Playing host to the second round of the Australian National Series was a riders' favorite, Thredbo. Thredbo is a very Euro-style alpine resort in New South Wales southern lands and is part of the Great Dividing Range. Boasting one of the longest race tracks in Australia and with chairlift access, Thredbo is a track with a long history of racing in Australia dating back to the early 90s.
As usual at a National Series race, practice got underway on early Friday with the track available for foot inspection. Soon enough the lifts got turning and bikes hit the track for the first time on the weekend. Kona Factory Team rider Connor Fearon made the long trek across from Adelaide and was soon finding himself comfortable on the track chewing through the first of his three rear wheels for the weekend. Dean Lucas and Thredbo local Tegan Molloy were also on track representing the Kona team, with Tegan looking to impress on a home track and Dean hoping to top the podium and go one better on his results at Mt Buller.
Summer in Australia is traditionally a time of dry and dusty tracks but in the alpine regions you can never be too prepared. Friday evening after practice the rain set in but did little to dampen the track and quickly moved on unlike the 2011/12 National Season race at the same venue. Practice got under way on Saturday morning in a standard fashion with the team finalizing their lines before seeding late in the afternoon. Tegan was the first rider down the hill and seeded just ahead of Danielle Beecroft, securing 1st place in seedging.. When all eyes on the mountain turned to U19 Males and Elite Male, Dean put on a show and seeded 2nd behind Thomas Crimmins, while Connor Fearon showed his true form of recent and seeded just behind Sam Hill in 2nd place. Taking no chances for race day, team managers/mechanics Ty Mclean and Lewis Kerr stayed back late in the pits and got all work done after a tough day of racing with bikes washed, everything checked and tuned and fresh Maxxis rubber fitted.
Waking up on race day always begins with the traditional hesitant peep out the apartment curtains and upon arrival in the pits at 8am it was clear today wasn’t going to be an issue. Racing got underway under a clear blue sky in the late afternoon for Group A riders (Elite and U19) and with them not required to be on track until after midday they were treated to an rare sleep in. Of the race runs that day, 17 year old Tegan Molloy pulled out the run of the day and secured 1st place in front of a home crowd filled with friends and family. Making it two from two in the National Series so far, this first year junior female is going to be one to watch in the future with goals firmly set on international domination.
Having had Tegan get the win in U19 Female, the pressure was on for Connor and Dean to give it all, and give it all they did, taking the racing down to the line for yet another race! After seeding second fastest, Dean was the second last rider down the hill. Unable to beat the time of Luke Ellison and Thomas Crimmins, he took the 3rd step on the podium at the end of the day, working his way up in the series rankings. As usual, Elite Men were the hottest topic of the day with a field stacked full of international prestige. The podium was constantly changing throughout the final 10 with the final podium changing no less than 5 times in 10 minutes. Connor was the 2nd last rider down the mountain and managed to secure 3rd place on the day behind Jack Moir and Sam Hill, and in the process moved himself into 2nd place overall in the series.Complete results here
We no have a weeks break before hitting the road on another massive drive to the nationals capital of Canberra for National Championships on the same track that played host to the World Cup and World Champs in 08/09. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest developments from the most prestigious race on the Australian calendar. Thanks to our sponsors
- Kona, Mavic, Race Face, Maxxis, SRAM, Rockshox, Avid, Adidas Eyewear, Fox Head, GoPro, Evoc, Pedros, Straitline, NS Dynamics, Cane Creek, Revolution MTB Mag, Timothy Arch Photography and Torq.
Once again, this weekend's photo credit goes to Jason Stevens Photography for providing the amazing photos as our regular photographer, Tim Arch was not available due to prior commitments.