Maydena Bike Park is a gravity park with no equal in Australia. And as you'd expect - the downhill course is very popular!
Here at Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania, riders are seeing a truly world-class facility come to life. With 820m of vertical to play with in a rugged and wild environment, Maydena Bike Park is home to an ever-expanding network of gravity fed trails, with shuttle options from the top and ride-up options to the mid-point of the mountain.
With the course released about a week ago, some riders scorned the course for being a flow trail. That sort of commentary can really only come from people who haven't ridden here at Maydena. It's steep, sustained and very commiting.
The sustained nature is what stands out the most compared to a lot of other riding areas in Australia. It's a steep hill, and you know about it when launching down it on a bike.
We spoke to Kye Hore about the course - and he was full of praise for what has been built here at Maydena Bike Park.
“It's amazing. It's raw. We've got some real, proper old school downhill. It's got everything, there are loamy turns, rocks and steep chutes."
"The top quarter is using some old established trails that they have, so flow trail that is really fast. And then you go into the loam, and loose, rocky, root infested steep chutes. And then we bomb into the fire trail with all the big jumps." This is probably the area that most spectators will be in, as it's easy to access from the pits, and there's a long line of sight.
"The middle part of the course is blowing apart a bit, and rutting up. So the lines are forever changing. It means you have to keep up with what the course is doing while doing practice."
The question right now is weather, with different forecasts showing rain coming this weekend.
"Depending what happens if it rains, it's going to change it again," said Kye. "There's a forecast for 3-6mm on Sunday and 3-8mm on Saturday. A bit of rain would be nice and I don't think it will change it a whole lot. You never know, it's Tasmania. It might just piss down. But I feel like we'll have a dry race – touch wood!"
Maydena Bike Park is a world-class gravity park - and it shows according to Kye Hore.
"The track is amazing, it's the perfect downhill track. We haven't had anything like it for a while. Bright was amazing and awesome to ride. We were there for about 7 years or something on the same track."
"To have something so fresh and built to that international standard is awesome. The guys who are building these tracks are top riders – they have been racing World Cups for years so they just know how to build a track. And that includes Simon French, he used to race internationally back in the day. It means they know what the riders want, and they're in the position to deliver it."
The thing is, Maydena Bike Park is a big place, and the Downhill course doesn't even start at the top of the hill - there is still plenty to ride, as Kye explains.
"I know that all the riders here haven't just been riding the downhill track. When we could shuttle to the top of the hill, we'd take a mix of other trails to descend to the start of the downhill track. Everyone is loving it here, I haven't heard a bad thing. It's been spectacular."
Still, not everything is perfect from the get go, but the attention to rider feedback has been top notch.
"The finish line jump was a bit on the large side on the first day of practice. But they listened to that feedback and went out and modified it that day. They know how to put on a party, and the vibe here in the pits shows that. People are heading to ride the dirt jumps after practice, everyone is enjoying being here."
So, who can win?
"I'd have to go with Troy Brosnan. It's a good track for him. I've seen him ride it and I know he's been down here a little bit as well."
"Dean is always going to be there as well. Whoever can push the hardest and not crash will win. It's so easy to make a mistake out there. I can't discount Dan Booker either. He'll give it a run for sure."
We'll just have to wait for DH seeding to see who's on the gas. Stay tuned.