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Roost the

ISSUE 4 DECEMBER - JANUARY

MT.BULLER

NATIONALS NATIONALS : THREDBO & MT BULLEr – Muddy : the interview – happy hour : sydney 24hr – Proving grounds : Deubel bike test – pottsy and odams at the final singletrack mind – vic state at mt buller 1


Contents Features Pottsy and Odams at the Singletrack Mind pg’s 6-11 Happy Hour : the sydney 24hr and 6+6 pg’s12- 17 Topo in Thredbo: Gravity Cup RD 1 pg’s18-25 Frame by Frame : The Victorian State Series pg’s 26-31 If you mess with the Bull(er) .. You get the horns! : AMC and GC round 2 pg’s 32 - 45

Regulars Muddy : The Interview pg’s46 -53 Proving Ground : Deubel Bikes 2UP pg’s 54- 58 Lucky 7 : Luke Ball pg 5 Fifteen Seconds of Frame with Jayden Ostwald pg 4 Copyright The Roost Mountain Bike Magazine 2011. All Rights Reserved. Nothing in this Magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the express written permission from The Roost.

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Cover Photo : Joey Vejovoda styles it up sometime during the week spent at Buller Photo : Jason English in the dying rays of sunlight during the Sydney 24hr, I love how the golden colours colide with the green and gold jersey.

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FIFTEEEN Seconds OF

frame

RIDER : David McMillan Photographer : Jayden Ostwald Location : Mt Buller, VIC National Round

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lucky

Luke bALL / wa The british import. If you’ve ever seen Luke ride you will have noticed his distinctive style his un mistakeable flair. We thought we’d ask him some stupid questions, here are Lukes lucky seven.

montainbikers: - Sam hill - Brendon Fairclough - Troy Brosnan - Jordan Prochrya - mates best things about western australia: - dry - dusty as! - good tracks - sick riders - nice weather - good beaches - hawwt chicks worst thing’s bout western australiaa: - the heat - dick heads - scooter rats - wannabees

- Locals 2 - The Inbetweeners - Happy Feet

- the wildness - the fun - the set up

ambitions on the bike: - top - ten - in elite - at nationals - win - races

websites: - Roost Mag - Dirt Mag - Pinkbike - Vital MTB - Nuke proof - Chain Reaction Cycles - Facebook

people: - mates - riders - pro’s - fat - people

MUSIC: - Rise Against - The Killers - Arctic Monkeys - Snow Patrol - One Republic - Rizzle Kicks - Professor Green

roadtrips: france fort william Thredbo

tracks: - Fort William - Llangollen - Thredbo - Nannup - Welli Mills - Dwellingup - Mundaring

movies: - 3 Minute Gaps - Between The Tape - Locals 1

best thing bout the nuke proof: - the looks - the ride 5

food: - chinese - pizza - roast - takeaway - ice cream - lollies - fruit

things to do when bored: - Facebook - XC ride - DH ride - fix bike - service bike - Mx vs Mtv beers: - Corona - Stella - James Squire - Little Creatures - l Loco - Bud supermodels: - Umm - seriously - all - of - them!


Pottsy & ODAMS aT THE

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SINGLETRACK MIND 81/4HR DECEMBER 18TH 2011 - AWABA Boy did I get it wrong! Coming into the final round of the Singletrack Mind series (twice rescheduled) I was just in as much of a Christmas mode as everyone else, so I thought I’d plan a nice little easy story. Follow a team around document the average goings on of the race, the team members etc etc. Anyway little did I know that the team/ two indiviuals I’d chosen were in fact in-line for the series win, hmm I guess there would be a little more pressure on today than I thought. Let start with the story so far, Team “Bike Culture Chomps on Gu” pairs team comprises of Matt “pottsy” Potter and Jon Odams who currently lead the series but not with enough points that they could skip the final round. In fact they would have to finish no more than two places behind the Stevens Pairs team who were only a few points behind and eager to claim the overall. So heres how it all unfolded.

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Lap 1 Odams gets the holeshot off the start line but has a crash soon after and drops back a position

Lap 2 “ The Only overtaking getting done this lap was on me , lost one place this lap still getting used to the xc bike after so much time on the trail bike.” rECENTLY RETURNED FROM TRAIL RIDING IN NEW ZEALAND POTTS STRUGGLES TO GET USED TO BEING ON A RACE BIKE AGAIN.

somewhere inbetween lap 2 & 3 : “Jon lost the van key, we think Bob has them Bob is in the bush.” emma lovelock

A short story This is luke dale, solo catagory, before the race.

This is luke dale , solo catago after retiring from the race

The mobile in which we arrived the classy huntingwood “sprnta” 8


Lap 3 “fun, nice, jumps” odams relaxes into the race a little more and a rhythm really begins to develop

lap 4 “Finding some flow- still keeping a check on anything bumpy some parts are quite rutted” In the lead up to the race the track recieved quite alot of rain and some sections still hadn’t quite dried out. On some of the descents braking bumps had begun to appear as well.

Laps 5 & 6 Two uneventful laps the pair now gear up for some double laps to give each other a break.

ory, just

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LAP 7 “Apparently took over a lap early? funny felt like a good break got into 5th place” Jon breaks the double lap chain a lap early and gains back another position

Lap 8 Traffic Deluxe!!!

LAP 9 “Got on the Gu and hit a 33 sec lap” odams after originally struggling to find speed comes into some lap smashing form

Lap14 On pottsy’s last lap he puts down a 34.18 pulling back a minute on weapons who are sitting in third with stevens in second place. The overall was within grasp

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Lap 15 last lap for jon is a 31.51 the second fastest lap of the day. Loaded with GU he says he was treating it like the good old days of downhill. Overtaking “weapons” he had the stevens pair in view within the final corners but was unable to make the pass. Stevens were awarded the overall on the day but after a recent recount it was discovered the gu/ bike culture team had taken the overall. Both teams had thought all along that this was the case and continue to jokingly hassle each other to this day.

Overall contenders and opposition the stevens pairing of “morgs” and “ash”. 11


Rocky trail entertainment , Huntingwood & jet black present :

THE SYDNEY 24 Hour and 6 & 6 HouR 3rd - 4th december 2011 at mt annan botanical gardens

This isn’t really going to be a race report and for that I’m sorry. Well not really, 24 hr races are pretty hard things to cover, mainly due to so many catagories riding at so many different levels and paces. However that isn’t really the true reason, its genuinely because I can’t remember much of it. (Well the racing that I mean) I was lost in a haze, lost in the good times, lost in a 24hr Happy Hour.

