In this edition of our coverage from the Cannonball Festival we focus on Friday’s events…

Friday at Thredbo was all about the Flow racing for Group B competitors, Downhill Qualification for the Pro & U19 categories, and the spectacle of the Pump Track race in the evening. The pump track battle is always a good one for spectators.

The rest of the festival has seen good weather and today was no exception, blue skies and warm weather. More competitors are arriving as well as the day rolls in, with a couple of ex-Syndicate world cup champion Nathan Rennie spottings in the chairlift line, fresh from his efforts on the Salt2Snow charity ride.

Enjoying the view from near the top of the chairlift.
Flow track practice and racing

Cooling off after a long day near the Thredbo River

Downhill Qualification

In the late afternoon the Pro Men & Women and U19 Men & Women all lined up for downhill qualification/seeding. A fast run down the infamous Thredbo fire road into the Cannonball Downhill. Was Three-peat winner Troy Brosnan in for a surprise with all the international racers in town?

U19 Women’s Cassie Voysey – 2nd place seeding
Traction in the fire road corner doesn’t come easily

Ethan Corney on the hunt, U19 mens first seeding with a 5:41.
Spectators watch on in Snakes and Ladders
Tegan Molloy, 2nd place seed for Pro Women
Darcy Coutts

The World Cup G.O.A.T. Greg Minnaar, 14th place in seeding showing how thick the competition is, with a time of 5:31
Josh Carlson, staying on the trail bike for DH duties.
Kyle Strait
Classic Thredbo, classic Brosnan

In the end, Troy Brosnan’s dominance of the downhill repeated itself, qualifying in first spot with a 5:15. Loris Vergier will be one to watch in the final though, coming in only 1.5 seconds behind, followed by Canberra shredder Tom Crimmins.

Over in the Pro Women’s, Tracey Hannah qualified first followed closely by Tegan Molloy in 2nd seed and Sian A’Hern in 3rd.

With the action from qualification wrapped up, the focus moved over to the Village Green for pump-track…

Pump Track

The BBQ in full swing in the afternoon light.
Em Parkes, Tegan Molloy and Sian A’hern chilling between races.
Ex-World Cup racer Jared Rando made the finals
Kyle Strait, reflective….
… and getting in some last minute practice.
Danni Beecroft rolling through the course early on

Dave Mcmillan, always up there for speed at this event.
To the victors go the spoils
Dropping in down the steep start ramp
Big crowds gathered for this race
Kye A’hern, using all that practice from the backyard pump track
William Ireland, U13 winner

Jackson Davis found the limits of the course, crashing spectacularly (He’s OK)

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Sian A’Hern and Em Parkes. Sian going on to the podium in 2nd place, behind Danni Beecroft
Tom Crimmins edging out Daniel Chiarelli
Action continued well into the evening twilight
Danni Beecroft faces off against Tegan Molloy

Pump-track specialist Danni went on to win the Pro Women’s
Duke Millington was charging in his race runs, also with a backyard pumptrack to train on paying dividends. Unfortunately a DQ pushed him down to 2nd place.

In the Pro Men’s, it was definitely a battle between Kyle Strait, Duke Millington and David Mcmillan, all three showing loads of speed around the tight track. In the end, Duke took the wins however a disqualification ruling pushed him down into 2nd place, behind David Mcmillan with US rider Kyle Strait in 3rd.

Pro Women’s was dominated by Danni Beecroft, the pumptrack specialist taking the win ahead of Sian A’Hern and Tegan Molloy, after BMX and MTB rider Harriet Burbridge-Smith was DQ’ed from her 3rd place position.

Stay tuned as we cover the final 2 day’s events – the A-Group Flow, Whip Wars today and Australian Open Downhill on Sunday!

Photos: Simon Noble – Flow & Downhill // Matt Rousu – Pumptrack