The Thredbo Cannonball MTB Festival, Australia’s biggest and richest mountain bike event, celebrates five massive years in 2017 and with a packed program of gravity events and non- stop entertainment, this year’s event, 6-10 December, promises to be the biggest and the best yet.
The famous event, twice ranked Australia’s best event by the MTBA will see amateurs, rising stars and the world’s best descend on Thredbo for five days of dirt defying action and the chance to take home their share of a whopping $70k in cash and prizes. This is the biggest prize purse ever seen at an Australian gravity inspired event.
The five mega events are set to showcase the diverse terrain on offer in the Snowy Mountains, and highlight why Thredbo is Australia’s home of gravity mountain biking. There’s something for all styles of MTB riding, with the festival attracting riders of all levels in a mix of events including the prestigious wearelusty Australian Open Downhill, Canyon Flow Motion Cup, Maxxis All Mountain Assault, SRAM Whip Wars Big Air and the RockShox Pump Track Challenge on the Village Green.
There are over 15 categories in each event, so no excuses – the Cannonball Festival caters to all and is a great introduction to the growing popularity of mountain bike competitions, just choose an event that aligns with your skill and ability.
Participation across all events is crucial for the pro field as these riders will have the chance to be crowned King or Queen of Cannonball. Points scored across each event will determine this factor.
The weekend offers just as much action off the trails as on them, with both sides of the resort pumping during the iconic mountain biking celebration. Thredbo’s famous village will play host to an awesome line-up of DJ’s and live gigs with the region’s stellar offering of bars and restaurants also open.
A massive prize pool, a roll call of big names and some of the best gravity tracks in the country, the Cannonball Festival is one not to be missed.
Event registrations are now open with a 15% early bird competitor discount for those signing up before midnight 31 October 2017. Click here to register now. Visit thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival for full event details.
wearelusty Australian Open Downhill | Sunday 10 December
The wearelusty Australian Open DH will be raced on Thredbo’s famous Cannonball Downhill Trail the old school way, meaning we will include the upper fast and furious summer road. Riders will then be thrown into a technical masterpiece comprising of rocky chutes, features that launch and fast open sections with speeds not dissimilar to those found on a World Cup course. This event also boasts the biggest payday for a DH race in Australia. New to this year’s main event will be a seeding day for all categories which will go down on Friday 8th Dec. This will give riders a chance to see where they stand among the rest of the field, before heading back up to the start gate on Sunday Dec 10th for downhill finals.
Canyon Flow Motion Cup | Saturday 9 December
Saturday morning will see the Canyon Flow Motion Cup go down on Thredbo’s famous 5km Kosciuszko Flow Trail. Although not super technical, this race requires a fit efficient type of rider. A stack of steep banked berms and rolling traverses ensures that cornering and pedalling ability will be paramount. The Flow Motion Cup is also a great introduction to gravity racing.
SRAM Whip Wars | Saturday 9 December
The crowd pleasing SRAM Whip Wars will again hit centre stage Saturday afternoon, with some of the best mountain bikers from different genres sending it sideways on the super booter at the finish arena. The biggest sideways whip bought back will take the honours. A crowd pleasing trick will also fill your pockets with cash.
ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge | Friday 8 December
Get ready for the ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge, see Thredbo’s Pump Track 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.
Maxxis All-Mountain Assault | Thursday 7 December
The Maxxis All-Mountain Assault returns to 1800m above sea level at the top of the Gunbarrel Express Chairlift. The iron men and women of mountain biking will embark on a gruelling 7km undulating descend on a trail designed for a short travel mountain bike with times around 13 minutes to aim for. The All-Mountain trail has everything a rounded rider could ask for, technical descents, natural obstacles, smaller jump options and pinch climbs to push even the most avid enduro purist.
What are you waiting for? Get a crew of mates together and click here to register now!
The weather was at its alpine best with blue sky and sunshine across the weekend. Amateurs, pros, juniors and novice riders were competing for a share of the $50,000 prize pool. There was a roll call of big name riders including Troy Brosnan, Connor Fearon and New Zealand’s Brook Macdonald, plus home town heroes Andrew and Thomas Crimmins.