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It was like a ride day that went on and on. Officially it was the last event of the year and there was definitely that care free feeling in the air. The event had two different elements starting with your classic format of a clear and simple 24hrs. Broken down into the usual classes ( solo, pairs & a array of teams) it didn’t matter it would be hard work whatever the combination. Mt Annan is quite well known as a working track but with the track work done recently, the pleasure factor had surely improved. None the less riders would have their work cut out for them . The second element was the six and six essentially a 12 hr but broken up over two days it was the much more relaxing approach. At midday all the riders required left the start line under a blisteringly sunny sky after a particularly overcast morning. The heat was fierce and the dust was everywhere due to the dry track and there was some complaining amongst the riders in the early stages. The front runner in the solo’s was of course Jason English and by the looks of things had settled into his usual tempo. The track was certainly tough in some stages particularly in the latter stages where the hairpin corners made for tricky ascending and descending. The team’s in general all seemed far more relaxed than usual and certain treats were spotted here and there. The Bernard riders had even done away with bottled beer and gone for the full beer pull. Best thing was it was all free to whoever dropped by the tent during the race (riders choice, but most were 6&6 racers) By the afternoon the shadows had fallen the heat had dropped and the happy chatter had returned amongst the trees.


Left : “Crafty” interviews Jason English. Top : Mark Griffin kicks up dust in the evening sun. Above, left to right : Andrej pulls the first post race beer, Nigel Jeffereys putts in the km’s for pedal for pierce, Find the gnome win a prize at least thats what I heard. Right : A unknown heads out in the first rays of dawn

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Photo : Night laps are where a race can be made or destroyed, here riders thread through berms as the lights of town watch on.

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Left : have you ever seen a 24 hr racer with their foot out, Jason English foot out flat out. Above : Simon Finlay tweaks it out of the creek jump.. Below, Left to Right: Anthony Platts-Baggs finds out just how dangerous the rock roll over is. Solo rider Benji Morris breaks through the dawn rays on his way to third overall, Oli tucks into a ice cold bevarage post race

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The golden hour was quite spectacular especially in the open back part of the course where the sun shone through, the dust as riders rolled through the grass fields. The 6 & 6 hour racers day came to an end and the 24 hr riders continued on. As darkness descended the smoke machines and DJ came out making the transition area much more enjoyable. The 6x6’ers riders had the bbq’s and beers and altogether were quite cheery that they were able to avoid the night laps. In the early hours of the morning the main transition area was very quiet. Lights bobbed off in the distance and Martin the race organiser was sitting under his blanket at the timing desk. All was still. After capturing the sunset a companion and I headed out to the half way ridge to get some night shots and wait for dawn. You could see the lights of riders as they went up along, darting and weaving across the ridge and back again. Hear the Hume highway as trucks rushed past, along with the voices of riders as they were so suprised to see people so far out from the event centre. Usually the night laps are when the sneaky tactics come out and positions change rapidly but none of that was noticeable trackside. The dawn broke and lights began to flicker off one after the other. A few good mornings were yelled out and returned and the amount of bodies on track increased as the 6x6’ers returned. Back in the event village the bacon and egg sandwiches were being cranked out like no tomorrow. So much so that they ran out of bacon and had to go get more in which case the steak sandwiches took their place. Fastest laps were set, cyclocross bikes were brought out and the fun continued as the countdown to midday began. The solos had made a joint decision to pull the pin earlier in the morning and it was J English who emerged on top once more. Well he is a World Champion after all. As midday neared the resident MC “Crafty” began to get all excited for the countdown. Riders gathered round the transition tent hoping not to have to go out one last time or forcing team mates out in their stead. The countdown was over and so was the race. The bernard boys pulled beers for all the retiring racers and the crowd as stories were swapped and plans were made to catch up for one last ride before christmas. As the presentations got underway the rain came down and everyone was glad to be heading home after experiencing 24hrs of perfect weather.


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the gravity cup round one WORDS & PHOTOS ROBERT CONROY

Thredbo is the staple of the Australian downhill scene, year in and year out it’s on the roster. So it was no surprise when it appeared on the Nationals line up this year as the first round. New additions this year saw the series renamed as the Gravity Cup along with a few changes such that altered of the structure of the weekend and increasing the time that everyone got against the clock. Anticipation had been slowly simmering away on Facebook for some time, particularly, as many racers had finished their state series racing months ago. Excluding of course the Victorians, who should be in top form after a race at Mt Beauty only a week prior. For everyone else, it was time to put their training to the test and find out just who was up to scratch. Late into Thursday night riders were arriving from all over the country, as Friday was the first official full day of practice. Rumour had it that the likes of Sam Hill, Troy Brosnan and Jared Graves were entered, but the official rider list gave no valid confirmation of any of the names. Heavy rain was forecast for the weekend and it certainly looked like we were going to be in for a show.

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Friday Practice Thredbo is the closest we have to a World Cup track, it’s rough and abusive on the bike and the body. It’s a “mans track”, compiled of tight twists and turns, open fly away sections, all mixed together with a generous helping of arm pump inducing rock slabs, gaps and gardens. The chairlift opened under sunny skies with a sling of riders ready to practise on the six minute track. The rider rumours were quickly dispelled as the distinctive yellow green and black jerseys of Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan appeared on the mountainside. This is the first time in some years that Hill has been present at a national round but who can blame him, even pro racers need time away from racing at the end of a World Cup season. But with injury hampering his racing in recent years, he would be using the National series to leap frog himself into the World Cup calendar. When I spoke with Hill a little later, he said he had not been here in four years( likewise Brosnan hadn’t in two). So it was no surprise to see them chilling through runs with the obligatory helmet cam testing lines and re -learning the track. Whilst Sam and Troy were holding back a little today, Jared Graves was off the brakes and pinning. With an eye on a return to the World Cup Downhill circuit, the queenslander has been off the 4x bike and training hard to get back up to speed in downhill racing. Using this round as a measure to see just how far his training had come along. At this early stage of the weekend, it certainly appeared that he would be up there come Sunday. The rest of the elite field was looking equally as strong. The Specialised Aus’team including the 2010/11 series winner Rhys Atkinson, Cillian Murphy and new comer in the form young pinner David McMillan were sessioning in trains and were all looking fast. Also in on the “train” trend was the new Orange/Lusty Industries team of Ricky Boyer, Graham “Muddy” Mud and wild unit Jack Moir all keen to get in on some podium action. Many other threats lingered, Ben Cory, a Canberra local but, a frequent visitor knows the in’s and out’s of this track and is always a threat as is Tim Eaton. Eaton, however, was as sick as a dog and it was uncertain whether he could pull the result he knows he can achieve here. A string of Victorian pro teams had also made the trip up including, the Procon Trailmix Team, keen for some results at national level and the already legendary “wolfpack” of which one particular member was in for a unsettling shock come Saturday. This race also saw the return of Tracey Hannah, back in form and keen for the win after a few prep races in the NSW and QLD state series. Her protege, Sydney local, Dani Beecroft was almost a definite for the win in U19’s and was clearly in form. In the Under 19’s, the race was predicted to go to one of the locals. The aforementioned McMillan of Canberra and the two Bredbo boys, Thomas Crimmins and Joey Vejvoda all with superior knowledge of the track layout and World Cup experience were the hot favourites. Suffering with a fork mechanical, Vejvoda only did two runs today, including a solid crash. He would return tomorrow with replacement equipment. Beyond those three, there were more than a few dark horses waiting in the wings. Such as current Junior National Champ, Connor Fearon (SA) who had been in Thredbo since Tuesday riding and training and Dean 20


