It was a day of playing the long game – over 600 riders lined up at 1800m above sea level ready to take on the 4.5km track. Although not super technical, there’s a stack of steep banked berms and rolling traverses so cornering and pedalling ability was paramount.
“The track was dry and rolling fast by the time I raced, so I just set my pace as it’s just such a physical course, happy to win this one but looking forward to the downhill Sunday” said Dean Lucas winner of the Pro Men’s.
Lucas set the pace winning in 7:47:55 just .68 of a second ahead of enduro specialist Josh Carlson with Thomas Crimmins edging into third spot on the podium.
The women’s pro category saw 19 year old Sian A’Hern first down the mountain, just ahead of Tegan Molloy, with super mum Claire Whiteman jumping into third.
As the afternoon light crept across the finish arena the crowds gathered on the side of the hill for the always impressive SRAM Whip Wars. Over 100 riders took on the 30 foot jump – they were judged on the biggest sideways whip with air, style, steeze plus crowd pleasing tricks filled the rider’s pockets with cash. Trick of the day definitely went to Nik Barber who launched a massive backflip that saw the massive hillside crowd erupt with applause.
“Just go for it, don’t think about the consequences and hope for the best” said Central Coast rider Duke Millington who landed top spot on the podium in the Pro Men’s.
A packed field of close to 500 lined up at the top of the Gunbarrel Express around 1790m above sea level, they took in the amazing views and took in deep breaths for the seven kilometre, 450 vertical metre descent to the village.
After a week of rain, the weather turned it on with loads of sunshine and a big blue sky. The track conditions were primo, starting out wet in sections swinging to sweet and tacky once racing was underway, getting faster and faster as the day went one.
The pro division saw Ben Forbes repeat his 2016 win, hitting the line at 12:37:22 around seven seconds ahead of Josh Carlson with Scott Graham nudging into third. In the pro women’s Sian A’Hern took the win only seconds ahead of Claire Whiteman and Tegan Molloy in third.
“It’s was great out there, it’s a really long time to be on your game, you have to be out of your seat the whole way, it was gnarly, but great to take the win” said Forbes.
When riders were asked to describe the race they said “it was brutal” with technical descents, natural features, jump options and pinch climbs, it pushed even the most seasoned enduro rider. This is one of the longest enduro race tracks in the country, so solid slabs of time were won and lost, but in some categories it was only a matter of seconds that separated the podium places.
“It was a massive day of racing – sunshine, record number of riders and a fantastic track that just kept on getting better and better as the day went on. The next few days are set to be epic with everyone raving about the Flow and Downhill track conditions” said Tim Windshuttle – Thredbo MTB Assistant Manager
The social event of the Cannonball MTB Festival took place as the sun went down, but there was plenty of action to light up night and fire up the field.
The track was in top shape with world class showdowns revving up the 1000 strong crowd. Riders raced the clock to narrow down the field of 300 to the top 8 in each category.
The new dual format saw head to head Pump Track racing in the upper categories Racers dropped in on opposing sides of the pump track, meeting in the middle for a side by side battle to the finish.
In the Pro Men’s, proving he is a quality all-rounder, Thomas Crimmins set a blistering pace in qualifying before meeting up with his mate David McMillan in the final. Crimmins crossed the line first by the narrowest of margins to McMillan with Duke Millington coming in third.
“Great atmosphere, big crowd and a fun format of racing made for a fantastic event” said Thomas Crimmins.
It was a parade of women’s world beaters with Danni Beecroft, who is more at home on the downhill track, taking the win. Sian A’Hern maintained her podium place of yesterday to ride in second with BMX rider Harriet Burbidge-Smith coming in third.
“I loved the dual format, it’s good to battle it out amongst each other to see where you are at, it really pushes you to the edge, so much so I almost crashed” said Danni Beecroft.
The young guns scorched the course burning out of the berms and over the rollers at pro pace. Local kids Thomas Krpan, Jackson Connelly and Angus Falconer impressed with their speed and agility filling 1,2,3 on the podium in the u/15 men’s category.
Jump on board with one of the world’s best Enduro racers for a full run down the new Thredbo All-Mountain Trail, with classic Carlson commentary the whole way, of course.
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!
Thredbo has been a leader in Australian mountain bike events for quite a few years now, hosting multiple different races during Summer. The Cannonball Festival has been run for the past 4 years, the National Downhill Series returns year after year, NSW State Downhill and Flow events, Interschools MTB Championships and Gravity Girls – a women-specific mountain bike clinic. The Super Enduro came about to fill the gap between the single disciplines, to combine all into one race and see who could be the fastest overall.
Watch the video below.
The unique part of the racing format saw two options; group, or single entries. In the groups, there were three riders who each had one dedicated track to put down their times, with all three adding up into the overall rank of the group category. For the singles, riders were restricted to one single bike for the various mix of the brutal Cannonball Downhill, Kosciuszko Flow, and Thredbo All-Mountain Trails. They had to choose the middle ground between ease of descent on the downhill trail and pedalling efficiency on the all-mountain.
Practice took place on Saturday, where the weather didn’t seem ideal from the village, but once on the trail there was nothing but hero dirt. The foggy conditions stuck around for the whole day and kept the air nice and cool and the moisture in the dirt. Nothing but enormous smiles on rider’s faces as they passed by.
The majority of the field competed on all-mountain/enduro bikes, between 140-160mm of travel. This allowed them to get on the pedals for the long all-mountain trail while also taking the big hits on the downhill. A few of the younger riders were on downhill bikes while others opted for short travel xc weapons.
Come Sunday, the fog hadn’t lifted until halfway through racing. Almost every rider chose to start off with the all-mountain trail, aiming to put the lung-busting stage out of the way straight up. The line for the start spanned 100m down the fire road at the top of Gunbarrel Chair. This left the Flow and Downhill trails basically empty, which was great for the guys who wanted a clear track so they wouldn’t get help up.
The Crimmins brothers were on form as always, with Thomas taking first and Andrew third in Elite. Between them saw Brock Newling finishing the top 3 in second place. Thomas finished with a total time of 25 minutes 54.9 seconds. In the women, Claire Whiteman took the top spot, closely followed by local Tegan Molloy and Philippa Norton.Under 19’s were taken out by Harrison Dobrowolski and Ellie Smith, with Harrison pinching the fastest time recorded on the all mountain trail.
For full results – click here.
With a mountain of excited school kids, five huge events and a big crowd of family and friends, the stage was set for an epic display of young gun racing.
The championships are open to school aged from around the country, it is all about participation and this year there was a record breaking 470 riders representing 74 schools across four age divisions riding in three point scoring competitions plus two fun exhibition events. Downhill, Cross-Country and Flow riding all accumulated points for their school and the fast and flowing Pump Track Challenge and a Sprint Relay drew good numbers and big crowds.
Thredbo turned on perfect autumn weather with early fog and a sprinkle of overnight rain settling the dust on the gravity trails.
The Flow Motion race saw around 350 riders and had a solid field in all divisions.
“The Flow Motion Race on Friday was new to the Interschools schedule, it gave competitors a chance to race a gravity trail without the technical features of a pure downhill track. It was unbelievable to see riders as young as eight giving the Flow race a go” said Danny Taliana – Thredbo MTB Operations Manager.
Downhill day saw the track a little tacky to start but quickly become loose and dusty. As this event encourages participation, riders had the choice to take on the more technical
Cannonball Downhill or a modified b-line option. Fastest on the day was Knox Grammar’s Chris Pulsar setting the course alight with a 5:00 run. Local Snowy Mountains Grammar School rider Mackenzie Diver set the quickest pace in the female division.
The Pump Track Challenge was a crowd pleaser, schools nominated three riders in each division for this exhibition event – one pedalling lap then it was all free-rolling. The big crowd certainly were behind Pump Trackers as they cheered them around the berms and over the rollers to the finish.
The cross country event wrapped up the weekend, with around 300 kids lapping the 2.5 kilometre Friday Flat loop. The course was 70/30 uphill to downhill and at altitude, it certainly tested the fitness of the XC competitors. It was a close tussle in the division 1 men’s with Cameron Butcher of Chevalier College narrowly edging out Jindabyne Central School’s Lachlan Harrigan.
The hotly contested overall champion school saw Heathcote High School take the shield for the tenth year in a row.
