Riders from all over NSW met once again at Thredbo, a crowd favourite, for 2 days of racing this weekend. Round 2 of the Superflow race series and the 2018 NSW State Downhill championships saw just under 400 registered competitors get on the chairlifts for a big gravity weekend.
Day 1 – Superflow
Superflow is Rocky Trails’ take on enduro racing, where multiple runs on the Flow track would be allowed with the rider’s top two fastest times combined counting towards the overall race result.
With the racing occuring on the newly changed Flow track, with a new section at the top, new berms in the middle and a brand new course section at the lower part of the track, times would be all different from the last time the Flow was raced. The track was dusty, fast and had a fair amount of braking bumps and potholes developing over the day from the 300+ riders. Riders would be split up into the fastest in an hour-long section of the afternoon, the “hour of power” where only the top 30% of riders were on course to allow a better chance of a clear run with no overtaking of slower competitors to slow runs down.
Ones to watch were Blake Nielsen, fresh from winning the last round at Stromlo, Enduro specialist Anthony Elliott, in U19’s Junior National Enduro series winner Harrison Dobrowolski was looking quick on his new Specialized. Southern Sydney’s Cassie Voysey was moving up to Elite Women’s for the first time and there was plenty of riders ready to have some fun and also put down some fast times.
Anthony Elliott was unstoppable on the Flow track, putting down the fastest time of the day. Harrison Dobrowolski took the U19 win and also clocking the second fastest combined time of the day, only 1 second per run off Anthony’s time. Blake Nielsen’s head cold saw him work hard for third place with Shane Gayton getting the 2nd place.
In the elite women’s, Cassie Voysey on her step up to Elite had a solid performance taking the win in the Elite Women’s category.
1st Anthony Elliott
2nd Shane Gayton
3rd Blake Nielsen
1st Cassie Voysey
2nd Cara Paton
3rd Eliza Smyth
Full results here: http://my1.raceresult.com/91746/?lang=en#0_4C6DD4
After the Superflow racing, an unofficial whip-off of sorts started with a few of the younger riders riding the last part of the Cannonball Downhill track to the last big double jump. No prizes but just a chance to let it hang out for the gathered photographers and spectators.
Day 2 – Downhill
Sunday’s weather turned out just like Saturday, only a little warmer. A smaller number of competitors were racing the downhill compared with the Superflow but large numbers in some categories like the U19, U17 and U15 racing. With the title of NSW State Champion on offer, there was some top talent present including Brent Smith, Tegan Molloy, Remy Morton, Jackson Frew and young up-and-comers like Ethan Corney and Luke Meier-Smith.
The format of the day was a short hour-long practice session followed by multiple hours of seeding, where the competitors could put down as many runs as they wanted and their fastest time being used for their seeding result. Some timing issues were present but ironed out with some quick thinking and technical support before the racing started.
1 – Tegan Molloy
2 – Ellie Smith
3 – Kellie Weinert
1 – Brent Smith
2 – Jackson Frew
3 – Dave Habicht
Full results here: http://my1.raceresult.com/91746/?lang=en#0_20E577
After the race, we asked Brent a few questions about the race and what’s coming up for him next.
GDU: With a solid field today how were you feeling going into the race?
I was trying to not really think about it to be honest. My training has been way down, as i keep getting really sick when I step up the training. I just tried to think smart – where to push and hold off to keep that final boost of energy for the bottom section.
GDU: How did it feel to come away with the win?
After a quite disappointing national season of feeling quicker then ever, but nothing going right in my race runs it was such a relief to finally throw down a run that I knew I could always produce. It’s a feeling you can never describe until you experience it yourself! The best way to describe is that I get a sense of relief and that desire of wanting to win more, haha. You could also say you feel like you’re on the top of the world for a few days after.
GDU: What’s next for you this year?
Plan is to have a small breather from racing so I can jump back on my moto and go surfing. I would like to also get more coaching requirements to see if I could start my own coaching business…
That’s a wrap from a big weekend here at Thredbo!
Find out about the rest of the NSW Downhill State Series at the Redass Downhill page on Facebook here and the next race in the series is at Ourimbah on April 29. The next Superflow race is Round 3 and on at Ourimbah on the 1st of July.
Words & Photos: Ben Sykes. Thanks to Jake Voysey Photography for the additional photo of Cassie.
Thanks to Rocky Trail Entertainment for having us this weekend. You can find out more about the Superflow series on their site here and more about the Downhill series here.