Alpenflow 2022: three EPIC days at Mt Buller

Rocky Trail Entertainment returned to Mt Buller Resort with a packed weekend of “Alpenflow” racing and lifestyle events. More than 400 individual competitors were at the starts of three races and to conclude the epic weekend, over 100 spectators joined the Aust MTB Film Fest launch. Nine finalist films permiered at the Buller Cinema on Sunday evening. With a strong VIC line-up, competitors had travelled from as far as Canberra and across NSW, SA as well as the Northern Territory to take part in the Alpenflow EPIC.

The mountain bike lifestyle event kicked off with more than 100 students from 20 schools as well as independent riders taking part in the High Country Schools Competition on the Friday. As part of the Rocky Trail Academy junior development program this event offered three timed race tracks, testing the students’ abilities across three skill areas – Endurance, Speed and Technical Skills.

We geared this event towards secondary school students who can not only engage in healthy social and active recreation, but brings these juniors a heightened appreciation of nature, the environment, self-reliance , self-learning and independence, all as part of riding a bike in the outdoors.

Jo Parker, Rocky Trail, National Event Manager

Parker added that it was all about encouraging students of all abilities to come and race with their mates in a safe and social environment. The fastest male student on the mountain was Hugh Canning (Yr 9-10) from the Galen Catholic College with a race time of 8min47.4. The outright female winner was Claire Davey (Yr 9-10) from the Cathedral College in Wangaratta, which was awarded the Champion School title at Buller for most points achieved in a schools ranking.

Bow Habermann: U17’s racer takes outright gravity wins on both days

From all accounts it truly was an EPIC Fox Superflow® race line-up – almost 10% of race starts were on eBikes and with a strong representation of Elites and 18-29 year old Experts, the Juniors from as young as U13, U15 and U17 were the biggest categories with almost 40% of the entire weekend field. a 16-year old racer from the Barossa Valley in SA steals the show in the outright men’s classification at both Fox Superflow® race days. The Saturday hosted Rd 1 of the 2022 VIC Series with two challenging race stages and shuttled uplift to the starts of the iconic ABOM and Copperhead tracks at Mt Buller. Young Bow Habermann clocked in a race time of 8:06.1 ahead of Elite racer Duncan Ledger from Parkville in VIC (8:11.3). Third outright was Elite racer Shane Gayton from Eagle Point VIC (8:14.6).

It had been Bow Haberman’s first Fox Superflow® racing experience and he said that he loved the variety of trails it offered.

Absolutely loving this alpine life! Race 1 of the Fox Superflow® series didn’t disappoint. Super fast and fun tracks. Landed myself 1st in U17 and 1st overall! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s enduro-style course!”

Bow Habermann

Habermann repeated his performance on the enduro-style course on the Sunday. Rd 2 of the 2022 Fox Superflow® VIC Series had three race stages, which required riding to the starts – 10:11.9 was the winning time by the U17’s racer who said that he “had an absolute blast racing at Mt Buller for the Fox Superflow® events”. Again, two Elite racers were in hot persuit – Duncan Ledger in second outright with 10:24.4 and Alister Brasher from Harcourt in third with 10:27.3.

Maddison Smith and Claire Davey take women’s wins

On the Saturday is was U17 local racer Maddison Smith from Mansfield who took full advantage of her home track skills on the tough ABOM and Copperhead gravity trails. She claimed the win in Rd 1 with 9:41.2 with a gap of almost 10 sec to Bendigo’s Siennah Kean (U17).

With a third place outright on Saturday, the 17-year old Claire Davey won day 2 with 9:56.9 ahead of Master-racer Fiona Habermann (10:07.7) who had travelled from the Barossa to Buller with her son. Erin Forbes (U19) from Freeburgh in VIC as in third outright with 12:55.6.

There will be two more Fox Superflow® VIC Series races with Silvan and Mt Taylor coming up in April. Riders collect points at all races to go into the State Series classification as well as the overall Australian Fox Superflow® Champions ranking. Riders need to complete at least 2 races in one category to be eligible for an individual series podium ranking and every race counts.
The NSW/ACT continues at Cooma in April and Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra in May. The QLD Series kicks off with the Fox Superflow® hosting the EWS Qualifier & PRO Stage event at Toowoomba on 14 and 15 May. and VIC. Additionally we will crown the overall Australian Fox Superflow Champions.

Alpenflow EPIC showcases Mt Buller alpine summer lifestyle

The weekend also launched a new initiative by Rocky Trail, the Australian MTB Film Fest. Says Marketing Director Juliane Wisata,

“​The Australian MTB Film Fest is all about building the profile of filmers and connecting them to brands. Entries are open to everyone, we are committed to help young filmers, editors and content-creating riders, as they are as much a part of riding as anyone else shredding the trails. We want to foster that creative process beyond a reel.”

Wisata said that the theme chosen was ‘Good News’. “It seems these days the bad news dominate our social and information feeds and we want to spread some positive content as part of this process of finding our winning Aust. Film Fest Creator for 2022. We think there is real value to the community, the sport and also to sponsors.”

The Finalists were announced at Mt Buller and the public can now vote by watching, liking, commenting and sharing the films. The winner will join the Rocky Trail content creator pool for 2022 and will receive $1,000 in prize money to fund a production at any Rocky Trail event this year.

Mt Buller Ambassador, Olympian and Freestyle World Ski Championship Gold Medallist, Jacqui Cooper officiated the prize ceremonies on the weekend. Mt Buller Resort CEO Mark Bennetts said that the atmosphere on the weekend was full of excitement and positive vibes. He said that there was still plenty to experience at Buller in Autumn,

“It was wonderful to see so many people embracing this terrific event at Mt Buller & Mt Stirling over the long weekend. The $1.25m revamp of the trail network has been a long time coming and it’s great to see it getting the thumbs up from the MTB community. Autumn is a superb time of year up here, and we invite everyone to come up or come back and enjoy the trails in the coming weeks. You can also join us over the Easter break for live music, great food, more riding and of course egg hunting!”

Mark Bennetts, Mt Buller Resort CEO

The Rocky Trail team looks forward to returning to the High Country in 2022.

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