Consistency was key with the crowning of eight divisional kings and queens of the mountain for those who participated and placed well right across the weekend.
With big crowds of friends and family supporting riders and their schools, there was a great fun vibe across the weekend.
Over the 20 years, the event has launched the career of many Australian and world champions including Troy Brosnan, Tegan Molloy and Andrew and Thomas Crimmins. With participation on the increase and record numbers at Thredbo gravity events, we are sure to see Australian riders star on the world stage for years to come.
Next stop on the Thredbo MTB summer calendar is the Rocky Trail Downhill Enduro and SuperFlow Roller Coaster 1-2 April.
The freshly opened piece of trail links the top of the chairlift to the start of the existing Kosciusko Flow Trail and the rest of the All-Mountain Trail which opened last summer from atop the Gunbarrel Chair, it gives riders easier access to the start of these two trails without having to ride the ultra-fast and intimidating Eagles Way fire road. From the top, you’re able to ride a massive 30+km descent when linked with the Thredbo Valley Trail towards Lake Crackenback.
Constructed by trail company Dirt Art on super-sensitive National Park land this is one piece of trail that didn’t come easy with many challenges, more on that later.
This particular new bit of singletrack may not be long in length but it’s one of the most breathtaking (puff, puff, puff) pieces of trail we’ve ridden, it is also the highest purpose-built mountain bike trail in Australia, starting at 1930m above sea level where trees don’t even get a chance. It’s high alright! The trail starts behind the top of the Kosciusko Express Chairlift Terminal and the Eagle Nest Mountain Hut, you’ll catch a glimpse of the paved walkway to the Kosciusko summit, the highest mountain in the country, but you don’t want to walk up there this time, the juicy stuff is about to begin just to your right.
Heading to Thredbo to check out the new All-Mountain Trail? We’d suggest you give the Makin Trax Basecamp a try for accommodation. They hosted us for our week in Thredbo, and it was the perfect setup for our crew of six riders. With five bedrooms, to sleep up to 12 riders, a huge kitchen, an open fire and plenty of space to store your bikes, it’s just bloody ideal. They’re doing some great accommodation and lift pass packages too. Take a look!
When you’re up this high the views are bloody massive, the whole Thredbo Valley stretches out before you towards Jindabyne, and in the other direction towards Dead Horse Gap, on a clear day, it’d be rude not to chill on the grass to take it all in and feel small in comparison.
Just like we did on our first run down the trail, you’ll sure run into a dilemma; do you ride it slow and enjoy the view and spectacular terrain, or rip down it fast to feel the flow of the well-built trail? Tough call to make, or simply just ride it many times over, the chairlift is there all day, remember…
The first 500m of the trail will knock your socks off; it weaves its way through towering granite boulders sticking up into the sky around you, jutting out at all sorts of random angles the striking granite paints a landscape unlike anywhere else on the mountain bike map. Above the tree line, it’s fast and open to ride, as you race around towards river crossings raging with icy cold snowmelt, and jumping between grippy turns and doubling up the rolling nature of the trail. You lose yourself in massive bermed corners and pop out the other side with great speed and momentum.
From top to bottom the landscape changes dramatically, the trail takes it all in, from the low-lying scrub and granite boulders to the gnarly snow gums, and colourful native forest below.
Have a look at these numbers; the Cannonball Downhill Trail is 3.3km, Kosciusko Flow Trail 4.5km and the new All Mountain Track is 11km. All taking in similar elevation, the All-Mountain Trail has been designed to flow and weave its way down the massive mountain maintaining the elevation for a more mellow and accessible ride, it doesn’t tire your hands and body like the faster downhill tracks do.
To the credit of trail builders Dirt Art, they have done a brilliant job of linking up unique features on the mountain, cool terrain, and cleverly managing speed to the point we hardly saw any braking ruts in the corners. The berms are also so damn good, deep and supportive, and completely safe to commit to and rail around them off the brakes with confidence.
As we mentioned earlier, this linking piece of trail has been a long time coming, and if you’ve been riding Thredbo over the last 20 years like we have, you’d appreciate every single new development that comes to fruition. Due to the sensitive nature of the terrain and flora and fauna, it went through a lengthy approval process and adding to that is the amount of snow that the area cops every winter.
Then the Dirt Art crew had to battle erratic weather with wind, snow and rain making life pretty hard up there! The trail surface had to be capped using granite sourced in its immediate environment, with loads of gruelling hours winching the huge rocks around to make the trail ride with good flow.
Dirt Art is keeping very busy up there, currently they are finishing off a piece of singletrack that will cut out the fire road climb to the top of the Gunbarrel Chairlift, through the gnarly old snow gums this will be the final piece in the All-Mountain Trail construction, with all 620m of descent to the village on premium purpose-built stuff. There will also be a linkage section built to carry riders from above the Friday Flats area back to the Village Square, cutting out the existing climb taking riders over towards the finish of the Cannonball Downhill and Flow Trail.
All in the five-year plan for Thredbo we’ll expect to see the network double in size with a couple of new trails down the mountain, including an all-new jump/trick trail like Whistler’s A-Line or Crank It Up, a new beginner Flow Trail and a World Cup ready downhill race track. There’s also plans to open a second lift with bike hooks too to distribute riders around during peak times and events.
With the Thredbo Valley Trail’s ultimate plan to stretch from Thredbo, past Lake Crackenback all the way down to Jindabyne, it’s a pretty extensive network of trails!
Heading to Thredbo? We’d suggest you give the Makin Trax Basecamp a try. They hosted us for our week in Thredbo, and it was the perfect setup for our crew of six riders. With five bedrooms, to sleep up to 12 riders, a huge kitchen, an open fire and plenty of space to store your bikes, it’s just bloody ideal. They’re doing some great accommodation and lift pass packages too. Take a look!
The 2016/17 MTB Season runs from 19 November to 1 May. The chairlift is open for mountain bikers from 9.30am-4pm, and the retail/rental shop is open from 8.30am-5pm.
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!
Friday night, bike laden cars snaked their way up the Alpine Way, the forecast was full of sunshine and anticipation was high. Chatter in Pub was a lot like winter on a powder day, who is lining up for first lifts?
Come Saturday morning and we were ready to roll – an hour before lifts opened, riders were lining up at the access gates and those who weren’t, were pushing up the hill to ride the fresh lines into the finish arena.
The lift spun and bikes were loading, the line meandered around the chair shed with pumped riders talking amongst themselves about bikes, parts, places they have been and the day ahead – everyone was eager to hit the slopes.
Over 350 riders ripped into a mountain of freshly built trails on opening day – what was great to see was the great mix of ages and abilities, full and open face helmets, downhill and all-mountain bikes, Thredbo had swung open the doors to everyone.
The Thredbo trail crew had a hectic lead in turning the mountain from winter to summer in a matter of weeks but they rewarded riders with stand-out opening conditions. Both long-time Thredbo riders and those here for the first time were enjoying the opening day vibe.
Australian pro-rider Thomas Crimmins was one of the first on the mountain.
“It’s probably the most fun I’ve had at Thredbo. All of the work the Thredbo trails crew and Dirt Art have done is amazing, and can’t believe how many riders are here. It’s by far the best trails I have ever seen at Thredbo said Crimmins.
While others who have not visited in a while were equally as impressed at the calibre of trails.
“Last time I was in Thredbo was back in the early 2000’s and all I can say is WOW. The expansion of the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park is rad to see and I can’t wait to get down for some more laps this summer said Andrew Threlfall – Intense Cycles Australia Brand Manager.
The Kosciuszko Flow Trail was the voted most popular on the day, all refreshed boasting more flow and features. The traverses have a line-up of rollers that can be pumped, doubled or tripled and the berms are massive, with plenty of riders ripping into them across the weekend.
The skilled up riders let loose on the Cannonball Downhill, they loved the new jumps lines with plenty of riders sending it into the perfect blue sky. With snow still covering the top section of the All-Mountain Trail, a steady flow of riders took to the lower eucalypt forests, switchbacks and berms – with one rider exclaiming it was the hidden gem of Australian mountain biking.
There is so much to look forward to in the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park this summer. Still to come:
All this plus with a huge hire fleet and lessons, clinics and trails for all levels. Thredbo Mountain Bike Park has something for you to enjoy this summer.
