It’s but once a year that the very best riders in Australia get to test their metal against the clock, a chance to don the national sleeve and take the coveted title of National Champion. This year we headed back to Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania to crown the new National Downhill Champions – tires were ripped, carnage was had and at the end of the day two champions stood tall…..
By Mike Branch
It was only fitting that the Auscycling National Downhill Championships headed back to Maydena Bike Park for the second year running, arguably the best place to ride mountain bikes in Australia. The course was set and the riders had commented on how good the track was, a truly World Cup level track on Australian soil.
With wet weather threatening to encroach the race on Friday, it was dry and loose for seeding on Saturday making for a fast and truly Australian DH racing conditions. Troy Brosnan and Sian Ahern looked set to take the top step again after qualifying fastest, but the world had other plans.
Connor Fearon raced his first National Championships on a bike other than Kona and Forbidden Bike’s newest signing looked fast and on pace – qualifying second and showing he was a real threat. After years of chasing the illustrious National Champs sleeve, Connor Fearon took the top step after Troy Brosnan crashed hard in his race run, sadly breaking his ankle.
Jackson Frew continued his fast form with a solid second place, backing up his DH win at Cannonball. Baxter Maiwald has shown he is a fast rising talent after backing up his fourth place last year and taking out third place on the podium for 2022, it looks like the move to Canyon is paying off for him. Against a stacked field the Top men’s Elite riders well and truly earned their spots on the podium.
Sian Ahern qualified fastest and was looking to take the National Championship for the second year running, something that Ellie Smith was keen to unseat. With less than half a second between them, Ellie Smith managed to take the title over Sian Ahern with Harriet Burbidge-Smith taking third place just 2 seconds back.
The 2022 Auscycling Downhill Championships went off with a resounding success, more proof that downhill is far from dead in this great nation of ours. The pace of the junior riders and the talent emerging through the ranks is exciting for Australian mountain biking. We look forward to seeing how fast our riders are on the World stage this year and can’t wait for another epic year of mountain biking…