2018 Australian Downhill National Championships - Photos and Results

Mar 5, 2018
by Matt Rousu  


The 2018 Australian Downhill Championships were held in Bright on the 2-4 March. It was a classic dry and dusty affair utilising the rider favourite Mystic DH track. Winding its way down pine plantation, the track has seen many National level events in the past but none so hotly contested. Indeed it would be the biggest event in many years seeing World Cup superstars Troy Brosnan, Tracey and Mik Hannah, Jack Moir, Dean Lucas, Connor Fearon, Jackson Frew and Tegan Molloy do battle with almost all of Australia's top racers. In all, 240 plus riders would tackle the steep and technical track which after 3 days of riding/racing would change every couple of hours.

The track was open for track walk on Friday morning before the first practice session kicked off under cloudy skies in the afternoon.

Australian National DH 2018
Back in the pits and there were many new and prototype bikes to be seen. The first race on the new Intense M29 with a new RockShox BlackBox fork.

Australian National DH 2018
Mik Hannah doesn't have time to enjoy the view. First race back since his Silver Medal at World Champs last year.

Australian National DH 2018
Troy Brosnan tackling one of the many steep chutes on the course.

Australian National DH 2018
Connor Fearon also had a new steed on track, can you spot the big change?

Australian National DH 2018
Danielle Beecroft sending it through the fresh cut section.

Australian National DH 2018
Jack Moir with the balancing act through the trees.

Australian National DH 2018
Tracey Hannah was looking fast! 1st in qualifying by 22 seconds!

Australian National DH 2018
Sian A'Hern moving up to take 2nd in qualifying.

Australian National DH 2018
Unfortunately Dannielle Beecroft had a massive crash and was unable to race, she is recovering well and was devastated to miss this one, heal up quick Danni.

Australian National DH 2018
Mik Hannah would have some work to do on Sunday. 6th place qualifier, some 11 seconds off the pace.

Australian National DH 2018
Jackson Frew, mixing it with the top dogs. Qualifying 4th.

Australian National DH 2018
Jake Newell taking his Summum to 3rd place in Qualifying.

Australian National DH 2018
Connor Fearon crashed before his qualifier and gashed open his elbow, he still raced down to qualify 2nd.

Australian National DH 2018
But it was Dean Lucas who qualified 1st by over 6 seconds!! A man on a mission!

Australian National DH 2018
Troy Brosnan got a front flat right at the top. He slowly rode down and finished, ensuring that he would be first man down the hill on Sunday.

Australian National DH 2018
Young Ollie Davis showing me how to slide around this corner.

Australian National DH 2018
Paddi Butler, all the style in the world. He crashed in his race run and broke his wrist after qualifying 2nd.

Australian National DH 2018
Mondraker's Ellie Smith took out the Junior Women's Title.

Australian National DH 2018
Just 2 months after signing with Canyon Factory Racing, Kye A'Hern blew the field apart by 7 seconds!

Australian National DH 2018
Tegan Molloy, 2nd place. Your time will come Teegs...

Australian National DH 2018
But for a record 10th time, Tracey Hannah is your Australian Champion!

Australian National DH 2018
Hotseat hugs with Tegan and Tracey.

Australian National DH 2018
Joel Panozzo flew to a win in Masters, his first national title since his Elite win in 1999!!

Australian National DH 2018
3rd place qualifier Jake Newell took a detour in his run and ended up in 50th...

Australian National DH 2018
Amazingly, Connor Fearon rode this flat tyre (with 6 stitches in his elbow) to 8th place.

Australian National DH 2018
Brother Ben Zwar was on a ripper run, coming into the finish straight with a sub 4 minute time before he unclipped and went out the front door!

Australian National DH 2018
As Troy was the first person to race, he put down a scorching time (1.5 seconds faster than Deans Qualifier).

Australian National DH 2018
The first rider to challenge Troy was Mik Hannah, he would improve his time but it wasn't enough

Australian National DH 2018
Mik and Troy contemplating if the Intense boys can match their times!

Australian National DH 2018
Jack Moir had a clean run and it was by the barest of margins that he missed the top step. Troy's time of 3:46:78 was only just out of reach!!!

Australian National DH 2018
Jackson Frew was next, sliding behind Jack and Troy by just a few seconds.

Australian National DH 2018
The last man to start was Dean Lucas, he was feeling good all weekend.

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Australian National DH 2018
Elite Women Podium.

1st Tracey Hannah 4:37.78
2nd Tegan Molloy 4:53.99
3rd Sian A'hern 5:01.78
4th Lisa Mathison 5:17.87
5th Kellie Weinert 5:31.34

Australian National DH 2018
Elite Men podium

1st Troy Brosnan 3:46.78
2nd Jack Moir 3:46.87
3rd Jackson Frew 3:51.00
4th Mik Hannah 3:57.32
5th Dean Lucas 3:58.37

That's a wrap of 2018 Aussie Titles. Many of our athletes will now shift their focus to competing in the World Cup which begins next month. Good luck and see you all soon.

Australian National DH 2018
Until next year, your Australian Champions!



