Australian National Downhill Series, Round 3 - Mount Beauty

Feb 20, 2017
by Ben Stevens  


Round three of the Australian National Downhill series makes its way to Mount Beauty. The picturesque town nestled in the foothills of the Victorian high country is a renowned hotspot for downhill racing. Despite hosting many Victorian events it has been a few years since the national series has made it way to the quiet little town. Situated in Big Hill MTB park, the track is a beauty (pun intended), and with some recent track work, was looking raw and unforgiving. With many dry and loose open sections, riders would have a good range of line choices to keep them guessing throughout the weekend.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Friday’s practice was hot and got off to a pretty casual start with riders taking their time getting to know the trail, especially the new sections where lines were not yet cut in. By the end of the first day, lines were starting to take shape and the average speed was picking up. Day two practice saw the pace pick up a little more and the track conditions went from dry to dusty and blown. By the time seeding came around the track was ever changing and the dusty conditions had been causing havoc amongst the riders with many struggling to keep it upright for a whole run.

The Elite Men's seeding was a close one, with recently returned factory Intense riders, Dean Lucas and Jack Moir taking first and third with Connor Fearon between them, all top times from the seeding were close with only a mere second between all three. Danielle Beecroft was the fastest in seeding in Elite Women's by a convincing margin of 11 seconds over Tegan Molloy and Georgia Astle.

These Gliders could be seen floating through the skies all weekend.
These gliders could be seen floating through the skies all weekend.

Race day was graced with blue skies and crisp cold temps. The perfect conditions for racers to finalise line choices before the race run. As the day of racing progressed towards the elite categories the crowds gathered in force at the rock garden chute which had been studied thoroughly throughout the weekend.

Always good for the spectators the Junior Men's race was a fast one with Baxter Maiwald taking the win over Patrick Butler and Ben Zwar. With some time to be made up on Danni Beecroft, it was all on the line in the Elite Women's race both Tegan Molloy and Georgia Astle took seconds off their qualifying times with Astle going a full 10 seconds quicker. However Beecroft, in great form, also went faster to take the win. Astle came in second followed by Molloy, Shelly Flood and Sian A'hern. The elite men's race was unfortunately held up for some time due to a heavy crash during the Junior Men's race, the worst of many over the weekend.

When racing kicked back off everyone went hard to better their times. In the end, it was Factory Intense rider Jack Moir who put down the run of the day to marginally take the win over Conor Fearon by 0.186 of a second. Dean Lucas took the third spot followed by GT rider Jackson Frew finishing a fraction of a second in front of Jake Newell and Oliver Zwar.

Hanging out for the first shuttles of the weekend.
Hanging out for the first shuttles of the weekend.

Easy first runs.
Easy first runs.

Junior lads stoked for another weekend of talking trash and racing bikes.
Junior lads stoked for another weekend of talking trash and racing bikes.

Another dad willingly doing one of his many jobs for another weekend of racing.
Another dad willingly doing one of his many jobs for another weekend of racing.

Horns for the camera.
Horns for the camera.

Yet another non-stop weekend for the Sram mechanics keeping loads of bikes running smooth for the racers.
Yet another non-stop weekend for the SRAM mechanics, keeping loads of bikes running smooth for the racers.

The trail at Mount Beauty has had a lot of new work done prior to this race making the trackwalk a long and important start to the weekend.
The trail at Mount Beauty has had a lot of new work done prior to this race, making the track walk a long and important start to the weekend.
Paddi Butler checking out the features and claiming to go full send on this one.
Paddi Butler checking out the features and claiming to go full send on this one.
Always time for some style points during practice.
Always time for some style points during practice.
100 wheelies for the Photographer. Darcy Coutts kept the rubber down in the final to end up fifth in Junior men.
100% wheelies for the photographer. Darcy Coutts kept the rubber down in the final to end up fifth in Junior Men.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Media crew chasing bikes through the dust.
Media crew chasing bikes through the dust.

