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January 20, Downhill:

Hill and Buchanan win Gravity Cup opener

Cycling News
January 21, 2013, 16:00 GMT,
January 21, 2013, 16:03 GMT

Crimmins and Molloy top junior categories

Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles) and Caroline Buchanan claimed victory in the elite men's and women's downhill race in the opening round of the Subaru Gravity Cup.

A former three-time downhill world champion, Hill posted the fastest seeding time before riding into gold and the overall Gravity Cup leader's jersey over Chris Kovarik (Intense Cycles) and Connor Fearon (Kona Factory).

"With the first race of the year, I'm feeling a bit of pressure and it's good to win," Hill said. "I'm with a new team this year, so I put a bit of pressure on myself to prove the bike's worthy of winning," he said.

Hill took to the challenging Mount Buller course in a time of 3:22.02, 1.66 seconds ahead of Victorian Kovarik (3:23.68) and a further 2.06 seconds to senior debutant Fearon (3:24.08).

"It was a pretty tough track today. It was really loose and dusty and there were a couple of big holes and not a lot of room for mistakes," Hill said.

Second placed Kovarik said the course made his run challenging. "The course got a little rougher from yesterday's practice, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to go faster than yesterday's seeding time but I had to pedal a lot more in the flatter sections to make up time," Kovarik described.

"Having a guy like Sam here is definite motivation, to compare times to, to challenge yourself."

Third placed Fearon said his first run in the senior ranks was nothing less than what he'd expected.

"All last year I was comparing my times and I was consistently in the top 10. I wanted to get top three today because Sam and Chris are a step above the rest - I am happy with third behind guys like them," said Fearon.


In the women's race it was Buchanan who shocked rivals in her return to the sport, finishing the final run a huge 10 seconds faster than her seeding time, clinching the win and the Gravity Cup leader's jersey.

Former Canadian national downhill champion Claire Buchar (Intense Cycles) placed second and 2004 cross country Olympian Lisa Mathison (Planet Cycles) came in third.

A 2012 London BMX Olympian, Buchanan completed the course in 4:06.42 seconds - 0.72 seconds ahead of Buchar (4:07.14) and 9.18 seconds over Mathison (4:16:32).

"I was hoping to pull off a time about four seconds quicker than my seeding and my goal was to be top three so it's pretty surprising to come away with the win," Buchanan said.

"I seem to be adapting quite quickly to the downhill bike after being away from the sport for so long," Buchanan said of her four years away from downhill mountain biking.

"I feel like I'm at the right level I need to be right now."

Second placed Buchar had only praise for her downhill rival. "Caroline's strong and really skilled and talented for this type of racing."

The race was Buchar's first since returning to competition following breaking her collar bone two months ago. "I haven't had a lot of time on the downhill bike. I didn't have huge expectations on myself - It's more mentally challenging come back from injury just trying to get back to speed and not be scared of crashing.

"I think I can take the jersey off Caroline if I stay healthy and get strong and put more time into training," the Canadian said defiantly.

Third place Lisa Mathison made the switch to downhill in 2012 and admits she still has a lot to learn about the sport. "I made a little mistake and it cost a little bit of time but I wouldn't have been able to catch those girls," Mathison said.

U19 men

In the men's under 19 event it was 17-year-old Thomas Crimmins (Giant Bicycles) who conquered the mountain and earned himself the Gravity Cup leader's jersey.

"I was really happy with my ride today," Crimmins said. "I am definitely happy with taking the Gravity Cup lead after round one with only three rounds this series."

U19 women

In the women's under 19 event Tegan Molloy recorded the Gravity Cup round one win while Danielle Beecroft leads the general classification after Molloy failed to complete her seeding run.