To find out more check out – https://www.thredbo.com.au/activities/summer-activities/biking/
The richest and most exciting event on the Australian mountain bike calendar, the Thredbo Cannonball Festival, is back with a fresh line-up of events and entertainment plus a massive prize purse of $50,000 up for grabs.
The mountain will be alight from 8-11 December, 2016 as amateurs, rising stars and the world’s best descend on Thredbo for four days of non-stop gravity action. Thredbo, will play host to five major events highlighting the array of terrain on offer throughout the Thredbo Mountain Bike Park, bring it on!
Registration is now open for the event – click here to visit the website and register now. Save 15% off your entry fees when you enter before midnight October 31st and online registration closes 6pm Wednesday December 7th 2016.
This is set to be a huge weekend filled with action both on and off the mountain with incredible biking over the four action packed days and an awesome line-up of DJ’s and live music firing up the village all weekend long.
Cross country mountain bike action took place on a challenging 5 kilometre course, with riders battling for supremacy in the penultimate round of the series presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA). With dual Olympian, National Champion and series leader, Dan McConnell (ACT), absent while racing the Pioneer MTB stage race in New Zealand, the race was wide open for the Elite Men.
Today’s race started steadily, but was quickly broken open on the second of eight laps, when a trio comprised of Ivory, Scott Bowden (TAS) and Brendan Johnston (ACT) surged at the front. The group worked together during Lap 3 to increase their lead over Kyle Ward (NSW) and the field, building a gap that would never be bridged.
Ivory talked through the race pattern: “I took the lead on the second lap and led until the last lap, when Scott got past me, and then he attacked me a few times and I was able to just hold his wheel.” With the group of mates staying together for the duration, it looked like the Thredbo crowd would witness a classic sprint finish, and today the riders did not disappoint.
“Coming into the finish I knew I had quite a good kick”, said Ivory. “I was kind of confident that I could come past him (Bowden), but then he opened up a small gap into the finish and that scared me, but I think I got him by just under a bike length in the end.”
Timing data showed that Ivory secured the win by an incredibly narrow .12s. He was impressively confident post-race when discussing his biggest goal for the year: “To qualify for the Olympics, that’s what I’m focusing my season around.”
Bowden was gracious in second place. “I gave it everything on the last lap and tried to get a gap, and it came down to the last couple of metres. Hats off to Cam, he rode super-strong today and just got over me on the line.”
Johnston, who had been in the lead group all race, rounded out the podium with a well-earned Bronze medal.
Dan McConnell retains the series lead heading into the final round next month in Toowoomba, QLD.
In the Elite Women’s race, Olympian Bec Henderson (ACT) was the form rider coming into the round, having recorded wins in both races of the double-header just two weeks prior in Pemberton, WA.
After finishing the first lap in 3rd place in a tight bunch with Samara Sheppard (NZL) and Peta Mullens (VIC), Henderson was able to make a solo move during Lap 2.
“I got a bit of a lucky break. I was first, Samara second and Peta third, and then Samara dropped Mullens’ wheel and I took advantage of that, with this giving me a little gap over Peta.”
Henderson continued to build her lead through the middle of the race.
“I knew I had to get away with a good amount to spare. With 7 laps it was always going to be a hard last section of the race. I just tried to get a sustainable gap and then I would hopefully be able to hang on” reflected Henderson.
She would eventually win by 30s, making it three wins from three races for the reigning National Champion.
Peta Mullens came into summer as the defending National Road champion and has spent much of her season racing road, having only competed once in the Subaru National Mountain Bike series, earning Silver in Stromlo.
“Today wasn’t just ‘back to the series’ to me, it was back on a mountain bike. I was pretty surprised and happy to finish just 30s behind Bec” exclaimed a happy Mullens.
She rode a consistent race to 2nd place, Sheppard took 3rd, and Jenni King (VIC) finished 4th today to maintain her lead in the series.
Turning to junior racing, in the Under 19s Men’s race, Cameron Wright (QLD) once again “rode up” from the Under 17s and recorded another remarkable win, with Nick Pedler (QLD) and Michael Harris (NSW) rounding out the podium.
Katherine Hosking (NSW) was exceptionally strong in the Under 19 Women’s race, winning from Sarah I’ons (NSW) with Ruby Wilson (ACT) in third.
Full results from the racing can be found at:
All information for the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series can be found at:
The festival is Australia’s biggest gravity mountain biking event they had a roll call of the big name riders including Luca Shaw, Sam Hill, Andrew and Thomas Crimmins, Troy Brosnan, Connor Fearon and Tegan Molloy; mixing it with everyday riders for their share in the massive prize pool worth over $45,000. This weekend had it all…..
Over the weekend, 470 riders descended on Thredbo, making this the biggest gravity mountain biking event in Australia. The roll call of big name riders included Luca Shaw, Sam Hill, Andrew and Thomas Crimmins, Troy Brosnan, Connor Fearon and Tegan Molloy; all battling it out for the massive prize pool worth over $45,000.
On the famous 3.5km Cannonball Downhill track, Troy Brosnan thrashed out the main event, Sunday’s Australian Open Downhill, in a scorching time of 5:04, edging out Connor Fearon and Sam Hill who 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 Downhill calendar.
The weekend opened with riders battling it out in the SRAM Dual Compressor, with Blake Neilsen expertly navigating the course’s jumps, berms and rhythm sections to come out on top of the competition’s elimination format. The ROCKSHOX Pump Challenge rounded out the first day of competition on Friday night; young gun Remy Morton didn’t miss a beat, tearing up the new look Pump Track to take home the coveted title.
The weather was just as spectacular as the riding, with blue sky and sunshine right across the weekend. The action was big in the ODI 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.
Playing the long game, local riders Thomas Crimmins and Tegan Molloy used their home track advantage to take out the Maxxis Flow Motion Cup, where the 4.5km track was certainly a test of endurance and stamina.
With both sides of the resort enjoying 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 all level of riders added to the resort’s already extensive network. Thredbo boasts 25 kilometres of epic riding in the region, including the latest and greatest Thredbo All-Mountain Trail.
Thredbo will be going off December 4-6, three days of racing, live music and DJs.
The line-up of events 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 Toyota Australian Open Downhill.
Coming into its third year, we reflect on some of the great images from up on the distinctive Thredbo mountain.
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.
With riders racing on a customised version of the famous Thredbo Cannonball Run track, action was always going to be spectacular at the iconic venue that has delivered national events for over twenty years.
In the Elite Men’s field, all eyes were on the 2014 World Championships Bronze medallist, Troy Brosnan (SA), who leads the Subaru National Series after a perfect round in the You Yangs. With Brosnan setting the fastest time in seeding, he would be the last rider to start for the entire round on Sunday afternoon. The men raced as they seeded, falling into the hotseat one after the other before Brosnan sped into the winning position.
Brosnan is the second-ranked rider in the World for Downhill, and his true class showed on a clean final run that saw him retain the Subaru Series Leader jersey. “I had a really good run there, not many mistakes,” Brosnan said. “I hit a few big holes but apart from that, just loving it! “It was a lot faster this year and it was actually kind of scary at some sections but apart from that, it reminds me pretty much of Fort William. “I gave it everything I had in that run and just pedalled and really tried to exert myself so I’m happy.”
Thomas Crimmins (NSW) was only 5.13 seconds behind Brosnan, the local rider flying into second place, while Graeme Mudd (NSW) took third.
For the Elite Women, the hot favourites were Molloy and Sarah Booth (NSW). 2015 Junior World Champion Molloy resides in Jindabyne, meaning she knows the Thredbo course better than most riders in Australia, and her local knowledge played to her advantage today.
Molloy spoke of securing her first Elite win: “It’s pretty cool taking the win in front of a home crowd, it just makes it that bit more special. “The idea was to take it easy in practice and then come out and a have a good race run. I’ve ridden the track many times before so I knew what to expect.”
Molloy finished in a spectacular time that was 32.7 seconds faster than the field, which means she will take over the Series Lead from Booth with only one round remaining.
Second place in the Elite women went to Ronja Hill-Wright (ACT) and third to Booth.
In Under 19 Men’s action, the show would be all about local Bredbo rider Andrew Crimmins (NSW). Crimmins was the fastest Under 19 rider in seeding, and he did not disappoint in the race run, taking the win by exactly 4 seconds from Max Warshawsky (QLD) in second, with Jackson Frew (ACT) rounding out the podium.
