Race Report: Kooralbyn DH

Round three of the SEQDH series hosted at Kooralbyn has been and gone along with another epic race weekend. It’s been a long time since DH bikes graced the trails at Kooralbyn and after some hard work by On The Edge Events and Kooralbyn Valley MTB Club, the first DH race weekend since the early 2000s went off without a hitch…

Photo Nathan Kennedy @iamnkimages

Round three of the series found itself at Kooralbyn, home to the DH National championships in the late 90s and known mainly for it’s XC background. Kooralbyn has been getting a face-lift lately after the trails closed in 2008 and were resurrected by Kooralbyn Valley MTB Club in the last few years. The DH trail had yet to be finished and ready to race, but a late change in the schedule due to issues at Mt Joyce led to the team at On The Edge Events picking up the torch and working hard to keep the series rolling. As usual White Lightning Events provided spotless timing for yet another round of the SEQDH series.

Photo Nathan Kennedy @iamnkimages

Loose Dusty conditions adorned the hills of Kooralbyn and no shortage of rocky features put many a tire to test, the talcum powder dirt coated everything insight and kept riders on their toes. Flatter than some of the trails in the series, an edge for those with more gas in their pedal legs; the original National’s trail from the 90s still delivered some challenges for the riders. As with any course, the chute provided some carnage for the spectators with a few bruises, a small donation of skin and some character for the bikes. Queensland never stops delivering loose and dry conditions and this race was no different…..no loam here, just loose rock, dust and dirt.

Jake Kowal ripping through the powdery conditions – Photo Nathan Kennedy @iamnkimages

The business end of the day saw Ben Forbes take the top step in the elite Men, fresh of his win last week at the Tamrookum Enduro. The Elite Women’s class was won by Jolanda Verweij, Expert men went to Jordan Zmegac, Masters 1/2 was dominated by Bobby Blinco, Masters 3/4 won by Rory Whitelaw and Armand DeVries rounded out Masters 5/8.

Connor Aves pinning into third place in U19 Men – Photo Nathan Kennedy @iamnkimages

The Junior classes showed no difference in style, grit and speed on race day. Caleb Rees took the top step in U19 Men, Bridie White won U19 Women, Lee Witzerman came first in U17 Men, Tarni Bennion won U17 Women, U15 was won by Kaydin Bath in the Men’s class and Sacha Mills in the Women. Last but not least, Under 13 juniors was taken out by Max Hughes.

This round was the round for stamina, power, fitness and traction. The dusty conditions of Kooralbyn provided a good backdrop for round three of the SEQDH Series, the first race for well over a decade held at this location. All eyes turn to State championships at Kandanga on July 28, which is sure to be another cracking event at an awesome location. Brakes Wide Open looks forward to what the rest of the year has in store for all of us on two wheels…

Shuttle life – Photo Nathan Kennedy @iamnkimages



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