With two consecutive wins in the RedAss NSW/ACT Downhill State Series Sarah Booth from Newcastle was the Elite Women’s race favourite on Sunday’s final round at Stromlo Forest Park. A second place behind dark-horse Ronja Hill-Wright from Canberra was enough to get her the overall series title. Thomas Crimmins from Bredbo dominated the Elite Men’s field and won ahead of David McMillan and Tim Eaton, who took out the overall series win. Canberra’s Jackson Frew claimed a second consecutive Downhill State Series win on his home track ahead of Wollongong’s Josh Lea and Hamish Cowan, who is the new Downhill State Series winner in the Under 19’s category.
It was the first official downhill state-level event in two years and almost 150 racers from all over the ACT, New South Wales and also Victoria competed in Canberra on the weekend. Organisers from Rocky Trail Entertainment had followed riders’ appeals and ran the original World Cup A-Line and the iconic G20 track at Stromlo Forest Park.
Canberran old-hand Tim Eaton had been the strongest contender for a victory on his home track, but a recently discovered fractured knee-cap proofed to be a handicap for the 27-year old. Young Thomas Crimmins from Bredbo was able to shave more than a second off Eaton’s time and took out the day’s win in 02:28:737 ahead of David McMillan from Wollongong. With a third place, however, Eaton still took out the overall series win in the Elite Men’s category.
“It’s been a bit of a rocky road, but [I’m] slowly making my way back up to the top”, said Eaton of his slow recovery from injury. Adding to the tough competition, two serious crashes forced long delays in Sunday’s racing on Stromlo, with one rider taken to hospital with a broken ankle, while another was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital as a precaution. “It’s a bit hard when you’re up there [on top of the mountain] trying to get in the zone and then you’ve got to stop and go do it all over again, but everyone was in the same boat”, explained Tim Eaton the tough racing conditions.
Sarah Booth wins Elite Women’s series title
Ronja Hill-Wright surprised the elite women’s field with a surprise win at Stromlo. With a gap of more than three seconds she was the fastest woman ahead of Downhill State Series winner Sarah Booth, who was excited about her overall title. “I was ready for Tegan [Molloy] to attack, but Ronja came out of nowhere – it was great to have such strong competition today”, Booth said of her fellow racers, crediting the reigning Junior World Champion Tegan Molloy from Jindabyne, who placed third.
Jackson Frew dominated the Under 19’s category, overcoming a stomach bug and still coming second overall in the series. With a third place behind fellow Wollongong racer Josh Lea, Hamish Cowan is the new Under 19’s RedAss NSW/ACT Downhill State Series winner.
The team at Rocky Trail Entertainment is currently working on dates and locations for the 2015 season. For more information, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
Round 3, RedAss NSW/ACT Downhill State Series
1. Thomas Crimmins / Giant Bicycles Aus, Thredbo MTB / Bredbo NSW / 02:28.737
2. David McMillan / Specialized, VANS, FJC, SRAM, ti-springs.com, thredbo mtb / Canberra ACT / 02:29.440 / +00:00.703
3. Tim Eaton / Giant, Fox head aus, SRAM, Onya bike, Oakley, thredbo, swift supplements / Canberra / 02:29.888 / +00:01.151
4. Andrew Crimmins / Kona Bicycles, Monster Army, Fox MTB, Ride 100%, SRAM, Thredbo MTB / Bredbo NSW / 02:30.115 / +00:01.378
5. Joe Vejvoda / RedAss Mexican Food / Canberra ACT / 02:36.247 00:07.510
1. Ronja Hill-Wright / Canberra ACT / 02:59.135
2. Sarah Booth / Kona, RAAF, Mavic, Maxxis, Adidas, Fox, NS Dynamics, SRAM, Avid / Newcastle NSW / 03:02.573 / +00:03.438
3. Tegan Molloy / Thredbo MTB, Kona Bikes / Jindabyne NSW / 03:03.729 / +00:04.594
4. Kellie Weinert / DHaRCO / Kearns NSW / 03:17.166 / +00:18.031
5. Mandy Davis / DHaRCO / Sydney NSW / 04:00.018 / +01:00.883
Under 19’s Men
1. Jackson Frew / Onyabike, Leatt Protectives, Giant Bikes Aus / Canberra ACT / 02:37.312
2. Josh Lea / Helensburgh NSW / 02:41.085 / +00:03.773
3. Hamish Cowan / Wollongong NSW / 02:41.783 / +00:04.471
4. Jackson White / Alpine Gravity, Bike Edge Wodonga, Southern Cross Developers / Baranduda VIC / 02:42.175 / +00:04.863
5. Brandon Maxwell / Woonora heights NSW / 02:43.415 / +00:06.103
RedAss NSW/ACT Downhill State Series Winners 2014:
1. Tim Eaton / Canberra ACT / 545 pts
2. David McMillan / Wollongong NSW / 440 pts
3. Ryan Hunt / Sydney NSW / 395 pts
1. Sarah Booth / Newcastle NSW / 700 pts
2. Kellie Weinert / Kearns NSW / 495 pts
3. Joanne Fox / Emu Heights NSW / 325 pts
Under 19’s Men
1. Hamish Cowan / Wollongong NSW / 590 pts
2. Jackson Frew / Canberra ACT / 500 pts
3. Josh Lea / Helensburgh NSW / 345 pts
2014 RedAss DH State Series winners remaining categories:
Under 17 Men: Harry Parsons / Mittagong NSW
Expert Men: Jack Johnson / Jerrys Plains NSW
Sport Men: Terry Gomba / Canberra ACT
Veteran Men: David Sharp / Belrose NSW
Master Men (40-49 yrs): Jeff Arnott / Wyee Point NSW
Master Women: Coleen Boyes / Thornton NSW
SuperMaster Men (50-59 yrs): Steven Bullard / Canberra ACT
GrandMaster Men (60+ yrs): Steve Coles / Orange NSW
Junior Under 15 Men: Patrick Butler / Brunkerville NSW
Junior Female: Charlotte Kerr / Balgownie NSW