In Under 19 Women’s racing, talented multi-discipline rider Ellie Wale (VIC) took the win from Sian A’Hern (NSW).
The 2014/15 Subaru National Series comes to an end in three weeks, with the final round held in Toowoomba, QLD from 27 February – 1 March, in conjunction with the Oceania Championships, which will run 25 – 27 February 2015.
For all Series information, please visit:
For full race results, please visit:
The 2014 Cannonball MTB Festival at Thredbo again attracted its fair share of weather. Last year, it was snow, this time around rain and lightning came into the mix and shut down Saturday’s racing. Despite the compressed timeframe this gave racing, the event was again a huge success. Thredbo just makes for great racing! Make sure you check out Damian Breach’s photo galleries each day of the event too:
Read the official word from Thredbo below.
The Toyota Cannonball Festival in Thredbo this weekend saw some of the world’s best mountain bike riders mix it up with Mother Nature’s most extreme weather on Australia’s famous downhill all racing for their share of the $45,000 prize pool on offer.
Blending mud, a mountain and adrenalin certainly created exciting racing across the weekend with over 300 riders ascending to Thredbo for a weekend of gravity fuelled battles across five big events.
Rain postponed Saturday’s racing, making Sunday one massive downhill day. The headliner event the Australian Open Downhill had the crowd on the edge of seat right up to the last rider of the day. Young Thredbo MTB rider Andrew Crimmins pulled out the ride of his life and smashed the 3.5km course in an unbeatable time of 5 mins 17 secs just ahead of his brother Thomas, with 5 x world champion Sam Hill in third place. But it was the Bredbo brothers and Thredbo MTB riders Thomas and Andrew who had the crowd on their feet elated with the local win.
“I had an amazing run, conditions were pretty wild all weekend but the track turned it on this afternoon, so it was pretty well perfect for my race run.
“I’ve been racing here for 6 or 7 years so it’s pretty handy to know where I can make up time” said Andrew.
In the pro women’s division, hot favourite junior World Champion Tegan Molloy took a heavy fall in practice and could not defend her crown. Tracey Hannah picked up top prize with Sarah Booth and Kellie Weinert placed second and third respectively.
The Flow Motion Cup started above the clouds with both local and international riders racing the five kilometre Kosciuszko Flow Trail course in cracking times, considering the early wet track.
Mud was a menace for some, while others revelled in the conditions. Thredbo MTB rider Thomas Crimmins used his local knowledge to pick the best lines and pick up first place in the pro men’s division. Sarah Booth stood high on the winner’s podium in the women’s pro category winning by the narrowest of margins, 1.5 seconds over Claire Whiteman.
Friday’s warm sunny conditions were ideal for the ODI Dual Compressor that saw dirt raising head to head action, the quickest out of the drop gate held the advantage.
In the pro division Graeme Mudd won the battle of the bikes and Harriet Burbridge-Smith racing over in front in the pro women’s event, just ahead of Thredbo MTB rider Tegan Molloy.
The Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge, had a mix of young guns and old dogs hitting the rain soaked, free-rolling technical track. Pro men’s set a blistering pace with Blake Neilson narrowly edging out Thredbo MTB rider David McMillan and Ryan Hunt in third.
It was a parade of women’s world champs with BMX and MTB star Caroline Buchanan styling it up on the muddy circuit and taking the win, Danni Beecroft rolled into second and Tegan Molloy showing she is a quality all-rounder taking third place.
“It was first Cannonball event in Thredbo, and it was a huge success. Minus the weather, mountain bike lovers of all ages trooped it out. Winning the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge was my highlight of the weekend. The changes made to the mountain biking in Thredbo was really refreshing and a great vibe all round” said Caroline Buchanan
A fun new twist for 2014 event is points from each event will be tallied to crown the King and Queen of the mountain in the Pro Division, the higher you place, the more you score. This year Thomas Crimmins and Kellie Weinert were officially placed into Cannonball royalty.
The Australian Open Downhill is the premiere event of the Thredbo Cannonball MTB Festival and oodles of money is up for grabs. $2500 first place for the women’s and $5000 for the men’s to be precise. The women’s racing was always going to be a close battle between current Junior World Champion Tegan Molloy and seasoned World Cup’er Tracey Hannah however Tegan had to pull out of the race following a crash in practice. Tracey took the win comfortably, making it two for two, and now has plenty of cash to pay for the petrol for the long drive back home. Sarah Booth landed in 2nd place and Kellie Wienert in 3rd.
Day two of the Thredbo Cannonball festival was greeted with the threat of bad weather. It’s all part of racing in the Australian alpine region but with a day jam packed with action – with the Flow Nation Cup, downhill seeding – and Whip Off Wars all planned, we all had our fingers crossed.
However the weather got the better of the action. Lightning and chairlifts aren’t the best of friends and just moments before the first racer’s took off for the Flow Nation Cup the clouds moved in for hours of persistent electrical activity and heavy rain. It was a tough but nessasary call and all racing for the day had to be postponed.
Rather than being defeated by the weather the Thredbo Cannonball organisers enthusiastically moved the competitors indoors for a bit of fun with giveaways, a little competition, and some autograph signing from the top pros (and maybe a few beers). All the race action but has been moved to tomorrow with a full day of Flow Nation Cup and Australian Open Downhill planned. Unfortunately the Whip Off Wars will have to be battled next year.
Saturday brings the enduro event, the Flow Motion Cup, and seeding for the Australian Open Downhill race. Stay tuned for more action!
Thredbo has just released the Toyota Cannonball MTB Festival event Schedule with 3 epic days of high flying adrenalin filled action and entertainment plus some massive prizes on offer.
The festival, which takes place across the weekend of December 5-7, will have the biggest mountain biking prize pool on the Australian mountain biking circuit with $45,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. The Industry best are supporting the event including major sponsor Toyota along with Maxxis, SRAM, Rock Shox, ODI, Avid, Truvativ and Joes No Flats,
The complete schedule is now online at thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival and registrations are still open but filling up fast so jump online and register to ensure your place.
Schedule highlights include:
11:00am – 4:30pm – ODI Dual Compressor
4:30pm – 5:00pm – Big Air // Whip Wars Practice
6:00pm – 9:00pm – ROCKSHOX Pump Track Racing, DJ, BBQ and presentation
11:30am – 2:30pm – Flow Motion Cup Racing
3:00pm – 4:30pm – Australian DH Pro and Under 19 class seeding runs
4:30pm – 5:00pm – Big Air // Whip Wars Practice
4:30pm – 7:30pm – DJ & BBQ at the base of Kosciuszko Express
5:00pm – 7:00pm – Whip Wars Jam All Divisions
7:00pm – Flow Motion Cup & Whip Wars Presentations
12:00pm – 3.30pm – Racing Australian DH All Divisions
3:30pm – 6:30pm – Greasy Pole Party with DJ & BBQ
4.30pm – Australian DH Presentations
King and Queen of the mountain
A fun new twist for 2014 is points from each event will be tallied to crown the King and Queen of the mountain in the Pro Divisions. To win this prestigious accolade, the higher you place, the more you score, with the winners launching into Cannonball royalty.
The Thredbo MTB season kicked off last week, with riders revelling in the chance to hit the mountain tracks before the Cannonball Festival. Junior World Champion and Thredbo MTB rider Tegan Molloy was one of the first on the hill.
“Thredbo have really raised the bar with the downhill track this year, with sections running a lot more open and fluid. Although a long and technical course, it seems that everyone is having a blast.
With the new lower section packing in nicely, it will definitely please spectators and riders alike. The track is in awesome condition in the lead up to Cannonball, the stage is set for one of the best races in Australia.
I’m lucky to have a world class training ground right here in my backyard in the lead up to what I hope will be a successful World Cup season ahead” said Tegan.
Tegan will be riding alongside other world class riders including Sam Hill, Troy Brosan, Andrew Crimmins, Ben Cory, Thomas Crimmins, David McMillan and Tim Eaton.
