After a long Australian summer the Australian National Downhill Championships has finally arrived. Originally scheduled for mid March, it was unfortunately cancelled due to heavy rains leading into the event, jeopardizing the safety of shuttles. The re-scheduled event now brings riders to Mt. Joyce MTB Park. Situated about an hour drive from Brisbane, just outside the town of Beaudesert. Mt. Joyce falls within the northern edge of southeast Queensland’s Scenic Rim. It is fast becoming a highly recommended MTB destination in the sunshine state.
Much like many of the Australian trails, the Widow Maker Downhill track at Mt. Joyce winds though a forest of gum trees. It’s dry, dusty and scattered with everything from small rocks to large boulders. With a technical rock garden and a number of wide off camber sections through the forest, this track is sure to test the skill of riders.
Track walk opened up at lunch-time on Friday followed by a few hours of practice where riders had their first chance to work out lines. Saturday practice brought with it some sun, crowds, and a track that seemed to blowout every hour. By the time seeding kicked off in the afternoon many racers were guessing at lines—what was nailed in practice had changed significantly.
Looming rain threatened the afternoon, but it only added excitement to the close affair seeding turned out to be. Off the back of a great season on the bike, young pinner Kye A’hern was quickest in U17 Men’s. Baxter Maiwald was fastest in Junior Men by 0.12 of a second over Josh Clark. It was another close one in the Elite Women’s with Tegan Molloy fastest by 0.08 of a second over Ronja Hill-Wright and Sian A’hern 2 seconds back in third. In Elite Men it was always set to be a close one and it didn’t disappoint. Troy Brosnan was fastest by half a second over Connor Fearon, followed by Intense riders Jack Moir and Dean Lucas, with Josh Button filling out the top five.
With rain forecast for Sunday, the final championship race is set to be a great one.