72 Comments

  • 47 2
 Connor the absolute ANIMAL

Some super close racing and some sick pictures, keep it up everyone, you're making my Monday sick ????
  • 2 0
 Cheers bro. Kind of wish the article wasn’t edited down so much though, 50+ images culled from the original piece... Love showing the Aussie scene at its very finest
  • 15 4
 Hurts to see those rethnal carbons destroyed, as I just bought a pair. However, I take comfort knowing that I can't ride fast enough to crash hard enough to wreck a set of bars like that!
  • 28 7
 Tell me a good reason to buy carbon DH handle bars and I can give you 5 why its pointless/daft/dangerous
  • 7 4
 @IllestT: I told one dude asking me which to buy “why the fk do you want a carbon bar” and he took umbrage for a few weeks. He was excited to try first carbon bars in his life, he saved money, and now some opinionated a*shole is pissing on his parade. He bought alu ones in the end...
  • 9 1
 I'm not anti carbon in general but I wouldn't consider for a second having carbon bars. Seen so many snapped, often seem to be renthals. Yes I know aluminium bars can be snapped as well but seem to see a lot more carbon ones in pieces.
  • 3 3
 @IllestT: You are sponsored by Renthal and you prefer the feel of carbon, and it doesn't matter if you wreck them since they are provided by the manufacturer. Outside of that? Its a tough sell.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I really want to try those vibracore bars by spank. They actually aren't that heavy, esp. if you get the trail ones that are only 760mm wide. I read online that a lot of snomobiliers and ATV riders do that to their bars with insulation foam to dampen the vibrations from the motor (strangely, I didn't find anyone who rides moto doing this)
  • 5 1
 Mine snapped without a crash. You have been warned.
  • 4 11
flag IllestT (Mar 5, 2018 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: Ah you took my gauntlet. ok, so here's 5 counter reasons:
Sponsored by Renthal? Well that's easy, because they also make Alu bars.
Prefer the feel of carbon bars? Which can be simulated and bettered by Aluminium.
Doesn't matter of you wreck them? True, but it does matter if you also wreck your face.
2 more reasons? Too easy - they're really expensive; don't save any noticeable weight; you can at least ride for the rest of the day on bent Alu bars. Oh that was 3 reasons, so 6 in total.

Carbon handle bars are like making parachutes out of paper - it 'probably' works fine for most of the time....
  • 1 1
 @IllestT: style points for the extra 10% steez
  • 1 0
 Are titanium handlebars more expensive than carbon handlebars? I'd expect they'd might bend in a crash, but not as easily break like carbon and aluminium do.

That said, I wonder if they use aramid fibres in these bars too. That might make them less stiff (unless you use almost the same amount of carbon too) but at least they'd be less likely to completely snap like that.
  • 8 0
 I have scrolled through like 4 times and don't see any busted bars.
  • 3 0
 @ridesmoothbro: ha they took the image down
  • 3 0
 They took down about 60 photos.. I guess people don’t have time these days...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: wow, thanks for the link, it appears that the bar is touching or very close to the top of the stanchion, if it is, I would imagine it to cause stress to the bar at a point where it is designed to flex? just a thought.