“Cannonball for me is definitely one of the best events on the calendar, simply because it’s not super competitive like the national series, just a bunch of guys and girls having fun in Australia’s best MTB destination. Thredbo is always known for pulling the huge crowd and I think this year will be the biggest yet, plus it hosts Aussies only whip comp! Who doesn’t want to sit on the side of the hill and watch people throw down? I’ll definitely be back to try and back up my win from last year!” Andrew Crimmins 2013 Australian Open Winner
“I’m really excited about coming back to Thredbo for the Cannonball Festival this year! Getting 2nd in the Australian Open last year has just fuelled the fire for me to take the win this year” Troy Brosnan Current World #2
There is something in this multi-faceted festival for any level rider, here are all the events over the long weekend.
1. The Australian Open Downhill
The main event, the Australian Open DH on Thredbo’s infamous Cannonball 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. With the biggest prize purse on the Australia DH calendar, this will be one not to miss!
2. Flow Motion Cup
Utilising the Kosciuszko Flow Trail this all mountain race will snake its way down Thredbo’s famous ski runs. With around 6km of flowing single-track to negotiate with the odd flat pedal, this event can cater to all levels of riders. However only those with the will to win will head home with the cash!
3. ODI Dual Compressor
A new event for 2014. Racing at its most raw, the Dual Compressors crowd-pleasing format pits two competitors side-by-side to battle each other & 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 courses side by side before integrating and pushing one another through to the finish.
4. Big Air / Whip-Wars
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.
5. ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge
Get ready for the ROCKSHOX Pump Challenge on Friday night. See Thredbo’s brand new updated 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 & stamina, as riders pump, double & manual around the 2-3 lap course without a single pedal stroke.
The complete schedule is now online, download and plan your weekend of adrenalin filled mountain bike action.
Visit thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival for full event details OR join the Thredbo MTB facebook page facebook.com/ThredboMTB for all event updates.
For any Thredbo accommodation and festival package enquires visit thredbo.com.au or call Thredbo Resort Centre 1300 020 589.
Confirmed Cannonball Riders
Sam Hill – The man, the myth, the legend, Sam Hill will be competing at Cannonball 2014! Sam is by far the most recognised and successful DH mountain biker in Australia over the past 10 years. With countless World Cup and World Champs wins, he has every title in the sport and there is no sign of him slowing down with 2 more World Cup wins this season! Sam has found form again and will be the favourite for most in the Australian Open DH!
Troy Brosnan of the Specialized Racing Team loves coming to Thredbo and it is one of his favourite MTB destinations in the world! He is 2 X Junior World DH Champ, ranked #3 in the World and was a close 2nd in last year’s Australian Open along with taking out the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge. Troy is one of the top contenders for King of Cannonball!
What can we say about Andrew Crimmins? He came from nowhere last year to take out the Australian Open DH and beat some big names in doing so. Still at only 17 years of age, Andrew is now riding for the Kona Factory Team & Monster Energy. With a full World Cup season under his belt, can Andrew back up his incredible performance from last year? Only time will tell.
The 2014 Junior World Champion will be back on her home mountain for Cannonball and will be fired up for all events. We saw her take out the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge & Flow Motion last year but was pipped by Tracey Hannah in the Australian
Open. Tegan will be looking for the trifecta and is a hot contender for the Queen of Cannonball!
Ben Cory knows Thredbo like the back of his hand. Being a Canberra local he regularly uses Thredbo as a training ground. His smooth style & local knowledge got him the win in the Flow Motion last year and he will be ready to back that up in 2014 and show the young bucks whose boss!
Local legend Tommy Crimmins has just returned from a full season racing World Cups and will be itching to prove himself again on the Australian Stage. A slight home advantage saw him get 3rd last year in the Australian Open DH and this will make him a threat over the entire weekend in all events!
Dave ‘Magician’ McMillan was the eventual winner of the Whip Wars last year and will be the name on everyone’s lips again! Dave is known for his effortless & smooth style that leaves every spectator in awe! Look out for the style-master in all events!
Another Canberra local that is a force to be reckoned with in Thredbo! Riding for Giant Bikes Timmy Eaton will have is full quiver on show for Cannonball and will be hoping to take one of them to the top step!
Mt Buller, Vic
James Estate, NSW
Mt Beauty, Vic
Country and Western star Kenny Rogers has a very famous song about The Gambler. Essentially the song is a metaphor for life; dealing with what you have been dealt, and knowing when to walk way from trouble. It has nothing to do with this bike as you can change what you’ve been dealt and should never need to be walking away from anything that may trouble you on the trail.
The Scott Gambler is a very slack, very capable and adjustable downhill race machine that can be easily dialled to suit you and/or the terrain you’re riding. Add to that a pretty good suspension platform, and some pretty capable spec, and you have a downhill machine that fits very nicely in its price-point.
Thredbo was the perfect testing track for the Gambler, especially as it was nearing the end of the bike season and the downhill track was at its best (roughest). Also, the rain gods sprinkled the hill with water the night prior so we had that ultimate testing environment to sink our tyres into.
The Scott is a beautifully built and solid bike that stands out amongst the crowd. A full aluminium bike with welds and neat hydroformed tubing with almost a carbon look to it. Everything is beefy and burly with large pivots and hardware, the whole rear end is obviously very stiff.
The suspension is what stands out. Scott call their design a “Floating Link” and to paraphrase of their own marketing: “There is a subtle dual progressive curve to achieve the goals, but not too exaggerated to avoid shock tuning limitations. The floating link creates a progressive feeling suspension with an almost direct compression of the shock, minimizing DU bushing rotation. This increases shock bushing life and improves small bump sensitivity.”
Basically all those links and pivots are there to support the suspension curves and feel, for what is a single pivot bike; which pivots on the seat stay, directly above and in-line with the bottom bracket. The Gambler uses a long 3.5″ shock stroke that ramps up progressively (slightly rising rate) as the shock compresses. Given that the travel of the bike is 210mm this also means a leverage ratio of around 2.3-2:5:1 (leverage ratio can change through the stroke). That’s a low number and the advantages of low leverage ratios are increased small bump performance and a wider range of shock tunability. The downside can be too much bob and action on the rear-end when you don’t want it but seeing as the Gambler is designed for super steep downhilsl then this should be less of an issue.
The Gambler’s geometry is super adjustable. The head angle can be adjusted in two different ways, the first is with the adjustable bottom bracket height. This little chip near the bottom of the shock can be flipped to raise the height of the bike (from 345mm to 354.5m) also sharpening the head angle by +0.7°. The second method to adjust the head angle was to play with the Syncros headset (either integrated or via a separate cup) for a change of either +/- 1°, or +/- 2°. The permutations of headset adjustably were massive however we left ours at the factory default of 62° – pretty damn slack already.
The other bit of adjustably was the bike’s overall length, which you can adjust by 15mm via another chip around the rear wheel axle. At the stock length of 425mm the Gambler is nice and short with an overall wheelbase of 1185mm (size tested). We did push the rear-end out to the longest setting but it did feel a little too long for us, especially considering the slack head angle. We also think there’s a chance to fit in a 27.5″ wheel at the longer setting however we didn’t try this ourselves.
The Gambler is also full of other neat and nice design features. Bumps stops on the down tube to prevent denting from the forks in a crash is a nice touch, as to is the rubber protection at the bottom of the down tube to protect against those hard rocks flinging up at the frame. The cable routing is also quite neat and we loved the little trick of routing the shifting cable through the chain stay. You will however need a few zip-ties when it comes time to change the cables.
Finally, you’re either going to love or hate the bright green colour of the Gambler 20 but but the looks and the questions we got when riding it sure made us feel popular.
The Gambler sits at the lower end of downhill bikes when it comes to price. The $4499 price tag does net you a very decent build kit though, with highlights being FOX 40 fork, a FOX Van RC rear shock and a Shimano Zee drivetrain.
The drivetrain is taken care of with all Shimano Zee parts. The Zee is the more affordable cousin to Shimano Saint. The rear derailleur uses a clutch mechanism to reduce the whole thing flapping around and worked perfectly, it’s just that it looked a bit plastically and we wonder how well it would hold up to a few hits. Chain retention is taken care of with a E.thirteen chain device (with bash guard) and during our test we noted no issues with shifting or chain loss.
The FOX 40 is a good entry level fork from FOX, however basic pre-load and rebound (and spring changes) are your only options for tuning. During our testing we found the fork to be fine, we only having issues with spring noise. The rear shock is also the more basic unit; FOX VAN RC with adjustable rebound and low-speed compression. The rear shock felt pretty good for us and the spring was pretty much spot on for our weight. It would be great again to have a little more adjustability but the lack of it is the norm at the this price-point.