Lucas (VIC) who is currently leading the Vic series in U19’s, after winning every race. He, along with Henry Blake would be favourites for podium positions if they could keep themselves upright. There would be plenty of opportunities for junior riders to get into the top ten placings, as Brosnan along with Ben Power and Phil Piazza moved up into the elite field. The racing in the Under 17’s would almost be a re hash of the NSW State Series with Brent Smith heading up into U19’s it would come down to a battle between Andy Crimmins and Joel Willis. The media (videographers) were out in force ready to capture every move from the pros down to the groms for the worlds waiting eyes. All keen to discover the secrets of our aussie tracks and talent. Dry and dusty the track had already begun to deteriorate with holes and braking bumps appearing particularly in the lower sections (but doesn’t Thredbo come that way). As the most relaxed of the three days, racers were doing chilled runs with friends, checking lines or seeing who could pull the biggest whip at the new hip jump before bunny walk. All that would change tomorrow with a brief practise and then seeding.

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left to right : Jared Graves tweaks sit up, U19’s winner Joey Vejvoda leans it over in a tight corner, Phil Piazza mid air, Young Andy Crimmins takes the U17’s crown with a crash and Graeme Mudd pulls a breakthrough sixth


Saturday Practice & Seeding Saturday dawned with overcast skies but at least the track was dry. This was the first year that all racing classes would be seeded, unlike previous years where this occurred only for U19’s and Elite racers. As an added bonus, all seeding, for all classes would carry points that would accumulate to the series overall. Under the new schedule, the elite riders got a solid sleep in whilst the Group B racers hit the hill. Calm and collected, Andy Crimmins took out pole position with Matt McCorkell and Joel Willis behind in second and third respectively in U17’s. For the afternoon session Group A (U19’s & elite riders) practice took over with around two hours to perfect and re check lines before the seeding got underway. At the rock garden, just past snakes and ladders I waited for the first riders to come down. Trickling through at first, the team trains re emerged and rider after rider hit the hill. There was varying line choice in this section and it was interesting to see who took what line and which riders were trying to gap where through this section. Hill and Brosnan were still cruising through runs and were noticeably taking different lines. Many sensed that Hill was holding back throughout practice and was getting ready to show his hand later in seeding. However after their initial runs together, they rode separately for the remainder of practice. Unlike Hill, Graves was keen to show just how comfortable he was on his sled and the track. Trackside supporters and riders all noticed how much his years of 4x racing had influenced his return to downhill, as he was seen skimming over gaps and keeping it scrubbed over jumps. Consistently loose and incredibly exciting to watch was fellow queenslander young Ben Power. It would be his first time up in the elites class, but as the kid has a uncanny ability to ride flat out pinned with both feet blown off, the only thing to worry about would be the damage he could do to the top ten. As seeding grew nearer so did the nerves, one particular rider was feeling them more than most. Plagued by restless sleep the night before “Pup” had one small problem. He would be starting seeding as rider No 73 just one rider in front of Sam Hill (No 74). A fact, which his Wolfpack team mates wouldn’t let him forget too easily. Bells howled through the lower sections as seeding got underway, the rain clouds still loomed but not a drop had fallen. Now, with points up for grabs, riders would be taking greater risks, to find that even ground between a full blown race run and an on the edge practice run. The pressure was on, ascending through the number boards, the Under 19’s came down. Connor Fearon taken ill overnight and could barely speak, cruised down the hill just crossing the line so he would be able to race on Sunday. A different kind of misfortune befell Henry Blake in his seeding with a flat that would see him as one of the first riders off on Sunday. Thomas Crimmins held the top spot briefly before McMillan came down ten riders later.

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He managed to hold on till the final 5 riders, when Joey Vejvoda came down with a time of 5:45.08 for a first in seeding. Notably fresh out of U17’s and with no overseas experience (unlike those above him) Brent Smith seeded fourth today. Tracey Hannah had been looking fast in practice and looks to have carried the same speed into seeding, sealing in pole position by forty seconds. The bells rang on as elite seeding got underway and Troy Brosnan who had been increasing in pace since Friday flew into the hot seat. Likewise Jared Graves, had also been showing his speed and it was no surprise when he took over the top seed only a few riders later. With thirty riders to go all eyes would be waiting to see what Hill could produce. Hill cruised comfortably into fourth place for Sunday and “Pup” was happy to just have not been overtaken by one of the worlds fastest racers. As the final rider came over the line, the the rain came down, it was a close call today but with more of the same predicted for racing tomorrow, racers would be sleeping restless this evening. Sunday Overcast skies greeted everyone along with a damp and slippery track and with much more rain predicted to come, racers were in for a treat today. Group B would take the morning session, Group A the afternoon, no sleep in, however, as they were busy emptying their rooms before the 10am kickout. Andy Crimmins won the U17’s despite a crash on the slick track whilst Willis and McCorkell did a reshuffle from qualifying to finish second and third respectively. As the U17’s stood on the podium the rain came down again. Spray jackets and wet weather kit covered riders