"I had a big stack in seeding and had to get carried out so I was happy to get down the hill in one piece today," Molloy said.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Samuel Hill 0:03:22.02  
2 Chris Kovarik 0:00:01.66  
3 Connor Fearon 0:00:02.06  
4 Ben Cory 0:00:04.29  
5 Graeme Mudd 0:00:05.64  
6 Brendan Moon 0:00:09.21  
7 Rick Boyer 0:00:09.64  
8 David McMillan 0:00:09.68  
9 Joe Vejvoda 0:00:09.77  
10 Jared Rando 0:00:13.58  
11 Trent Piribauer 0:00:14.60  
12 Henry Blake 0:00:14.80  
13 Luke Ball 0:00:15.50  
14 Rhys Atkinson 0:00:17.50  
15 Jack Moir 0:00:17.59  
16 Alex Swann 0:00:18.47  
17 Mark Conliffe 0:00:19.19  
18 Phillip Piazza 0:00:19.85  
19 Liam Panozzo 0:00:20.98  
20 Mitchell Bryant 0:00:21.51  
21 Jeremy Powell 0:00:22.89  
22 Max Kreuzer 0:00:23.24  
23 Blake Nielsen 0:00:23.28  
24 Ben Goff 0:00:24.25  
25 Jon Odams 0:00:25.62  
26 Angus Maddern 0:00:27.86  
27 Barry Nobles 0:00:29.08  
28 Ben Crundwell 0:00:29.47  
29 Cillian Kennedy 0:00:31.31  
30 Angus Jackson 0:00:33.74  
31 Damon Cuotts 0:00:34.16  
32 Sam Brownlie 0:00:34.90  
33 Bruce Moir 0:00:39.14  
34 Rex Dubois 0:00:39.62  
35 Geoff Grennan 0:00:40.79  
36 Remy Adderton 0:00:43.08  
37 Daniel Wilson 0:00:43.95  
38 Benjamin Leslie 0:00:47.23  
39 Kyle Coutts 0:01:24.23  
40 Ashley Maller 0:00:22.77  
41 Dylan Prohm 0:00:23.44  
42 Pedr Lapp 0:01:09.08  
DNS Timothy Eaton    
DNS Tony Scott    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Caroline Buchanan 0:04:06.42  
2 Claire Buchar 0:00:00.72  
3 Lisa Mathison 0:00:09.90  
4 Madeline Taylor 0:00:17.38  
5 Shelly Flood 0:00:36.33  
6 Jacqui Lovett 0:00:46.24  
7 Philippa Rostan 0:00:53.59  
8 Victoria Armstrong 0:01:31.27  
9 Tracey Knight 0:01:34.85  
10 Kelly Bayliss 0:01:37.32  
DNF Trudy Nicholas    
Under 19 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Thomas Crimmins 0:03:27.91  
2 Dean Lucas 0:00:01.75  
3 Luke Ellison 0:00:02.48  
4 Aiden Varley 0:00:04.61  
5 Ben Hill 0:00:06.10  
6 Peter Knott 0:00:08.02  
7 Matthew McCorkell 0:00:09.00  
8 Brent Smith 0:00:10.47  
9 Brent Capel 0:00:10.98  
10 Cameron Ryan 0:00:15.61  
11 David Maggs 0:00:17.29  
12 Jackson Davis 0:00:20.61  
13 Benjamin Dengate 0:00:24.01  
14 Hayden Poptie 0:00:24.90  
15 Geoff Wilson 0:00:26.59  
16 Connor Mackne 0:00:27.64  
17 Zac Moss 0:00:28.36  
18 Connor Read 0:00:28.70  
19 Cody Love 0:00:29.10  
20 Lachlan Davies 0:00:41.68  
21 Jack Lynch 0:00:42.60  
22 Jake Morrison 0:00:49.21  
23 Nicholas Greentree 0:01:04.83  
24 Adam Dickson 0:01:11.51  
25 Connor O'Dwyer 0:01:13.97  
26 Connor Surgeoner 0:01:48.17  
27 Max Keys 0:01:19.96  
DNS Oliver Zwar    
DNS Scott Bowden    
Under 19 women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Tegan Molloy 0:04:09.65  
2 Danielle Beecroft 0:00:04.54  
3 Elle Wale 0:01:23.40  
4 Gemma Greentree 0:06:46.95  
Under 17 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Max Warshawsky 0:03:33.71  
2 Andrew Crimmins 0:00:00.20  
3 Callum Morrison 0:00:04.36  
4 Louis Armitage 0:00:06.89  
5 Joel Willis 0:00:08.29  
6 Remy Morton 0:00:08.92  
7 Dan Booker 0:00:16.26  
8 Jackson Frew 0:00:16.71  
9 Cosi Hofman 0:00:23.95  
10 Alec Reid 0:00:25.18  
11 Luke Donnelly 0:00:25.56  
12 Josh Pollock 0:00:34.23  
13 Jackson White 0:00:36.34  
14 Henry Hunt 0:00:37.93  
15 Alex Dickson 0:00:40.01  
16 Kyle Longmore 0:00:45.80  
17 Riley Harman 0:00:57.86  
18 Travis Bann 0:01:23.84  
DNF Matthew Taylor    
DNF Nick Bussmann    
DNS Joshua Matthes    
DNS Alex Oakes    
DNS Liam Jeffries    
Under 15 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Darcy Coutts 0:04:17.68  
2 Christopher Findlay 0:00:11.07  
3 Oskar White 0:00:23.07  
4 James Findlay 0:00:26.17  
5= Campbell Byrne 0:00:27.25  
5= Riley Horsman    
7 Patrick Butler 0:00:28.31  
8 Sheldon George 0:00:38.47  
9 Matt Kelly 0:00:46.39