Part 3 of our coverage of the 2018 Cannonball MTB Festival focuses on Saturday, with Group-A Flow Motion Cup and Whip Wars!

Saturday at Thredbo and the dust is really starting now, after so many competitor’s race runs many sections of the track will keep the trail crews busy post-event. But otherwise good warm weather kept everyone’s spirits high out on the hill and some great racing through the day with the U19 and Pro category Flow Motion Cup running.

Saturday night’s spectacle of Whip Wars rolled in just after the Flow with the best whip taking home cash plus cash awarded through the event for best tricks. Backflips, Suicide No-Handers, No-Footers were just some of the other tricks on offer!

Flow Motion Cup

Rolling down the sweeping turns and having to find those pedal strokes from deep down for some of the lower traverse sections, the Flow Motion Cup is a test of bike handling skills and fitness. Those who can master it are those willing enough to push at virtually maximum heart rate for the entire run, pushing off the pain of lactic acid and finding any respite they can in the parts to speed tuck and lay off the brakes.

The cafe keeping away hunger for many people

Yoann Barelli, enjoying his time out here in Oz
All the trophies lie in wait for the Flow Motion Cup
EWS racer, VIC’s Chris Panozzo chats to Katho before his race
Pits, busy as ever
This corner has two different line choices – inside with a roller and outside without. A bit of traffic out there.

As the day rolled on and the dust made more of an appearance as well as some super-close racing. In the Pro Women’s category, last year’s winner Sian A’hern was out to take the win but with NZ’s EWS star Rae Morrison in town and plenty of other fast females like Tegan Molloy out there, would she have enough? Pro Men’s was anyone’s guess, with a huge range of racers who seemed like they could take the cup – from Timmy Eaton, Graeme Mudd and Josh Carlson to wunderkind Kye A’hern plus a┬áhost of international and Australian racers. Plus, throw in a guest star Steve Peat and a Yoann Barelli…

Ben Forbes up high in the sections
Cassie Voysey, U19’s second place
Em Parkes has been having good results here at Cannonball after her success at the National GE Cup, 4th place today.
XC racer, Holly Harris, with the SRAM crew here at Cannonball, 9th place today.
All those berms can be tiring to stay on track.
Josh Carlson – just outside the 3 person podium today, 4th place
Kye during practice
Thredbo local Mackenzie Diver on course today, 3rd place U19 Women’s
Graeme Mudd, a solid 3rd place today amongst a top field. It’s good to see him racing again!
Over one of the many bridges at the top of the track.
Rachel Strait leads Holly Harris into one of the many turns on course.
Rae Morrison, 3rd place today for the Kiwi EWS racer
Paul Van der Ploeg is here at Cannonball and enjoying it – off the pace today though with a 41st showing just how tight the racing was!
Tommy Crimmins, 2016 King of Cannonball, 5th place today
Tegan Molloy, 2nd place Pro Women
DH legend Steve Peat making an appearance. Great to see legends of the sport out doing what they do best.
Luke Smith, U17 winner, with a blistering time that would have seen him win Elite!
Jack Hewish, U19 Men’s 3rd place.
Ethan Corney, the Lithgow NSW pinner took the U19 Men’s 2nd place today.
Panozzo comes into this year’s version of Heckler’s Corner
Heckler’s Corner
Ellie Smith, U19 Women’s 1st place winner
Riley King, U19 Men’s winner
Sian A’hern, taking the win in Pro Women matching brother Kye’s result
Whatever Tim Eaton’s been doing to train for events like this in the leadup to his EWS debut, it’s working! 2nd place here today
A dominant Kye A’hern took the win today, just under 2 seconds ahead of the next fastest, Tim Eaton.
Pro Men’s Podium
Pro Women’s Podium
Sian and Rae have a post-race chat
Tegan with her oversized cheque
Luke Meier-Smith. Fastest on the hill today. Big things ahead for this Kempsey, NSW pinner.

Whip Wars

With the Flow Motion cup finishing off, a big crowd gathered on the hill for watching the Whip Wars spectacle. Cash on offer for the best whip, and best tricks throughout the night. With judges on deck from local and overseas, including Ed Masters, Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat who’d take home the crown?

Vanzacs (+Timmy Eaton and a couple of guest stars) chilling on the hill
Competitors line up for the push to the start
Ben Zwar, always a solid effort in Whip Wars
Brook Macdonald rolls it over.
Kyle Strait with a signature Sui
Girl Trains #ferdagirls
Harriet Burbridge-Smith shows it’s not just for the guys
Vanzac crew’s Jackson Davis with a filthy whip
Jimmy (Luca Shaw) before getting mobbed by fans
The judging desk was having a blast

Pat Butler
The Magician Dave Mcmillan, throwing super stylish whips all night for 2nd place
Winner Sam Fraser, managing to get well past 90 degrees and back again.
Sam Fraser
A post-event streaker arguably got the best reaction of the night!
Kyle and Rachel Strait head off
Sam Fraser and David Mcmillan

That’s it for Saturday – watch out for Sunday’s coverage as the Australian Open Downhill finishes off events here at 2018’s Cannonball MTB Festival.

If you missed our other coverage, here it is so far:

Part 1 – Wednesday & Thursday
Part 2 – Friday
Bike Checks Part 1

Photos: Matt Rousu