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as the U19’s and elites began their final practice. The weather was spinning between the extremes of showers and bright sunshine. The track changed little from the regular ruts and braking bumps but with more rain expected that could all change very fast. Joey Vejvoda mentioned that he along with a few other riders had planned out a set of lines to use in the wet, learnt at the wet CORC club round a week or so prior. Hill and Brosnan were riding separately in the final session and at differing tempos. The conspiracy cloud is always thick when it comes to Sam Hill, todays forecast differed from man to man. The doubters were still of the opinion he had not quite found that return to form after his injury but most thought he was up to his usual tricks. Withholding himself through sections and pinning it in others it was still hard to gauge his speed, whilst Brosnan made no effort to conceal his speed today. Ben Cory who seeded 3rd was quite relaxed in practice, with the approaching rain, knowledge of the track and a win in similar (wet) circumstances once before, he was more of a danger man than most realised. Graves was still riding strongly, but the air ran thick with rumours that he may have run his race already, especially with the pro field that would come down before him. The unmentioned threat was last years series winner Rhys Atkinson, who quite often snuck past in the company of team mates. He was looking fast and in with a chance for the podium. The spray jackets were ditched for regular kit and tear offs were applied as race time approached. The rain returned for the final time just as the first U19’s began their race runs. Danielle Beecroft solidified her spot as number one with a time that would have given her second in the elite category and almost a minute and a half in front of Ella Scanlan -Bloor in second. Still ill, Connor Fearon had a miraculous run accompanied by miraculous story. Somehow managing to come third after being stuck behind another rider for more than a fifth of the track. With no voice he was unable to yell and was stuck till the rider in front heard him. Henry Blake managed a solid run today after his disappointment yesterday to slot in just behind Fearon who held the hot seat. Jack Moir came close to removing him, eventually finishing fourth, in front of Blake. It was now time to see what the locals could do.

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Thomas Crimmins came down and stole the hotseat but the win was still up in the air with the duo of McMillan and Vejvoda still to ride. McMillan crashed in bunny walk and was unable to make up the time. Vejvoda had no such bad luck and stormed home to take the win from Crimmins; Bredbo boys one and two. Midway through the U19’s race the elites got the call to go up early due to a passing thunderstorm, which might cause the chairlift to close.Tracey Hannah put in the performance we all expected putting a forty second deficit on Claire Whiteman. A flat in his seeding saw Daniel Paine make a early move on the hot seat, managing to hold off half the field. After that the usual hubbub of a rider claiming the hot seat for a limited time only ensued. Of course all that changed once the race hit the top ten, with so many rider capable of laying down a unbeatable time. Ricky Boyer held the seat leading into the top ten but was quickly replaced by Power, Mudd and Atkinson. Cannan and Dunn failed to produce any better result and next up was Sam Hill. Hill put down a brisk time of 5:33.87 to claim the hot seat. Cory’s local knowledge couldn’t save him finishing a eventual fourth. Brosnan came flying into view, light and agile he almost lost control of his manual as he crossed the line but it was enough to put him in front of his team mate and straight to first. One rider left , Graves just wasn’t on top of it today coming home safely for third. Brosnan takes the win in a Specialised one, two but maybe not quite the one two we were expecting. The apprentice beats the master, by 2.33 seconds somehow I don’t think Hill and Brosnan will be riding so closely together at the next round. With Christmas and New Years between now and the next round at Mt Buller it will be hard to stay focused on training. Graves would not be attending the next round, will anyone have the ability to break what could be another one two for the Specialised boys at Buller?

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frame by frame at Victorian state rd 4 – mt buller 14 & 15th of january

The race was the weekend before the national round and so there were a few more visitors than usual to this victorian state round. the competition was tight and the racing fierce ESPECIALLY in the upper ranks and the real question was who would walk away with the win, a victorian or a new south welshman. battle ensued between Young and old with junior racers aged as young as 9 competiing. With so much action going on we thought we’d show you frame by frame what went down.

Photo : Dean Lucas on the way to a U19’s win

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You will never see Thomas Crimmins far from the podium. no doubts here. second in u19’s.

Right : As Austrlais fastest growing celebrity bicycle gang, they are possibly the biggest drawcard for racing in Victoria. The cold hard facts are right there, you just aren’t having fun without the WOLFPACK in attendance. Lunacy ensues as Watty, Nato and Jack?!? ride by.

Below : Powered on beard size alone (seriously its bush ranger worthy) liam Ponozzo shreds his way to a fourth in elite.

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Right : This little gap caught out many riders this weekend and the next it was just unfortunate that lewis winton did it right in front of my camera.

Left : Joey Vejvoda always seems to have the perfect posture on the bike and the best style. Usually in u19’s for nationals but the same rules dont apply for state rounds. 10th in elite not bad for the young up and coming rider.

Below : angus Jackson flows through the trees

Matt Bolger sends it off the road drop with a simple tweak.

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Results Elite Men 1. ATKINSON Rhys 2. FEARON Connor 3. EATON Tim 4. PANOZZO Liam 5. BOYER RICK

03:24,856 03:25,581 03:26,573 03:27,761 03:27,927

Elite Women 1. TAYLOR Madeline 2. LYONS Alyssa 3. BAYLISS KELLY 4. FLOOD Shelley 5. Hughes Kelly

04:16,759 04:20,542 04:22,934 04:23,596 04:31,350

U19’s 1. LUCAS Dean 2. CRIMMINS Thomas 3. MOIR JACK 4. ELLISON LUKE 5. BOHLE NICOLAS

03:27,048 03:31,347 03:32,911 03:35,187 03:37,197

U17’s 1. CRIMMINS Andrew 2. VARLEY Aiden 3. WILLIS JOEL 4. DAVIS Jackson 5. SMALLEY Felix

03:32,425 03:42,501 03:48,377 03:49,674 03:49,785

Photo : Rhys Atkinson wasn’t doing many runs this weekend but the ones he did obviously counted .

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Left to Right : race winners Troy Brosnan, Dan Mcconnell and darcy’s sweet tattoo

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If you mess with

the bull(er)

You get the

horns!

21st & 22nd of january

2 x the nationals Words & photos by robert conroy both sides of the national series came together at mt buller for the second round.Whilst the downhillers hit up horse hill, cross country riders were across the mountain laying waste to the multitude of tracks just outide of the mount buller village.

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The ALL MOUNTAIN CUP Almost two months separated the first from the second round and riders seemed to be returning much fitter. Jenni king would be looking to extend her lead out of the first round as would Andy blair. with the alpine playground of mount buller awaiting to be raced on it looked like it was going to be a exciting round.