The brakes are a lower spec single piston stoppers, Shimano Deore with big 203mm rotors. This would probably have been the low-light of the spec. Sure, the brakes did work well, but at Thredbo we were wishing for a little more. By the end of such a long run you were wishing for something with a bit more bite when your hands were tiring. A great upgrade to the bike would be a set of ZEE brakes.
Syncros rims with Formula hubs were all fine, and held up well to our testing. The Schwalbe Magic Marys are a great tyre and when Thredbo was a little wet they are exceptional. We actually ran tubes in the test (which is almost unheard of for us) and didn’t flat once. That’s a good sign but of we had the bike for the long term we would have converted it to tubeless.
The cock pit was comfortable and the 800mm Syncros bars were actually wider than we would normally run, however we got used to them pretty quickly. The quick release on the seat post clamp was a weird one as a downhill bike is a set-and-forget type of thing when it comes to seat height.
The Gambler is stable, and even more stable at speed. The slack head angle, low bottom bracket, and long front end all add up a very stable bike at speed, especially on the steeper sections of the track. The bike really does want you to go faster.
The other notable was the bike felt better when ridden a little further back, with your weight over the rear wheel. This would let the rear suspension shine as the rear suspension was a highlight, small bump performance was great and we never felt like we were bottoming out at all. If you see Scott world cup downhiller Brendan Fairclough ride you will see he is often hanging right off the back, and we can see why this bike suits him.
While the Gambler was really good at high speed and rough straight lines, it was a little harder to get around the tight stuff. We also found it a little harder to jump than other downhill bikes we had ridden.
All that slackness and lowness though does have its downside and it’s when the trails get a little less steep. If it’s flat, or you have to work a little more for your speed, the Gambler is a bit more of a slug. If you’re thinking about buying this bike, really think about how steep your riding will be. The steeper the better your experience will be.
The bike also rode pretty quiet, which is a nice thing. Some people have mentioned noise issues however we noted none.
Just like the FOX 40 on the Giant Glory 1 test, we had issues with the spring clanging around inside the fork. While where on the subject of the forks, the price you pay (or don’t pay) for a lower spec fork is lack of adjustability. The FOX 40 was good at it’s designed job, it’s just that we feel a better fork would have made the riding package a whole lot better as the rear did outshine the front.
We liked the Gambler and think you will too. It’s a bike that makes you feel very comfortable at speed and across the tough and rough stuff – as long as the terrain is steep and fast. We did find it a little harder to manoeuvre on the tight stuff, and it was a little harder to be playful and jump about on. However, we’re pretty confident that if we had more time to get more aggressive and comfortable with this beast it would have taught us a different way to ride.
We also dug the adjustably of the Gambler. 60 degrees is probably too slack for most Australian riding but if you’re heading off to the steeps of Europe then this beast can be pointed straight off Mt Blanc without any fear. The Gambler does 20 weighs in at 17.8kg, which is admittedly a smidge heavier than some of its competitors, but this is a bike designed to have plenty of gravity on its side.
Kenny Rogers didn’t sing about this Gambler bike but maybe if he had of ridden it he would have changed the words to his most famous song to: “You’ve got to know when to smash it, know when to jump it, know when to let off the brakes, and know when to have fun…”.
But despite its strong history, over the past ten years it had started to become clear that Thredbo’s lustre was fading a little; other alpine resorts were investing heavily in mountain biking and Thredbo was losing ground. Simply having ‘the hill’ was no longer enough. Thankfully, rather than allowing the mountain biking program to slip metaphorically downhill, Thredbo too have launched a program of rejuvenating the mountain bike side of their operations. Since our first trip to Thredbo over 15 years ago, we’ve held this place in high esteem, and so we had to come see for ourselves just what changes were underway at Thredders.
What we found left us feeling extremely positive. After years of talking about expansion, it’s really happening. With Resort Operations Manager Stuart Diver at the helm and a seriously passionate crew running the Thredbo MTB outfit, the wheels are in motion. Already there have been some great revitalisations to the downhill track, the new Kosciusko Flow Trail has been souped up, the magnificent Thredbo Valley Trail is ready to roll and a master plan for 40km of new trails has been unveiled.
We spent four days in Thredbo: you can read about each of them here, here, here and here. During that time we checked out the absolutely stunning Cascade Trail, rode the downhill and Flow Trails, and took in the Thredbo Valley Trail too. Whereas in the past we’d only considered bringing our downhill bike to Thredders, there’s now a true variety of riding on offer and you’d be silly to leave your trail bike behind. It’s only going to get better too, with more cross country trails planned for the valley floor, and an new 11km-long all-mountain trail going in from the peak too.
As we said in the video, this trip to Thredbo left us feeling more positive about this old dame than we’ve ever been before. New trails, spruced up oldies and big plans for the future make us sure we’ll be spending a lot more time in Thredders than we have for many years, and not just for racing, but simply to ride. Thredders, it’s good to see you back on top form.
Tegan Molloy, 17 years old from Jindabyne, NSW, Australia riding her local track.
This year Tegan finished top 3 in the Downhill World Cup Series. Great efforts at such a young age and I’m sure there will be more to come from Tegan next year.
Filmed in Thredbo, NSW, Australia.
Tegan Molloy, 17 years old from Jindabyne, NSW, Australia riding her local track.
This year Tegan finished top 3 in the Downhill World Cup Series. Great efforts at such a young age and I’m sure there will be more to come from Tegan next year.
Filmed in Thredbo, NSW, Australia.
We love downhill race day at Thredbo. The long, rough, fast and physical track always makes for awesome racing, so were super excited about the third and final day of the Cannonball MTB Festival.
Thredbo has played host to more legendary downhill races than just about any other venue in Australia, and with $5000 on the line for the men’s win and $2500 for the women, the Australia Open Downhill was going to be another one to remember. Seeding on Saturday afternoon hadn’t thrown up too many surprises, but as we found out, seeding results mean nothing.
A warm morning and dry, strong winds ensured the race track was in absolutely prime condition; Friday’s snow and slush had given way to dusty bomb holes, particularly on the new sections of track which were becoming whooped out and choppy, just as you’d hope. In the more open sections of trail the gusty westerly wind was becoming a bit of an issue, and more than a couple of riders found themselves launching the canyon gap a lot further than anticipated with a tail wind pushing them along.
When the start times were revealed it was a surprise to see the women running in reverse order, with fastest qualifier Tracey Hannah up first, followed by Tegan Molloy. Tracey, Tegan and Danielle Beecroft (who had a big off in her seeding run) were definitely the three favourites and apparently the call to swap the race order had been made to ensure both Tracey and Tegan got a clear run at the track.
As the first women on course, Tracey Hannah had the hot seat all to herself, with no rider able to threaten her time. She is still on another level when compared to the much younger Dani Beecroft and Tegan Molloy – her years of experience racing at a World Cup level shone through, and she took the win (though perhaps not as comfortably as she’s anticipated, with Molloy only 12 seconds back). Danielle Beecroft’s form keeps getting better and better too, her third place after a huge weekend of competing was a fine way to cap off what must’ve been a seriously tiring three days!
In the men’s race all eyes were on the highly anticipated showdown between Mick Hannah and Troy Brosnan – surely it would be one of these two World Cup stars who’d know how to tame a long, physical track like Thredbo?
No one was surprised when local rider Tom Crimmins slotted himself into the hot seat with five riders still to go, posting a time of 5:30 – the older of the Crimmins brothers calls Thredbo his home track and his form is superb. But he didn’t get to keep the seat warm for too long. His 16-year old brother Andrew Crimmins came flying out of the final woods section at insane speed, and when he stopped the clock at a ridiculous 5:26 we don’t think even he could believe it.
It was the Crimmins family in first and second with only Brosnan and Hannah left on the hill. Hannah was the first to appear, and when he shot out into the final berms it was clear that he hadn’t done enough. His 5:32 was well back and ultimately good enough for fifth place, with Hannah quick to acknowledge that he’d been too conservative and knew he’d finished with far too much energy in reserve. With both Crimmins boys now guaranteed a podium, Troy Brosnan was the only threat to the $5000 winner’s cheque. But even with an admittedly clean run, the two time junior World Champ couldn’t match the pace of the younger Crimmins, coming in two seconds back for second place.