On the famous 3.5km Cannonball Downhill track, Troy Brosnan took out the main event, the Go Pro Australian Open Downhill, in an scorching time of 4 minutes and 56 seconds. Luke Ellison and Thredbo rider Thomas Crimmins took home 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The strongly contested event pushed riders to their physical and mental limits, all vying for the biggest prize purse on the Australian Mountain Biking event calendar.
World Cup rider Troy Brosnan was ecstatic with his win. “It’s such a great event, I love coming here and to win for the second time is amazing. The track, the race, the whole vibe of the festival is amazing and something I love being part of,” said Brosnan.
The weekend opened with a new event- the Canyon All-Mountain Assault –where a mix of gravity and XC skills were key. Riders took on the epic 7km flowy descent through the diverse Thredbo alpine terrain, with a nice little pinch climb at the end that left riders breathless at the finish.
The ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge rounded out the first day of competition, with young gun Remy Morton tearing up the new look Pump Track to take home the coveted title. The action was big in the SRAM Whip Wars, with over 100 riders lining up to impress the judges. The flips, old school manoeuvres and massive whips excited the massive hillside crowd. Connor Fearon was eventually crowned the King of Style.
With both sides of the resort pumping tunes from DJs and live acts, and Thredbo’s stellar offering of bars and restaurants alive and pumping, Thredbo again proved why it’s the ultimate holiday destination for summer. The riding is not just for pros, with a range of new trails to suit every level of rider added to the already extensive network. Thredbo boasts 25 kilometres of epic riding in the region, including the latest and greatest Thredbo All-Mountain Trail.
With rainfall across Thursday evening and the sun arriving just in time for Friday morning, riders were provided with perfect conditions to test their skills on the All-Mountain, Downhill and Flow trails before getting stuck into competition mode.
The Canyon All Mountain Assault was the first event to kick off the festival, and the 500 plus field of competitors flew down the 7km long track at high speeds, navigating their way through tight trees, rocks and a variety of berms all the way to the finish line.
There was an awesome and friendly vibe in the air for the first day of competition with families, riders, kids and some of the best pros in the world all enjoying the mountain biking festivities in the competitors area, accompanied by tunes blasting from Red Bull’s specialised DJ booth.
It was tight competition between the competitors but Benjamin Forbes came out on top in the Pro Men’s competition. Claire Whiteman won the Pro Women’s category, showing off her years of experience and skill on All-Mountain style terrain.
The times throughout the Pump Track Challenge were tight, with riders having to either complete one lap or a figure 8’ish double lap of the insane course. Coming out on top was Daniele Beecroft in the Pro Women’s category, narrowly followed by local ripper and Thredbo rider Tegan Molloy. In the Pro Men’s category it was Remy Morton who took out the 2016 Rockshox Pump Track Challenge for the second year in a row.
On the second morning, riders eagerly got out on the mountain at 9am to get practice laps underway before racing started at 11:30am. The Flow and Downhill trails were jam packed with novices, amateurs and pros all figuring out the fastest line to shave crucial seconds off their time.
With cloudless skies and warming temperatures the Maxxis Flow Motion Cup got underway. The women hit the Flow trail first and took the definition of speed and control to a whole new level, with local Tegan Molloy showing the boys a thing or two about riding the technical Flow trail.
The men’s race was a wide open field and a definite winner was hard to pick. High speed also means high consequence and there were some of the biggest bails we’ve seen so far this mountain biking season. Coming out on top was Josh Carlson In the Pro mens category and Tegan Molloy in the Pro Womens.
The Sram Whip Wars were up next, with non-stop freestyle whipping mania for a full hour on the 40-foot table top. Conner Fearon took out the event for the second year in a row, however there were some definite contenders in the mix with Ryan Dawson sending it bigger than most of the pros and Ellie Smith and Ronga Hill being the only women to step it up to the insane whip off.
Stay tuned for all the Sunday action tomorrow. It’s the GoPro Australia Downhill event this afternoon and we can’t wait for it!