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Photo : Billy Sewell gets down and dirty in the u19’s XCO

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Super D and the great Debate Super D is essentially a prolonged downhill mixed with a climb or two that is designed to push riders concentration and fortitude. The Delatite trail chosen for this weekends racing was vastly different to the one on offer at the Perth round just two months prior. Whilst the Perth track was a mixture of two trails (a downhill track and the single track of the cross country course) the Mt Buller trail was all out fireroad descending. Starting near the Corn Hill cross country loop riders would descend rapidly for the first several hundred meters through features including several hairpin corners and waterbars. The loose surface made air time tricky and maximum concentration was necessary to keep wheels rubber side down. As the trail reached the valley floor it leveled out and riders encountered 8 (or was it 7ish) bridges as they crossed the Delatite river along with one or two deep creek crossings. Finishing in the small town of Mirimbah ten km down. So why the debate and just what is being debated? Lets start with just how difficult should a track be when all catagories are subject to racing on the one track? The elite classes are all highly skilled riders and quite adept at adjusting to the landscape around them no matter what. So this really applies to the junior classes who haven’t really yet aquired the skills to handle such rough terrain and in this instance were dealing with descents that are usually found on the downhill side of the sport. On the flipside you could argue that this is the “All Mountain Cup” and as such racers should be prepared to come up against anything that a mountain can throw at them. Racers can also adjust their speed to overcome the track and thats the difference between racing and casually finding your way down the hill. This line of thought may have been the difference on the weekend with several injuries occuring, including Michael Crosbie (U23’s) who after landing on his face required plastic surgery . MTBA (mountain bike austalia) should be accessing the track difficulty before putting younger children down the track but where do you draw the line between a challenging track and a dangerous one. The second problem seems to be the more important one at the moment and that is the timing. The Super D is currently run on friday but with the main event being the XCO on Saturday many of the elite riders choose to cruise through the Super D in order to save themselves/ escape injury free for the next day. It is great that MTBA have branched into new areas but when riders are non attempting because the time accumulated in the race does nothing for their overall and crashing destroy’s all chances for the weekend

Andy Blair gets his drift on

perhaps they need to rethink their approach. That being said it is a interesting and exciting new addition to the series but perhaps Sunday after the point to point is better where racers can lay it all on the line. Now to the racing finally, a quick rider meeting was held before racing to allow the catagories to run in reverse order. Elites were off first and it was the hot favourite current Super D kingpin who claimed the day, Josh Carlson. In his own words the track “was super gnarly and super fast, you really had to concentrate it was just balls out”, Carlson had Taberlay almost caught by the end of the first section but a mistake prevented him from overtaking. Either way it always seemed that the win was within grasp. Taberlay came in a smooth second just 19.5 seconds off on a almost twenty minute track. Andy Blair the current series overall leader clinched third. Jenni King got the first win of the weekend under her belt and was looking as strong as ever. Whilst U23’s rider Trenton Day and U19’s rider Ben Bradley not only won their catagories but put down times that would have unseated riders in the top 5 of elite. 36


Photo: Paul Van Der Ploeg boosts a water bar

The XCO Double the turnout and double the strength of the competitive field. Cornhill was the trail system chosen for this weekends 5km XCO and it was a tough course. I managed to get a practice lap in the week leading up to the event and the course had already been bunted but not very well signposted. In fact I accidently went part way down the Super D course whilst another rider I know accidently headed down the trail to be used for Point to Point. The trail was perched atop a ridge and climbed around the side and up the back of Corn Hill before descending down to the fireroad and event centre. The back side of the hill climbing section was dominated by hairpin corners. Not. that .fun. at least the almost 360 degrees of rolling mountain ranges made things a little more bearable. The weather was beautiful and racing began under a crisp morning sun. Jenny Fay got the ball rolling with the holeshot up the fire road and into the first single track but a small crash knocked her back to third allowing Bec Henderson and Jenni King through. Noticably Fay was one of very few competitors opting for a 29’er when I asked her how she coped with the tighter sections of track she told me that the extra amount of power she was able to put down on the two fireroad sections made up for the technical climb already mentioned.

“AJ” gets some air during the Super D

King exploded off the front and put almost two minutes into Henderson. It is Hendersons first race in the elite catagory and in the Australian season thus far. Back in fourth and fifth there was a battle for track supremacy taking place with Jodie Willet and Peta Mullens. After 3 laps Mullens just couldn’t make the pass and Willet broke away but was unable to make up lost time on Fay. Usual top runner Sarah Holmes had a mechanical where here chain broke, went into her rear derailleur and forced her off the back. Henderson just wasn’t able to make the gap back on King with the finals standings King first, Henderson second and Fay third. The elite mens, U23 and 19’s race was just down right dirty and exciting. With leadership changes and some hard fought racing it was the best race of the weekend. Josh Carlson lead out looking to continue his form of the previous day with relative unknown Ben Hogarth in tow. Whilst Hogarth had the straight line speed he couldn’t match the speed in the tighter sections and was dropped. Carlson was overtaken on the climb by emerging leaders Sid Taberlay and Paul Van Der Ploeg with Andy Blair in hot pursuit.

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Jenni King shows her form in perth was no fluke

Back in the U23’s it was Luke Fetch who gained the holeshot but a flat in the very first section ended his chances of a repeat performance from Perth. The chase now seemed to be on for four contenders with Trenton Day, Jack Haig and Robbie Hucker all looking promising. The U19’s seemed to have returned to the usual dual between Billy Sewell and Ben Bradley. On the second lap positions hadn’t changed but the first signs of Dan McConnell were beginning to appear having already leap frogged several into seventh and by the third lap fourth. Meanwhile a battle ensued on the front between Taberlay and Van Der Ploeg. Taberlay later said that Van Der Ploeg’s surges on the climb hurt their legs which made it a lot harder to defend when McConnell came up on them. By now Jack Haig had made the pass on Trenton Day and both were making their way through the rear of the elite mens field. Separated by a gap Haig’s teammate Hucker held third with a pursuing Kyle Ward. The looming threat McConnell riding at his own pace had closed the gap on the two leaders by the fourth lap. It wasn’t long before the overtake was made and the storming McConnell held the lead to the end. Van Der Ploeg managed to hold on for second place draining all the energy he had to hold the position. Sid Taberlay was holding on to third but when Andy Blair caught him on the final lap, he was unable to defend finishing fourth. The U23’s battle between Trenton Day and Jack Haig came down to the wire but with a minor mistake Day made Haig was able to control the lead down to the line for the win. Billy Sewell took the win with the hungry Ben Bradley just 30 second off the pace.

Left : Bec Henderson Right : Jenny Fay

Scott Bowden U19’s

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Sid Taberlay leads Paul Van Der Ploeg and Dan McConnell in the hunt for the win

The Point to Point This race is one way, no laps here so its very hard for a spectator to find out what’s happening. Today the racers would leave from the cross country start line and head to Mt Stirling and the famous “Stonefly” before returning back to the start. This is what I understand to have happened from various reports and questions asked. In the U23’s male, Jack Haig won from Luke Fetch who was keen to make up for the previous days bad luck and although he suffered another mechanical he still managed to hold on for second. Robbie Hucker slid into third. Jenni King came through with another victory which secured her six from six winning streak and of course overall title for the weekend. However it was the Tory Thomas stepping up into second that was the real highlight of the day as was Jodie Willetts performance just two seconds down. Paul Van Der Ploeg put those surging legs to good use claiming first in his first race weekend in the Australian elites. Andy Blair continued his form to finish second helping to secure his overall held from Perth. Sid Taberlay returned to claim the spot he missed out on the previous day with a solid performance in third.