After a decent time off the bike due to a collarbone injury. Tim Eaton looked good all weekend finishing 15th over all but showing promising signs taking 10 seconds off his seeding time during the race run.
After a decent time off the bike due to a collarbone injury. Tim Eaton looked good all weekend finishing 15th over all but showing promising signs taking 10 seconds off his seeding time during the race run.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Remy looked fast and stylish as usual this weekend. After a solid race run his time was just off the pace landing him in 8th place.
Remy looked fast and stylish as usual this weekend. After a solid race run his time was just off the pace landing him in 8th place.

The entry to the infamous chute had many riders guessing right to the end. However Connor got his line dialled in pretty quick.
The entry to the infamous chute had many riders guessing right to the end. However Connor got his line dialled in pretty quick.

Moir happy to be back racing again on Aussie soil.
Moir happy to be back racing again on Aussie soil.
Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Many struggled too keep it upright in the loose conditions.
Many struggled too keep it upright in the loose conditions.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Beecroft was quick to find speed during practice.
Beecroft was quick to find speed during practice.

Crimmins brothers Thomas and Andrew working on their race lines. Andrew unfortunately crashed in the final stages of his race run. His pace must have been fast as he still finished 12th overall.
Crimmins brothers Thomas and Andrew working on their race lines. Andrew, unfortunately, crashed in the final stages of his race run. His pace must have been fast as he still finished 12th overall.

During Practice Fearon always looks fast and comfortable and somehow has even more pace on race day.
During Practice Fearon always looks fast and comfortable and somehow had even more pace on race day.

Some golden light for the first shuttle of the day.
Some golden light for the first shuttle of the day.
The dust this weekend was relentless.
The dust this weekend was relentless.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Jack Moir making the final tweaks to his brakes before racing on the final day. Unfortunately the factory support team didn t make it to Mount Beauty.
Jack Moir making the final tweaks to his brakes before racing on the final day. Unfortunately the factory support team didn't make it to Mount Beauty.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Danielle Beecroft taking some time before racing commenced.
Danielle Beecroft taking some time before racing commenced.

The Intense M16 bikes were out in force this weekend.
The Intense M16 bikes were out in force this weekend.

Remy focused on race day.
Remy focused on race day.

Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to work we go
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go!

The final practice before racing saw most riders hitting the track and dialling in their lines.
The final practice before racing saw most riders hitting the track and dialing in their lines.

Australian National Downhill Series Mount Beauty Round 3 2017

Kye A Hern once again took out the top spot in the Under 17 Men s.
Kye A'Hern once again took out the top spot in the Under 17 Men's.

Ben Zwar cruised into 3rd place in the Junior Men s.
Ben Zwar cruised into 3rd place in the Junior Men's.

Baxter Maiwald absolutely smashed his race run to become the only Junior male to record a time under 3 minutes.
Baxter Maiwald absolutely smashed his race run to become the only Junior male to record a time under 3 minutes.

Patrick Butler came back after a disappointing seeding run to take out the 2nd spot on the podium in Junior Men s.
Patrick Butler came back after a disappointing seeding run to take out the 2nd spot on the podium in Junior Men's.

Loose pockets of dust were the norm on the Mount Beauty track. Tegan Molloy took out 3rd on the Elite Women s Podium.
Loose pockets of dust were the norm on the Mount Beauty track. Tegan Molloy took out 3rd on the Elite Women's Podium.

Shelly sending it through the dust.
Shelly sending it through the dust.

Sian A Hern did well to take out 5th place in her first race back after injury.
Sian A'Hern did well to take out 5th place in her first race back after injury.

Always great to see Kellie Weinert hitting the Australian trails.
Always great to see Kellie Weinert hitting the Australian trails.

Georgia Astle was fast and stylish throughout the entire weekend. Taking the 2nd spot of the podium in Elite Women s Downhill.
Georgia Astle was fast and stylish throughout the entire weekend. Taking the 2nd spot of the podium in Elite Women's Downhill.

All the ladies put in a killer effort over the weekend.
All the ladies put in a killer effort over the weekend.

Determined Dani looked at home on the Mount Beauty track with the strongest female times all weekend she easily took her spot on the top of the podium.
Determined Dani looked at home on the Mount Beauty track with the strongest female times all weekend she easily took her spot on the top of the podium.
That moment you glance at the timing board.
That moment you glance at the timing board.