The weekend wrapped up with poolside, with the presentations accompanied by a ‘greasy pole’ session, with riders attempting to ride over a 10 metre log across the pool (a spectacle last seen back at the 1994 National Champs!). Awesome stuff.
All in all, it’s got to be said the inaugural Cannonball MTB Festival was a massive, emphatic success. We’ve been coming to Thredbo for years, and this was hands down the best mountain bike event we’ve ever been to at this grand old venue; the mix of events, the quality of the riding, the trails, the festival vibe… it all added up a seriously fun weekend. There were around 240 riders this year and we’d be very surprised if that number doesn’t double for next year.
Flow will be bringing you a full event video in the coming days, so stay tuned, and we’ll see you at Thredbo next year!
It was a seriously jam-packed day on the hill at Thredbo for day 2 of the Cannonbal MTB Festival, with finals for the Flow Motion Cup, downhill seeding and the Whip Wars to cap it off.
For the Cannonball team it was a dream outcome. A cloudless sky and toasty temps had melted off all but the most resilient snow by mid-morning, and only the upper wooded section of Flow Trail remained really muddy. After the axle-deep drifts of the previous morning, it now looked like riders would be up against genuinely dusty conditions by the weekend’s end.
The Flow Motion Cup was a great scene, attracting a real mix of riders. From kids and old blokes on cross country bikes all the way through to some of Australia’s best downhillers who’d traded the big bikes for their trail bikes for the race.
Tegan Molloy proved that local knowledge counts, convincingly taking out the elite women’s race as many had expected and making it two from two for the Jindabyne rider. The men’s race was wide open however and only a handful would’ve picked Ben Cory as the eventual winner. But the big Canberran stopped the clock at 8:11, three and a half seconds ahead of Graeme Mudd and Timmy Eaton.
It was a quick costume change for the pro downhilers, before they headed up the hill for their seeding runs ahead of tomorrow’s Australian Open Downhill. All eyes were on Tracey Hannah, and despite binning it in the very first fireroad corner she did the job by 12 seconds with Tegan Molloy in second. Danielle Beecroft was looking dangerouns but took a high speed digger.
Troy Brosnan had been keeping a low profile on the downhill track but showed his stripes in seeding, putting two seconds into Mick Hannah. We get the feeling that both Troy and Mick have a fair bit hidden in reserve for tomorrow. Young Andrew Crimmins was the real surprise of the afternoon – everyone knows he’s a threat, but seeing him just a couple of seconds behind Hannah was pretty impressive.
The afternoon wrapped up with the crowd favourite: the Whip Wars. The comp took a freestyle jam format and after half an hour of sessioning the 40-foot table top, Dave McMillan and Luke Ellison were eventually declared joint winners. But it was 10 year old Troy Weinert who got the crowd really pumped as launched higher than anyone, on a bike that probably weighs as much as he does. Danielle Beecroft was the only woman to step up to the plate, sending it big despite undoubtedly feeling the effects of her crash earlier in the day.
Tomorrow is the big one; the Australia Open Downhill. With $5000 on the line for the men’s win and $2500 for the women there’s going to be some serious business done on the slopes of Thredders.
Baking under the late afternoon sun around the pump track it seemed impossible that the inaugural Cannonball MTB Festival had gotten underway with an epic session of snow shovelling.
With a good 10cm of snow blanketing the hill all the way to the village this morning, it was action stations for an event team who are accustomed to taking the high country weather in their stride. Out came the snow shovels – it was particularly awesome to see Mick Hannah clearing out the run in to Bunny Walk. “It’s just like being back in Colorado,” he laughed, having just escaped -12 degree weather in the USA for the Australian ‘summer’.
Thankfully the sun came to the party too, and by 10:30 riders were on the hill, albeit using the slower Snow Gums chair and only running from mid-station. Conditions were much better than anyone had dared hope, and while the chairlift up was still chilly, the ride down was actually pretty primo; wet in the woods, but hero traction everywhere else.
Come late afternoon things had thawed enough to let riders up to the top of mountain. With the snow melt turning parts of the track into deep mud, it was a memorable arvo for many. The temps have thankfully remained high enough for shorts and the clouds have kept away, so by tomorrow the whole mountain should be running superbly, including the Flow Trail which was only opened from mid-way today.
Practice for tomorrow’s Whip Wars got underway on the newly built 40-foot tabletop at the bottom of the run too, with Crimmins and McMillan looking ridiculously comfortable.
The final event for Day 1 was the Rockshox Pumptrack Challenge, held down by the Thredbo River on the village green. It was a great scene; grandstand seating, a DJ and MC and the pump track in absolutely perfect condition after a night under a layer of snow. Local hero Tegan Molloy took out the pro women’s category after Tracey Hannah and Danielle Beecroft both suffered a bit of a brain explosion in the final and accidentally chucked in a forbidden pedal stroke.
The men’s race held everyone in suspense a little longer – without any live timing there was no telling who’d thrown down the fastest laps. In the end it was Troy Brosnan, who rode a super consistent race, his wheels barely leaving the ground on the way to victory, leaving him $750 better off.
Tomorrow should be another glorious day with the Flow Motion Cup finals, the Whip Wars final and a lot less snow!
No one has attempted to double them up since Nathan Rennie and Andrew Mills back in (approx) 2001. Mick’s been thinking about giving it a go for 12 years. It only took him two runs to commit and huck it. Our favourite part is Tracey Hannah’s scream!
It was only a couple of days ago that we were trawling the net, looking for mountain bike videos for our regular Throwback Thursday feature. In our YouTube haze we came across some footage from the 1994 National Champs, held in Thredbo.
Ah, Thredbo – as that video served to remind us once again, Thredders is a destination that’s an integral part of of Australian mountain bike history. We’d struggle to count the number of times that we at Flow have made the drive from Sydney to the idyllic Snowy Mountains, usually with a downhill bike in the back of the car, all set for another weekend of riding Australia’s longest chairlift accessed descent.
And now we’re back again, this time on a mission to learn more about the changes afoot here in Thredbo. Of course we’ve got our downhill bikes with us, but we’ve also got the trail bikes too; the recent development of the Flow Track and the commencement of work on the new Thredbo River Trail has opened up the hill to riders other than those on downhill rigs.
Our first day here couldn’t have been more spectacular, with perfect blue skies and temps in the mid-twenties. Local legend Stuart Diver (Thredbo Operations Manager) had something special to show us, a little way out of the village itself; the Cascade Track. This absolutely magnificent fire trail revealed to us a side of Thredbo that we’d never seen before. It climbs up into some of the most stunning alpine country we’ve ever seen in Australia. In fact, some of the vistas didn’t even look like Australia at all, with the huge open expanses reminding us of rides we’ve done in places like Colorado and Utah.
With a crystal clear river running through the valley floor, wild brumbies roaming the hills and the ghostly fingers of dead snow gums clawing the air, it was a sight we’re not likely to forget. If you ever come to Thredbo and don’t explore this area, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
SAM is a military abbreviation for Surface to Air Missile, which we guess means this bike is good at jumping and blowing stuff up.
We first clapped eyes on the SAM 1.0 at the 2014 Focus Bikes presentation two months ago. In a room full of road bikes and 29ers, it looked like one mean bastard of a bike – matte black, angry looking geometry and plenty of travel. We knew right away that we had to get this one in for a full review.
The SAM is an alloy framed 160mm-travel all-mountain weapon, yet it weighs in at less than most similarly positioned carbon bikes, tipping the scales at just 12.91kg. Admittedly the XX1 drivetrain and Reynolds carbon wheels help keep the bike svelte, but when you consider the Pike fork, Reverb stealth post and big Schwalbe rubber it’s an impressive figure.
A black anodised finish is hard to beat, and with internally routed cables it all looks very sleek indeed. We’re overwhelmed by how smooth the fork feels straight out of the box – fingers cross the Monarch rear shock can match the performance of the front end. We’ve converted the wheels to tubeless and we can’t think of another change we could possibly wish to make before hitting the trails.
We’ll be taking the SAM to Thredbo this week and giving it a few laps down the new Flow track to see how it all fares, before bringing it to our home trails for some ill-treatment over the Christmas period.
