arrive in Cairns assured of a boisterous show of local support.

Fans will be relishing the looming battle between home town hero Hannah and legendary Downhill rider and current world number three, Britain’s Rachel Atherton, which is shaping up to be one of the sport’s biggest showdowns in Cairns this September. Atherton, undefeated since 2014 until a heavy crash four weeks ago, has previously had the edge over her Aussie rival, but Hannah will bring a new level of confidence after her recent World Cup win and top of the table ranking.

Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green said the form of the Australian riders would ramp up excitement levels for spectators travelling to Cairns for the World Championships.

“All Australian mountain bike fans should be booking their tickets to Cairns. The upgrades to fan routes and zones in the rainforest will make it easy to get out on the course and cheer on Tracey, Troy and the other Aussie riders.” – Nick Green

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike (MTB) World Championships provided an incredible opportunity to showcase Tropical North Queensland globally.

“The appeal of Tropical North Queensland is another enticing factor with the destination offering an array of adventure tourism experiences like mountain biking, and also known as home to amazing natural assets from some of the world’s oldest rainforests to the Great Barrier Reef.” – Kate Jones

The most notable change to the schedule is the shift of the two disciplines from last year’s World Cup format. This year the Cross Country (XCO) competition will be contested on Saturday 9 September while the Downhill (DHI) event will take place on Sunday 10 September.

Prices for adult tickets start from $15 and $40 for families with children under 10 FREE to experience explosive action from the worlds best Mountain Bike athletes.

Tickets can be purchased via the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Championships website, visit –

Cairns has so many fun trails to ride between races

Travel packages are now also on sale via Flight Centre for those looking to travel to Cairns for the event.

For further information visit, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @UCIMTBAustralia or join in the conversation with #mtbworldscairns

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