I use Renthal bars both Alu (for DH) and Carbon, I like the (flex) feel of carbon, being old its a little easier on my arm joints. Until now, I've never heard or seen these carbon bars breaking?
  • 2 0
 @ytei: The Fatbar Lite in 31.8 in Alu is very comfy, the issue is the original fatbar which is way too stiff. I can't imagine what a piece of railway iron the alu fatbar in 35 must be. Not all carbon bars are comfy. It's a matter of a particular model. The alu Ragleys I have on my DJ are fkng stiff. Original Spanks 777 were fkng noodles and considering it's alu it was rather sketchy. On the opposite side you have RF Next Sl in 31.8 and it's horrific. At least as bad as fatbar. Then you have those German brands producing components which are good for fireroad racing twice a year but their main purpose is forum pics of the bike on scale. 110g for 800mm width that's a Darwin award right there.
  • 2 0
 Renthal Fatbars were the first to break in a lab test conducted by german magazines Freeride and Bike in 2014. Syntace Vector carbon survived more than a million load cycles and surprisingly even outlasted their aluminium bars which failed after more than 400k load cycles.
Test scenario and results on www.freeride-magazine.com – unfortunately only in german.
  • 2 0
 @Gamsjaga: I know a lab test where Syntace carbon bars got grimmer results although far from the worst. Surprisingly Nukeproof lived up to their name. Renthal was less dramatic than in this Fr mag test. It's good they didn't test Tune... I think someone should get on the ass of those guys unless they are really doing some zupa magic, DLR grade, mega tera high modulus custom weaving from Siemens making them achieve uber strength at ridiculous weights.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: objective uncensored independent journalism RIP. Then again the comments aren't always fair. But then you have real info from Gamsjaga... €17 Brand X alu FTW.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I’d love to read that test because I always wondered about those results. Do you remember the source?
... and tune components are like that skinny supermodel - great to look at but usually not built for hard work.
  • 7 0
 Can any locals say if this would be a better WC venue than Cairns? The track certainly looks better, and its longer at close to 4:00, but does the tourist destination aspect of Cairns make it the best in Australia for an international event?
  • 4 0
 Well Bright is right in the Alpine region of Victoria, so its a popular enough region to visit regardless.
  • 4 0
 Fewer things lurking just off the track that could potentially kill you than in Cairns so less unique. Bright's a sub-alpine ski town and loosely "feels" like many other World Cup venues. Probably more appropriate but less novel than Cairns. There are some really good DH tracks in Aus. I personally would like to see a World Cup in South Australia.
  • 7 0
 Bright is a awsome town but doesn’t have the infrastructure to hold a WC. It’s almost 4 hr drive from Melbourne. the Bright hospital doesn’t have have an emergency department the nearest big hospital is 1hr drive away. Track is fun and I know the Local club and shire would love to hold a WC but the old question of cost would be to much for the small town
  • 5 0
 @OriginalDonk: It's Australia I'm pretty sure there's plenty of things off the track that can potentially kill you anywhere
  • 1 0
 Don’t quote me on it, but I’m pretty sure a venue has to be a certain distance away from an International Airport to hold a World Cup. As @T-Bot pointed out, Bright and other epic DH tracks are too far away from the big cities. Bright once came 5th in Australia’s Best Toursit destinations too..
  • 2 0
 A lot of people I spoke to suggested Cairns should have held the Aus champs. But lucky we didn't as it pissed down all week and the track would have been nightmareish. Super wet Alien Tree? No thanks.
  • 2 0
 I would think Maydena is looking a more likely candidate at this stage but it's even smaller than Bright not sure how it would go with a World Cup race. It isn't far from Hobart, haven't been there yet though, counting the days....
  • 1 0
 @OriginalDonk: Nah man, the riding's good and it is convenient having riding so close to the city, but we haven't got the elevation. The most technical tracks we have aren't really even world cup level, so I'm wondering what track (that is if you've been here) you think a world cup could be raced on?
  • 6 0
 Great story told in photos, leading up to the crash video, then the podiums. Well done Matt Rousu.
  • 5 0
 What a shot of Tracey! Perfect positioning, steely focus, just lettin' er' buck! Awesome shot and great racing. www.pinkbike.com/photo/15663534
  • 1 0
 I thought the exact same thing. Pinned!
  • 5 0
 40% off on Renthal bars. Get it now!
  • 3 0
 I can't figure out how Lucas seat post broke? where or when was the impact? or he just needs to eat less?
  • 3 0
 Looks like he put all his weight on the back side of his seat and snapped it off
  • 3 0
 Maybe didn't use a torque wrench?
  • 1 1
 @trumbullhucker55: I hear those fabric seats are really heavy and thats why it snapped off!
  • 4 0
 Doesn't get much more Aussie then having your blue heeler on the podium!
  • 2 0
 @mrousu: What happened to the two photos of Tim Eaton, the track walks of the juniors, and the WA team. Weren't they there this morning?
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike editors culled 61 images from the original article mate, apparently they now have a 30 image max per piece so that everyone can load the page... so much for Photo Epic... would have been nice to know beforehand.
  • 1 0
 @mrousu: Damn, but a little funny. I was sure I didn't imagine it.
  • 5 0
 @mrousu: "30 image max per piece so that everyone can load the page".
So 21 Century. Much NBN.
Oh wait that's mostly an Aussie problem...
  • 1 0
 @mrousu: shame mate, you produced some fantastic pictures, good work!
  • 4 0
 Carbon Operator?
  • 13 0
 Carbon 29er
  • 9 6
 Nice carbon handlebars. This is why I don't believe in carbon.
  • 12 5
 Believe in Jesus!
  • 3 0
 I think a lot of people do not realize that on DH bike your stem is not going to move so if you smash your bars, you are probably going to break them. With AL bars, you can break them too or something else as the force will go somewhere else. So i would not judge them that hard...
  • 1 0
 Hahhaha they took down the pic
  • 3 0
 Always Renthal bars. I will not be hushed Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Mick with the Green X2 I like it.
  • 3 0
 Man that was a lot of pictures! Thanks pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Jackson Frew going real fast on a new bike and new team!
  • 2 0
 Connor say the fear is on bro.
  • 2 0
 tree huggers always rock nikes..
  • 2 0
 Hand shakes for Bronson all around
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 2 0
 So pumped for Connor this season!
  • 3 0
 wish there was a video.
  • 2 0
 Rad bro!! Why take stuff off the article for ?
  • 1 0
 That's actually crazy how close Troy and jack are. Such talent in the Aussie field!
  • 2 0
 I automatically read the captions with Rob Warner's voice.
  • 2 1
 Alu Bars would be destroyed too i guess
  • 2 0
 yeahhhhhhhhhhhh
  • 2 0
 Nice Matt , nice.
  • 1 0
 Really like the looks of the Intense M29
  • 1 0
 Hum....27,5", 29er", 27,5", 29er and 27,5"...Interesting!
  • 1 0
 29er still looks small when Jack Moir rides the bike
  • 1 0
 Nice Weeknd
  • 2 4
 Unclipped dont win medals.

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