A 350 rider mass start on snow is not something you expect in the southern Hemisphere. Prepare to change your expectations - this is McKayos, Australia's only mass-start snow enduro.
For the unindoctrinated, Australia has five major snow resorts - each at around 1,800 m (6,000 ft) above sea level. In Victoria you will find Falls Creek - one of the largest and one that has fully embraced mountain biking. In summer their MTB park features 40km+ of super flowy trails, built-in signature World Trail style by Glen Jacobs' crew.
With Australia emerging from winter, the first weekend in October marks the close of the local ski season. Falls Creek celebrates this in the most chaotic way possible, putting hundreds of riders on the slopes for an all-in Snow-Dirt-Road Enduro covering 15km and 1,100m total descent.
The name McKayos might seem confusing (it’s a mix of Mt McKay with a bit of Chaos – get it?) but the ethos is simple. Mix world-class riders with weekend warriors and thrill-seekers alike in a mass snow-start of epic proportions.
In the elite starter list, World Cup rider Chris Panozzo and EWS beast Ben McIlroy were back to continue a running battle for a podium placing. 2013 XC World Champ Paul Van Der Ploeg was back also, winner of the first two McKayos events but absent ever since.
Racing was fierce with Matt Ryan and Geoff Vietz absolute bullets out of the blocks as a trail of carnage built in their wake. Panozzo and McIlroy soon took their lead to set up the tightest finish yet in a final sprint for the line.
Victory went to Panozzo, denying McIlroy a third straight win by just 1 second. Third place brought another thriller as Jason Capenecas chased Junior dynamo, Jonah Cosgriff to the line but ultimately fell 1 second short also to take elite 3rd place but 4th overall behind Cosgriff.
In the female elites, Goele Schmitz backed up her 2018 win to finish ahead of Bec Feltrin once more (Jo Wilkie finishing third). The big story was first time teenager, Lia Ladbrook, who stunned them all to finish fastest female a full 20 seconds faster via the under 16’s category.
With McKayos 2019 done and dusted, all eyes turn to November 22 when 800+ will turn up to the Falls Creek MTB Park season opening – Ignition MTB Festival.Full Results - https://www.mckayos.com.au