Jack Haig U23’s winner

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THE GRAVITY CUP After the first round in thredbo stakes were high. The specialized duo of Troy Brosnan and sam hill had taken out top spots on the podium. With many riders attending the vic state round the previous week there would be many racers with that extra knowledge of the track but just who would come out on top this weekend?

Photo : Connor Fearon on the way to his win in U19’s

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Friday and Saturday Practice It all started with a broken chairlift not really a good omen for the weekend but it all turned out alright I promise. The usuals were in a attendance, Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan who shared the series overall between them were looking to repeat their one two of the previous round. Bryn Atkinson and Jill Kintner had also made the trip down from NSW and with Atkinsons win here during his last visit to Buller, he was a shoe in this weekend. The Specialized AUS team, Orange and Commencal all had their tents running as well and the communal table was buzzing with excitement. Utilising the Horse Hill chairlift racers would be racing the International trail also used the previous weekend at the Vic State Series. The track is well known for its low hanging branches, multitude of rocks and large wooden wallride to drop off. It is much shorter than Thredbo with the average time on the track coming in at a little over three to three and a half minutes. Once the chairlift was open riders were back on the track scoping lines and getting in runs. Surprisingly the track had held together well even after a couple hundred riders visited the previous weekend. Some lines had been re bunted but very little had changed as far as trail damage was concerned. International offered a few sections where line choice was possible including one prominent flat straight in the first section where it was essential to carry speed. However for the most part they offered millisecond advantages and relied on other rider mistakes to make large enough time differences but a second is a second either way. The apprentice (Brosnan) however seems to have learnt well from the master (Hill) utilising all the track, even with just minor tweaks to main lines other riders do not see. After a reasonably uneventful Friday racers headed back for seeding and after a morning filled with heated cross country racing I headed over to catch the Group A racing. The track was already beginning to blow out in certain sections with large holes and breaking ruts so racing would be messy. Dani Beecroft led out the U19’s women catagory.She was the one and only contender actually but we all know now to ignore that and focus on where her time stands amongst the elites. A 4:06 is her time could this be the day she beats Tracey Hannah? The male U19’s are up next and the man to beat is surely Dean Lucas fresh from the win just the weekend before in a tight field. Not to be Connor Fearon took top seed with a time of 3:19.19 just in front of Joey Vejvoda a time that would have seeded him in second in elite. Vejvoda had spent the week

scoping lines with the up and coming Luke Ellison, riding the track and getting things dialed. A major threat for Sunday but with a returned and healthy Fearon it would be hard work. Henry Blake slotted into third whilst never off the podium Crimmins sat on the same second as Dave McMillan for 4th and 5th. Tracey Hannah showed her way easily into the top spot with a 3:48.25 a whole 27 seconds in front or her nearest competitor Shelly Flood. Jill Kintner had a off track excursion in her seeding which put her a little off the back, she would be back Sunday with a vengance. The Elite mens seeding was borderline predictable you just knew it would feature the names Atkinson, Brosnan and Hill. The question was in what order. In the end Troy Brosnan did a 3:16.58 with Hill just 3 seconds behind it was Atkinson who would be searching for where he lost time seven seconds down in third. 42


Photo : Sam Hill on his way to second place. Below left to right : Jack Moir gets on the podium, Sam and Bryn post race and Tracey Hannah hits the wall ride

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Race Day Group B started with a bang when in U17’s Andy Crimmins beat the winning time in elite laid down by Rhys Atkinson the weekend before. The track for some reason was running faster than the previous weekend and no one could give a definite reason as to why. Track degradation hadn’t improved much even the chicken wire on the wallride had copped a beating with torn lengths of wire peeling off the wood. Dani Beecroft aiming to beat Hannahs time had a hard crash in a rocky roll over to hairpin corner but was able to get up and finish her run to claim first. The hardest thing about Buller is that the finish line is at the bottom of the mountain but the event centre is at the top of the hill. The PA makes announcements for those on top but for the photographers and videographers you either have to see it or wait till you get back up to the top as most riders hop straight on the lift after their run. The elites tend to hang round but you never see the other classes such as the U19’s. So this was the situtation leading into U19’s finals, Thomas Crimmins along with Jack Moir and David McMillan had been riding the track and trails around Buller for the past week and were sure to put in solid runs. Connor Fearon had been looking fast in every practice session fluid and in control and his team mate Dean Lucas definitely had his eye in. As racing got underway however it was Dean Lucas who took the hot seat just inside of the top ten but it was Jack Moir who had a near faultless run who unseated him. David McMillans streak of bad race runs continued still not getting the result he so deserves. He will be one of the greatest dangers heading into Stromlo his home track. In the meantime Crimmins just managed to edge out Moir by a tenth of a second but it was not over yet. Three riders left and still enough to push Crimmins off the podium. Henry Blake couldn’t quite do it claiming a repeat 5th place and Joey Vejvoda’s race was over before it even begun with a flat inside of 200 meters of the start line. Fit and healthy after first round woes and unofficially seeding second to Brosnan it was like the battle of national seasons past. Connor Fearon was on track what could he deliver? A 3:20.68 a second slower that his seeding but enough to slip in front for first. The final slate Fearon, Crimmins and Moir with a breakthrough podium. Jill Kintner puts in a better run than her seeding but is unable to break Tracey Hannahs winning streak in elite women. Hopefully we will see more of this rivalry in later rounds. There was more action and excitement in the elite 44


field then just the top three, starting with relative unknown WA’s Todd Madsen who broke into the top ten with a solid eighth. Tim Eaton made his return to the top ten with a seventh after a horrific bout of sickness at the previous round. Rick Boyer and Rhys Atkinson were still continuing old battles finishing 4th and 5th this weekend. Now down to the final three and I’ll disperse with the theatrics. Troy Brosnan steals the win away from Hill with a five and a half second gap. Atkinson is unable to break apart the pair finishing third.Many doubted Brosnan would be able to back up his win in Thredbo, he had been looking quite nervous around the pits all weekend. Feeling under the pressure to pull a result once more. Now it looks as if it is Hill who should be nervous to pull a result .

Clockwise : Troy Brosnan kicks up dust, Thomas Crimmins shows his agility, Jill through the tree gap whilst bryn keeps it low over the ski jumps

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Muddy the interview //

Words : graeme mudd & rC intro : ricky boyer

Graeme Mudd is everyones favourite man-child. Not only can he ride a bike exceptionally well but he is also a succesful and accomplished hair model. Graeme always impresses on the bike and has always been a dominant force at the races. I can remeber watching him race at one of the early BalckHill 4X races. Even then when he was 13 or 14 he looked like he was 18. Muddy has developed his bike handling sklls to get faster on the DH bike and consistenyl places top 10 at Nationals. The evolution of his riding is great to see. Gettting 9th at the 4X World Champs last year certainly showed everyone that he has waht it takes to go fast and be a the pointy end of the sport.

