Our final article from the 2018 Cannonball Festival covers Sunday and the Australian Open Downhill!

Heavy Rain, Haste and Haircuts

Photos: Matt Rousu // Words: Gravity Down Under

Sunday and the final event on the Cannonball MTB Festival calendar: The Commencal Australian Open Downhill. Far from ideal conditions rolled in, compared with the previous day’s perfect warm weather, the start of Sunday saw large clouds roll in and storms predicted to roll in and stay around, changing the game plan for many racers.

Sunday morning also saw a few people’s emotions cloud over as the reality of the bowlcut haircut making the rounds at Thredbo sank in. Greg Minnaar the highest profile scalp of the crew late at night in the Thredbo bar!

But with the Syndicate crew around and plenty of others used to wet weather racing at World Cups, the Enduro World (Wet?) Series and hopefully a few Maxxis Shorties mud tyres kicking around the racing hopefully wouldn’t be dampened too much….

Tracey Hannah and Carlson share a lift up
The Cannonball Crowns lie in wait for the victors today.
Competitors practicing down the iconic start straight
Big holes developing as the day went on.

Loris Vergier out in practice
Sian & Kye A’hern lapping together in the morning. Could make a family King & Queen crown this weekend?
Ben Zwar down the fire road
Troy showing them how it’s done

Jackson Frew skids the fire road. We’re not sure how Greg Minnaar’s head got there…
The custom bike being raffled off by Lusty Industries – see link at the bottom of this article for how to enter
Dani running some final checks on her Pivot Phoenix
Timmy Eaton down Snakes and Ladders. Could he keep the King of Cannonball crown?
Some parts of the day you’d swear everything was perfect… the gap in between storms.
Ellie Smith, U19 Women’s winner
Cassie Voysey, U19 Women’s 2nd place
Luke Meier-Smith – U17 Men’s winner.
Ollie Davis getting some wet racing in
Shelter came at a premium
Tommy Crimmins

Matt Carter, U19 Men’s winner.

As the day wore on there was a large gap in the rain in the middle part of the day,  allowing U19 and Elite Female categories to race, however things changed for the worse after their runs with a huge thunderstorm rolling over preventing further racing by the Elite Men as the lightning would affect the timing system. Holed up in the Eagles Nest the Elite Men waited it out until they got the all -clear eventually to now race a track with significant mud…

A flat tyre for Dani Beecroft in her race run.
Kellie Weinert – 5th place today behind Rae Morrison in 4th
Rae Morrison, 4th place with her Liv Hail enduro bike
Tegan Molloy – the local knowledge paying off to take 3rd place
Sian A’hern – 2nd place, setting up important points for the Queen trophy
Tracey Hannah – 1st place
Tracey jumping at the finish line
Tracey and Tegan share stories
Rain, rain and more rain between the Pro Men’s & Women’s categories.
Flat tyres suck…
Graeme Mudd
Greg showing the next generation the lines
Greg Minnaar through the rain
Photographer Note: The moment you realise you’ll probably never shoot Steve Peat racing again and try a pan shot
A noble effort by Brent Smith, 6th place today.
Kye A’hern – smashing out a 5:37 to take 5th place.
Brook Macdonald scrubs the finish line jump, 4th place today after the flat tyre in 2016.
Guest Commentator, Nathan Rennie
Vandy and Peaty share a couple of yarns
As do Peaty and Jimmy (Luca Shaw’s new Aussie name)
Dean Lucas, the fastest time in racing runs with a 5:25, supposedly…
Greg and Deano watching the result board as the last riders come in
Harry Bush, crossing the line into provisional 3rd place
Troy Brosnan, finishing up with a 5:30 putting him into provisional 2nd place

The Men’s results were thought to have Dean Lucas winning the race with Troy Brosnan and Harry Bush behind, however after a short-lived victory celebration there was a timing adjustment which had Dean back by around 15 seconds putting Troy back into the lead with Harry in 2nd place and Loris Vergier in 3rd.

Deano’s short-lived celebration
But it was this guy with the win. Well done on the 4-year streak, Troy!
Sharing stories at the bottom
The Syndicate lads
The winning bike
Greg Minnaar washing up.
Pro Men’s podium
Pro Women
King & Queen of Cannonball, Kye A’Hern and Sian A’Hern!
That’s it for another year.

Final results:

Pro Men:

5 Kye A’hern
4 Brook Macdonald
3 Loris Vergier
2 Harry Bush
1 Troy Brosnan

Pro Women:

5 Kellie Weinert
4 Rae Morrison
3 Tegan Molloy
2 Sian A’hern
1 Tracey Hannah

Full results here: http://onlineresults.com.au/results/competition/commencal_australian_open_downhill!PURE9

In case you missed any of our other coverage, here’s some links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Bike Checks Part 1

To check out the Custom Santa Cruz bike you can view more info over here: