Riders and spectators alike awoke to clear skies and a rising sun, with practice kicking off super early at 8am.
Competitors rocked up to the event village for practice between 8 and 12, which would be their final chance to nail their lines before a final race run. The sun was shining all day long, which would result in a good day of racing.
With practice going down, the track conditions changed again for the third day. Lines were define by being either smooth A-lines, or rutted up B-lines. The dust was thin, and lurked around all day, giving us photographers some crazy #lightbro #dustbro photo results!
Spectators began flooding the hill early, as grade A practice happened between 11 and 12 midday, with racing kicking off from 12:30pm sharp. As the categories wore through U17 Womens, Masters, and Expert men, competitors came down with either big smiles or dirt-coloured jerseys. The action was definitely underway.
We caught up with Jackson Frew moments before he headed up the hill;
“The track is just.. so good.. you come down with a big smile on your face”
As the times ticked down, it was Joshua Jansen and Cassie Voysey who took the win in their respected categories. Kingy manned the mic, amping the crowd up for the huge show that was about to go down in Junior and Elite categores.
In Elite womens, Tracey Hannah proved unstoppable, sprinting into the village with a time of 4:37.78, with Tegan Molloy trailing behind with a time of 4:53.99, and Sian A’hern in third. Tracey’s win would also result in her tenth National Championship win, which is the new record for the first female to win 10 downhill national championships.
“It’s super cool, it’s always awesome racing in Australia, just being able to take that flag back overseas and race with the top riders in the world is pretty special to me – so yeah, I’m stoked” Tracey tells MTBA shortly after her win.
We also caught up with Tracey to see how her run went – here’s what she had to say.
“It started off pretty good, but at one point I hit a corner that wasn’t there anymore and lost the front wheel, laying over my handlebars with my foot off, so that was close. Other than that, I can’t really say it was smooth, it’s a pretty long battle to get down this track, but still stoked on my result.”
For the Junior men, Kye A’hern remains at the top, coming down with a time of 3:55.02, with Aaron Gungl in a close second with a time of 4:02.48. Matt Carter then followed in third, just 0.9 seconds behind Aaron. We asked Kye A’hern how his run felt, here’s what he had to say;
“That was so good, the tracks become so blown out and dusty, so really happy to get down in one piece and put a good run together.”
Kye had changed sponsors at the beginning of the year to Canyon Factory Racing, which is a big step up for him. His win at this weekend’s national championship is definitely a guide as to how the rest of his year is going to shape up!
The elite mens race was a real nail-biter. Troy Brosnan suffered a front flat during seeding, which would see him leave the start gate for racing at the front of the line. He endured some 45 competitors’ times before his competition departed from the top – in the form of Moir, Lucas, Hannah, Fearon, and Frew.
Troy ultimately came out on the top step, with a blistering fast time of 3:46.78, which was only 0.09 of a second faster than Jack Moir – now that is some intense racing. Jackson Frew would come down in third with a time of 3:51.00, which would also be his first top 3 podium in Elite mens.
We caught up with Troy after his race run, here’s what he had to say;
“My run was really smooth, no really big mistakes, couple of stalls but that’s going to happen on a track like this, and yeah just stoked to come across the line with the time I did, and just hold it off with Jack Moir. So yeah, super tight racing, it was crazy going from a front flat yesterday in seeding and coming away with the win, but yeah just stoked with the win and getting that [Aussie flag] sleeve back!”
It turned into a media frenzy – Troy and Kye on the same team, taking the wins with unbelievably fast times, and Tracey Hannah taking that sweet tenth national championship win! The stoke and good vibes could not have been higher.
And just like that, a huge weekend of racing down in Bright, Victoria draws to an end. See you all in Narbethong!