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Full Name Graeme Mudd Age 19 Sponsors Monster energy, Lusty Industries, ORANGE Mountain bikes, SDG seats, SRAM, ONE industries, SPECIALIZED tyres and MAVIC

opened up a whole new level What got it all started for you,? what was your to the potential of things that first bike? were possible on two wheels. My first bike was a green 16`` Gemini. This was the bike that I first rode with no training wheels and started racing BMX on at the age of 6. I had an attraction to bikes from the very beginning, but my main influence was from my neighbour that raced and could wheelie the whole street!! So you started off in BMX racing what was the reason for the transfer to mountain bikes?

In 2005 I went and watched my first 4x race at the Blackhill track 5 minutes from my house. It all looked pretty cool. Big gap jumps and close racing. My first time racing was later that year riding a borrowed bike where I finished 3rd in the semi-final as a 12 year old in the under 19’s. Riding a 26`` bike with suspension opened up a whole new level to the potential of things that were possible on two wheels. Do you think much of your BMX racing has influenced your riding style?

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Definitely! BMX racing is very fine line; it takes all the potential energy out of you and the track to win. I don’t look at myself as a stylish rider. I spend my time training to go fast so why sacrifice hard work by going sideways and trying to look good for the cameras. In my mind nothing looks better than standing on the podium. Will you ever return to BMX racing ?

Racing BMX is something that I grew up doing, it’s where I began and something I definitely love doing. A lot of my 4x training is done at the BMX track so I have never completely left the scene. People always say, “but why do mountain bikes when BMX is in the Olympics”. At the moment I’m having more fun rolling the big wheels. Two years ago I would not have thought this would be the case so things might change again or they might not. What is your favourite track in Australia?

Awaba, hands down. Not just because it is my home track but it scares me! Steep, technical but still fast. There doesn’t seem to be a top speed that you can go, it allows you to keep on pushing the limits. Which riders are you influenced by?

The first pro rider I watched ride was (Nathan) 49

Rennie back in the beginning at Blackhill and so, for some reason his style has stuck in my mind and painted the image of mountain biking for me. But Jared Graves Is the rider I most look up to. He is the definition of a racer and seems to be consistent in ‘getting it done’. Any other interests outside bikes?

The weekends I’m not at a race meet you will find me either at the river having a ski or having a paddle on my board in at Newy beach. Surfing is something I only really got into when I was at the stage of being able to do stuff but un-able to ride with my broken wrists at the beginning of last year. You’ve been with Orange for some time now, what bikes do you have?

I’m on my second season for Orange now and have been riding a Large 224 for downhill that really suits my simple aggressive riding style and my trusty MIII hard-tail that triples as my 4x race bike, XC bike and dirt jump bike. Ricky Boyer would have to be one of the most experienced racers on the Australian scene. What’s it like being on a team with him and latest edition Jack Moir?

Rick has been a huge help, not only the support with the team but I have learnt so much just riding with him. Riding behind him you can witness the


qualifying in a surprising 4th in round one at Pietermaritzburg it was hard to be satisfied with any result less than that

experience there; it’s like riding down a downhill track is like a sixth sense to him. The team situation with our newest member junior rider Jack works real well. Between us we are all different kinds of riders so it’s good to be opened up with ideas that we wouldn’t usually think of ourselves.

us a little about your experiences?

I definitely learnt a lot about racing over seas. Each race I was learning something new which made the next one a little easier. Starting on a high after qualifying in a surprising 4th in round one at Pietermaritzburg it was hard to be satisfied with any result less than that at the other rounds. Some consistency on this sort of result would have been nice but instead I got really good at laying on the track. Fort William and Val Di Sole were the only races I kept it up right. In the end I was still the new kid on the scene with a lot to learn and with a 9th in the overall World Cup series and at World Champs I can’t complain too much. I hope this year when I return overseas, 4x is still running so I can try and have another shot with the knowledge that I have now.

What’s a general week of training look like for you? Any special training methods or foods?

My training has not changed all too much since I made the full time switch to mountain bikes. I’m still hitting the gym for two hours twice a week, I still go to gate nights at BMX (but on my 4x bike) and depending on whether I’m coming up to a 4x or DH race I either do BMX sprint efforts, XC rides or DH runs. There’s nothing ‘special’ to the way I do stuff, I just go along the basis of, is this exercise going to make me peddle stronger or not, and is this food going to act as fuel or just slow me down.

You are quite often seen in the shadow of Jared Graves but have proved to be up there with some strong results and close racing, do you keep good relations with Jared?

Last year you headed overseas to race a string of world cups including Pietermaritzburg, Fort William and Leogang etc. You achieved some good results weaving in and out of the 4x top twenty can you tell 50

Sure, Racing the World Cups alongside Jared last year was a great help for me and him. Having somebody to discuss and practice race lines with was a great help, and the fact that I was


doing this with the current world cup champion gave me some confidence to hit it up with the world’s best. I also owe a big thanks to Jared’s mechanic Shaun Hughes for a lot of advice to get the most out of my bike and helping me out when I was stuck over there which was quite often.

Champery was your highest result (9th) in your overseas campaign. Did you feel more pressure to succeed at Worlds, did you change any of your training?

I was pretty stoked with my result in Champery even though it was a crash that saw me out of the quarter finals. It wasn’t really the pressure to do well but the frustration from some of the disappointing results that I had at the world cups beforehand that fired me up with an all or nothing approach to the race. I spent six weeks in Southern Scotland living with relatives on a farm where I could 100% focus on getting my training done. I changed things up a little with simply spending more time on the bike riding the trails at Glentress Forest and getting a load of sprints done. Or maybe it was the staple Scottish diet of haggis and Black pudding that got me my result in the end.

At World Champs in Champery last year you made it to the quarter finals even after a crazy crash/recovery in a previous heat. Can you tell us a little of that experience?

Things got pretty hectic that night. I had a lot of ups and downs, qualifying 6th the day before I was confident, everything up until the first race things were pretty good. A crash whilst leading in the first round stopped my heart for a split second, In that second I had accepted the fact that was exiting from the race already and it was going to be another disappointing result for my overseas campaign but like a bright light from heaven to guide the way my fluorescent orange Orange MIII ended up on its wheels going straight across in front of where I ended up for me to grab by the cables, keep going and qualify in second for the next round.