With less than two weeks to go until the first ever Cannonball Mountain Bike (MTB) Festival in Thredbo this 6 – 8 December, the resort has announced The Potbelleez – arguably one of Australia’s best live acts – as the headlining act for the weekend long event.
Not only is the music line up expected to be epic, the Cannonball MTB Festival will also attract some of the sport’s biggest names including; dual World Downhill Rider Champion Troy Brosnan as well as Mick Hannah (aka Sik Mik) and Tracey Hannah, who recently bagged 2nd and 3rd place in the 2013 World Championships for Australia.
The festival will see hundreds of riders, both pro and amateur; push themselves to the limit over four events – The Australian Open Downhill, Flow Motion Cup, ROCKSHOX Pump Challenge and Whip Wars Big Air Bonanza – in an attempt to get their hands on up to $30,000 in cash and prizes.
Wrapping up the first day of the festival DJ Nino Brown, Australia’s #1 urban DJ, will hit the decks on Friday night under the lights at the Pump Track Finals, before heading into the Keller where the party will continue. Carrying on the fun of the festival through to Saturday evening, head-lining act, The Potbelleez will play their ultra popular line up of electro-house tunes, including; Don’t Hold Back, Magic Number and more.
“Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia and we are thrilled to be hosting a big event that encourages more people to get involved with the sport”, says Angus Thomson, Thredbo Marketing Director. “The weekend is ramping up to be a huge event– particularly with the news The Potbelleez will be headlining on Saturday night”, adds Thomson.
Thredbo is well prepared for the massive weekend long event and is offering great options with three night accommodation packages for the price of two available starting from $88 price based on per person, per night that includes an All Mountain Resort Pass, giving athletes access to Thredbo’s great mix of activities.
Registration for the event is still open for anyone interested and considering there are events and catagroies for any level it’s a mountain bike event not to be missed. Visit thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival for full event details OR join the Thredbo MTB facebook page facebook.com/ThredboMTB for all event updates.
The 2013 Australian Interschools MTB Championships presented by Thredbo MTB saw around 250 riders from over 50 schools compete in the 4 different event disciplines.
Thredbo MTB are excited to be carrying on the tradition of the Interschools Mountain Bike Championships. Interschools MTB competition has been an annual event on the mountain bike calendar in Thredbo for the past 16 years now and it keeps getting bigger & better every year with more riders, faster racing and new friendships made every year.
Huge thanks to Thredbo MTB for putting on events like this. These events promote the sport to the younger generations and also create our future stars!
Flow was recently invited to the Giant Australia DH team pre-season camp at Thredbo. How could we say no? Lift access, good food, excellent beer, and a fun crew of riders meant that it would be a great weekend.
And it was.
Three days of spending time with the 2013 team showed just why each have their place. From the Giant-for-life, Jared Rando to the newest and youngest, the Crimmins boys, everyone was pumped to get together to bond and train for the season ahead. Sessioning the trails and having fun was what it was all about and everyone seemed to grow and learn from each other over the weekend.
Flow learnt a few things too:
Come on a photo journey with us as we document the weekend…
The weather gods brought the noise to Thredbo for the final round of the NSW Red Ass DH series. Forecasts of mixed weather and un-melted snow scattered over the hill provided a forewarning to competitors, but a field 200+ strong came from around the state to compete on a freshly refurbished Thredbo course.
Saturday practice began at a (not so) tropical 12 degrees, with the course deteriorating rapidly throughout the day. The course incorporated plenty of new features along with revamped older sections and a certain new double had a few riders coming unstuck.
As seems to be the trend at Thredbo, the atmosphere throughout the pits was relaxed and light hearted with plenty of friends old and new catching up and discussing the riding to be had.
‘The most technical part would have to be down through Bunny Walk. The track’s pretty standard the whole way down, it’s just the length that gets you in the end,’ expressed Graeme Mudd.
Sunday brought inconclusive weather forecasts and a game of luck and strategy to the field with competitors varying their bike setups to prepare for potential havoc. High winds added a new dimension of difficulty, and track conditions continued to deteriorate.
Come race time things had gotten worse and the cold weather set in. Luke Newcombe from Lithgow got things rolling in elite with a cracker at 6:17:15, before Ryan Hunt took the hot seat with 6:16:60 just before the heavens opened. The snow and sleat already fallen from categories past provided some interesting racing for the top 10 seeded riders.
Mark Conliffe from Sydney took 35 seconds of his qualifying time posting a 6:03 and had the crowd going insane! Reagan Arthur started a trend by cracking the 6:00 barrier and times began to tumble. Boyer 5:55, Ellison 5:53, Vejvoda 5:52, Eaton 5:50. Next up was Bredbo local and fastest qualifier, Thomas Crimmins with a 5:49:85. Series leader Greame Mudd posted a 5:47 and Jack Moir managed a 5:46 on a worsening track.
With the greasy trail and poor visibility not hindering the times it was all coming down to the final rider, Canberra local Ben Cory. All eyes were watching when an explosion of white and blue came from the final forest section with Cory heralded for a potential win. With ease he slipped in a half pedal to cross the line freezing the clock at 5:44:41 securing the win and the adulation of the crowd.
‘It was a great weekend here at Thredbo and the crew have done a great job,’ Ben said after his race.
‘They have been building some new jumps and features.
‘It wasn’t too bad you know (the course). There was a light dusting of snow as we were going up, that all melted so all the dirt turns had heaps of traction. Some of the rocks and roots were a little greasy but that just made it more fun, more of a challenge.’
Other category winners were:
Elite Women: Tegan Molloy 6:45.7
U/19’s: Andrew Crimmins 5:57.39
U/17’s: Connor Mackne 6:07.30
U/15’s: Logan Quinn 6:40.77
Masters Male: Stephen Andreasen 6:35.18
Super Masters: Michael Green 7:03.73
Series winners were:
Elite Men: Graeme Mudd
Elite Women: Sarah Booth
U/19 Male: Thomas Crimmins
U/17: David Maggs
U/19 Female: Kellie Weinert
U/15: Aidan Wynn
Vet Men’s: Rick Kehoe
Masters Men: Stephen Andreasen
Masters Women’s: Colleen Boyes
Super Masters: Michael Green
Expert: Zac Green
Sport: Alastair Patterson.
For full results and more photos got to http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com.au
The downhill mountain bike season kicked off in Thredbo across the weekend. Check out highlights of the Thredbo Downhill Track.
Mountain Biking in Thredbo is set to reach new heights in 2013 with more trails, more bikes and plans to create a world class trail network.
Renowned trail designers, World Trail, have commenced work on the new Thredbo mountain bike Concept Plan, that will see Thredbo become one of the country’s most iconic mountain bike destinations.
World Trail, are industry leaders in design and construction and are one of the most respected authorities in sustainable trail technology. Director and professional trail designer Glen Jacobs and his team are set to create a network of downhill, cross country and skill based trails utilising a series of natural and man-made features across the village and mountain areas.
Familiar with Thredbo, Jacobs first rode the famous downhill in 1992, he is looking forward to developing the resort trail network.
“Thredbo has a history of biking and the potential is limitless. The terrain is exciting with vast open glades, bushland, granite outcrops and spectacular natural features, there is easy chairlift access to the top plus village facilities and a community to boot, it will be incredible.
“We will be crafting trails to suit recreational riders with climbs, descents and loops that showcase the resort features, an optioned up racing trail grid with wet weather options and iconic downhill products that will all complement the new Thredbo Valley Track. It is exciting times ahead for Australian mountain bikers.” said Jacobs.
The Concept Plan that will be a three stage process will be finalised to Thredbo in February with work to commence soon after.
New for this season is establishment of Thredbo MTB, a new business that will operate biking in Thredbo and shape the Snowy Mountains Resort into one of Australia’s key mountain biking destinations.
In an exciting move, the experienced downhill duo of Daniel Taliana and Tim Windshuttle, return to run mountain operations after a second season working and racing at Canada’s MTB mecca – Whistler Mountain.
South East Mountain Biking’s Jane Corben will also be on board to assist with the Thredbo MTB launch and special events.
“It’s great to see the emphasis this summer is on developing the mountain biking in Thredbo.
“The Thredbo trail Concept Plan is integral to the mountains future prosperity.” said Ms Corben