Dani Beecroft claims the win for the Elite Women.
Dani Beecroft claims the win for the Elite Women.

Mount Beauty proved to be one of those tracks where checking and re checking your line was paramount.
Mount Beauty proved to be one of those tracks where checking and re-checking your line was paramount.

Continuing to show great speed Jake Newell rode his way to fifth. Another solid result for this National series.
Continuing to show great speed, Jake Newell rode his way to fifth. Another solid result for this National series.

Great to see Connor Fearon back racing an Australian National Round.
Great to see Connor Fearon back racing an Australian National Round.

Dust for days.
Dust for days.

Jackson Frew still producing great results as he leads into his second year of racing with the GT Factory Team.
Jackson Frew still producing great results as he leads into his second year of racing with the GT Factory Team.

Tom Crimmins looked to be enjoying the dusty conditions.
Tom Crimmins looked to be enjoying the dusty conditions.

Oliver Zwar coming within 0.06 of a second off a podium finish.
Oliver Zwar coming within 0.06 of a second off a podium finish.

Dean Lucas landed himself in 3rd place after producing quality runs throughout the weekend.
Dean Lucas landed himself in 3rd place after producing quality runs throughout the weekend.

Oliver Zwar crossing the line with style.
Oliver Zwar crossing the line with style.

Jack looked comfortable all weekend on the dusty technical track.
Jack looked comfortable all weekend on the dusty, technical track.

Jack put in a stellar effort to cross the line with a time of 2 47.200.
Jack put in a stellar effort to cross the line with a time of 2:47.200.

That winning feeling.
That winning feeling.

Connor pushing hard at the finish line.
Connor pushing hard at the finish line.

Shark attack Jack claims a well deserved victory at Mount Beauty.
Shark attack Jack claims a well-deserved victory at Mount Beauty.
Post race analysis.
Post race analysis.

Another good round of National racing done and dusted.
Another good round of National racing done and dusted.

Full results here


MENTIONS: @benstevens



Author Info:
benstevens avatar

Member since Sep 25, 2014
19 articles

23 Comments
  • 58 0
 These southern hemisphere race reports with such stunning photos are KILLING IT!! Nice work PB!
  • 26 2
 Dust, I remember that stuff. I want some on our trails right now!!!
  • 3 0
 I miss dry dust too......
  • 7 0
 @BartDM: it beats that wet dust we normally get!!!
  • 2 0
 Dust!! I'm from Socal and haven't seen that stuff in about 2 months. Never thought I miss it...
  • 21 1
 holy crap intense bikes on the top step both down under and in fontana. damn.
  • 11 0
 why there is no video for the Australian National Downhill Series???
  • 28 0
 it would all be upside down for us here in the northern hemisphere. would be too confusing to watch.
  • 5 0
 Personally i didn't have enough time to shoot photos as well as video at Thredbo.

The MTBA crew have been putting up a couple of videos on their facebook page - www.facebook.com/pg/MTBA/videos
  • 7 2
 And if you take a turn wide, the crocs, dingos, sharks, jellyfish, snakes, and spiders kill you before you hit the ground
  • 11 0
 To be fair, this is Vic, so we only have snakes and spiders that are likely to kill you. But don't worry, we have plenty of them. 3 different varieties of snake and a couple spiders...
  • 7 0
 Don't forget drop bears!
  • 5 0
 And Hoop Snakes!!
  • 4 0
 Fantastic article and pics!
  • 2 0
 Nice work @benstevens
I hope to see you again on the slopes of another hill to shoot alongside with.
  • 1 0
 Cheers @mrousu look forward to seeing you out there some time soon. Rad weekend down there I'll definitely be back.
  • 3 0
 Beautiful shots! Looks like an outrageously fun track.
  • 3 0
 Great coverage! Intense is big in Oz!
  • 2 0
 Wonderful pictures Ben Stevens and great report.
  • 1 0
 Thanks @Lene
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised Fearon and Molloy are using Demon wheels. I really would have thought they'd be racing with Factor wheels.
  • 1 0
 Classic aussie name for a mountain. You little bewdy.
  • 4 5
 my eyes hurt when I see two fingers on the brakes







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