What do you think of the current situation of 4X on the world stage? Do you think this break away series the 4X Alliance have created is the best course for the sport?

There is no denying 4x is in a bit of a low at the moment. The 51


separation of it from downhill on the world circuit is definitely the right turn. This will allow it to create its own identity and build as its own sport. The organisers are passionate about 4x and are out to do their best to bring it back. The feeling I got from those in power last year was that all they wanted to do was get the 4x racing done and out of the way so they could get on with downhill. Whats your opinion on 4x being dropped from the nationals line up? ( questions were given to Muddy before MTBA made their late announcement of the series)

The last two years of 4x in Australia has been pretty dead. It kind of came and left as a fad. It wasn’t until I raced in Europe that I saw 4x in full swing. If Australia had the enthusiasm to make good tracks and put together races like the Euro’s there would be no problem. It will make my life a little easier, I won’t have to balance training between 4x and DH but it is definitely going to be a sad day when it is dropped completely. Riding downhill is nothing new to you either, will you focus more on downhill now with the decline of 4x events in Australia?

The decline of 4x has definitely made me put more effort into downhill since I returned home from overseas. I will ride 4x till it has been ground out and as long as there is a decent race to do I will be there. As I said, I still have goals of going to World Champs again this year and once the downhill national series is over my training will swing 100%

to 4x again to prepare for this. It’s very hard to be focused on one discipline all year round year after year. Downhill over summer has been a good break to get me keen again to get the most out of another effort at Worlds. You recently took 6th at the opening round at Thredbo in a heavily stacked field. What are your aspirations for the remainder of the series?

Since returning home from overseas last year I started spending a lot more time on my downhill bike for a change with a goal of finally getting some results in downhill. I surprised myself with the result at Thredbo and it changed my goals a little. National series wise I am spending more time on trying to finish as strong if not stronger than I started on the DH bike. In no way am I waving good bye to 4x, my training is still 4x specific, I will race both disciplines at the National Champs and hopefully secure a spot on the World Champs team again for 4x to try and better last year’s 9th position. Whats the best experience you’ve ever had on a bike?

There’s so many to choose from……I can still remember clear as day the first time riding my Gemini with no training wheels, that one is definitely up there but the races like last year’s 4x National Champs final where I managed to have a solid battle with Jared Graves. The world champs and racing in Champery last year where I had so much drama but was racing well and putting it to the top guys those are the experiences I seek. Sure they both would have been a whole lot better if I had won but I was satisfied.

What does Graeme Mudd have planned for the future any trips overseas?

I have managed to land a decent apprenticeship as a fitter machinist that will take up the majority of the next three to four years. This won’t hold me back from racing domestic races but has prevented me from having enough time to complete entire World circuits. If all is well you should see me again at the World Champs hopefully keeping it rubber side down this year. The grand plan is to get my apprenticeship done and dusted as something I will always have to fall back on and by the time I finish I’ll still be young with plenty of years left to get back overseas and try and do something special. Thats all we have folks! anyone you would like to thank?

I owe a massive thanks to my very supportive parents for supporting me from the very start and also Rick Boyer for helping me out over the last two seasons. I would be nowhere near where I am right now without these people. 52


“

“

I will ride 4x till it has been ground out and as long as there is a decent race to do I will be there.

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Proving Grounds What are the proving grounds? The proving grounds are where we will put the test bikes given to us through their paces. For the more cross country orientated bikes we will put them up against the pole to pole challenge and for the more downhill orientated we have devised a track with a mixture of berms, rocks and drops. This issue we were lucky to get our hands on a deubel 2up, you may have seen these bikes floating around at the races under the body of sebastian deubel or team rider marc de geoffroy but now its time to see just what this bike is capable of.

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the

2up

Reviewed Words by Jon Odams & Photos by robert conroy

It’s Australian mate. First off I have to give a special mention to the homegrown factor of the Deubel. I am fairly certain that there isn’t currently any commercially available framesets made in Australia and the 2UP makes me proud to be Australian. After riding it for a week or so I have to say I’m very impressed with the bike. The finished product isn’t just good by local standards but on an international level with the big wigs as well. The Chassis The chassis on the 2UP is world class. It may have “old school” single pivot written all over it but its pivot placement and frame construction are excellent. This is all down to Deubel bicycles owner Sebastian Deubels wonderful design. Deubel Bicycles is an Australian company and the 2UP isn’t just designed in Australia but built entirely in Australia from the design, tube cutting, welding to the paint and decals. All within various factories around Sydney. The Easton EA6X tubing and manufacturing process has made the 2UP stiff laterally and largely increased the strength of the bike everywhere. Changeable chips have been included to allow adjustment of the head angle and bottom bracket height. This coupled with the different drop out options changing from QR to 142x12 for cross country and downhill 150mm set-up. makes it easier to set up the bike depending on conditions. The frame has all the modern comforts including a 1.5” headtube, ISCG 05 guide mounts for your all mountain chain guide needs but lacks dropper seatpost cable routing. That would be a nice touch I think for future models.

on the off camber corners it really showed just how exceptional the shock could work.

Ride The ride of the 2UP is pretty similar to a lot of other single pivot downhill bikes with a few exceptions. It handles the downhill’s spectacularly with its low angles but also has the ability to make its way back up the hill without too much sweat. The frame itself isn’t light weight which does affect its climbing ability but on our test track the downhill speed made up for any lost time. Creating a ride that was much more fun and fast at high speed. Id have to say it certainly shows a preference towards the downhills. The “all mountain” frames of late seem to have an orrientation toward a trail ride design or a downhill design and this frame is certainly leaning toward the downhill side of things. As the motto goes “Ready for anything”.

the verdict Suitable for: - anyone who loves the feeling of going downhill - wants a hard wearing frame that will last.... - proud Australians not suitable for: - lycra race folk

The Suspension The suspension on the bike has been set up perfectly for the frame using a exclusive custom tuned RP23 shock and Fox 150mm fork with a tapered steerer. The shock platform works allowed the bike to get on the power without any noticeable bob but was also plush and fast when it needed to be over small to medium sized hits whilst running on fast trails. With the suspension set up so balanced, the bike descended and climbed well keeping your body in a balanced position giving plenty of control. The lateral stiffness within the frame and large sealed pivots really allows the rear shock to do its thing and 56


POLE TO POLE 0:52.00 (AVG 0:50.00)

Photos : Our resident test rider Jon Odams puts the 2up through its paces. Left : The make up of the rear swingarm increases lateral stiffness in the bike . Right: Changeable chips allow the rider to change between downhill and cross country orientations.

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the

2up

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www.theroostmag.com.au

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