Fearon celebrates birthday win in Australian downhill opener

Connor Fearon and Danielle Beecroft put in strong races on the technical Adelaide course to ride away with the first elite downhill wins of the season.

Men

Fearon seeded fastest on Saturday and followed up with his first elite win, on his birthday no less, since moving up to the elite category in 2013, all while racing against a world-class field.

Racing took place on the downhill course at Eagle Mountain Bike Park in the hills of Adelaide, a venue that hosted the 2010-2012 Australian Championships.

Early running saw both local Will Rischbeith and Joshua Button spend time in the hot seat as the fastest rider, with Button's time of 2:04.03 holding up for third place overall.

The elite men's race, however, was always likely to feature both of the Adelaide prodigies Troy Brosnan and Connor Fearon. In the words of Brosnan, the pair have featured on podiums together "almost too many" times.

Brosnan, the 2010-2011 junior world champion, had an amazing year, finishing in the top 10 of the UCI World Cup Season. He seeded second on Saturday, and was the second-last rider down his home track in Adelaide in the final.

With a clean run, managing to go 1.07 seconds faster than his seeding run on the Saturday, he found himself the fastest rider in a time of 2:02.33 with only Fearon left on track. This time would ultimately secure second place, and Brosnan said "I've had a pretty good off-season training, trying to improve and second place here at home behind Connor is pretty good."

Brosnan spoke with confidence about his and Fearon's place in the Australian downhill landscape in 2013. "Connor's riding really fast at the moment and it's hard - it's likely to be between us two for the season".

Fearon knew since yesterday that he would be the last rider down the hill for the event, and as he came out of the rock garden, the screams from the crowd let him know that he was in with a chance.

Keeping the final switchbacks low and smooth, he finished in a time of 2:00.89, 1.44 seconds clear of Brosnan and the field.

"It feels awesome to win, I raced all of last year in elite and didn't get a win, so I was super hungry, on my birthday, and it's my home town as well," said Fearon.

He spoke about the tough conditions. "It was a bit faster today but a few corners were sandy so I had to be cautious."

Fearon plans to contest the whole World Cup season this year. "I've been training really hard, both for the World Cups and the National season to be a bit fitter."

Women

In the elite women's race, Danielle Beecroft put in a dominant performance to win her first national race at the elite level.

"I couldn't be more excited - it's a great way to start the year and hopefully I can keep it going," said Beecroft.

Beecroft raced conservatively, racing without jumping due to a small injury on Saturday. "I took it a bit easy today, kept it rubber side down and got down the track."

Juniors

In under 19 men's racing, Andrew Crimmins won in a time of 2:04.15, still managing the win after a drivetrain malfunction in the final section of the track which left him unable to pedal. Max Warshawsky placed second, and Ben Hill finished third.

In the Under 19 women's category, rising junior Tegan Molloy won in a time (2:25.79) that would see her claim the fastest female time of the day. Second place went to Ellie Wale.

Round 2 of the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike season will take place at Mt Buller, Victoria on February 7-9.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Connor Fearon (Kona Factory Team)0:02:00.89
2Troy Brosnan0:00:01.44
3Joshua Button (Suspension Centre)0:00:03.14
4Dean Lucas (Rowny Sports)0:00:03.19
5David McMillan (Swell-Specialized Team)0:00:03.47
6Mathew Dodd (Nsdynamics/Gamutusa)0:00:04.53
7Thomas Crimmins (Giant Bicycles Australia)0:00:04.55
8Luke Ellison0:00:05.38
9Graeme Mudd (Lusty Industries)0:00:05.81
10Peter Knott (Crank'd Cycles)0:00:06.28
11William Rischbieth (Giant Bicycles Australia)0:00:06.31
12Timothy Eaton (Giant Bikes)0:00:06.84
13Rhys Atkinson0:00:06.96
14Luke Ball0:00:07.28
15Angus Maddern0:00:07.77
16Henry Blake (CWR Boxxer Zerode Team)0:00:07.84
17Brendan Moon0:00:08.48
18Oliver Zwar (Pinner Designs)0:00:09.21
19Brent Smith (TWE Wheels/Endeavour Cycles)0:00:09.38
20Matt Hardwick0:00:10.48
21Conor Clancy (Cycleworx Avanti-Plus)0:00:10.70
22Luke Reynolds0:00:12.99
23Brad McDonnell (Cycleworx)0:00:15.02
24Ngari Jenkins0:00:15.05
25Mikael Amberntsson0:00:15.13
26Richard Kreuzer0:00:18.30
27Kieran Jenkins (Cycle Worx)0:00:21.79
28Joel Barrington (Pump N Pedals)0:00:27.75
29Chris Barlin (Trek Bikes)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Ben CrundwellRow 29 - Cell 2
DNSChris StewartRow 30 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Danielle Beecroft (Pivot)0:02:30.68
2Sarah Booth (Kona Factory Team)0:00:02.43
3Michelle Crisp (Norco Bicycles Australia)0:00:04.04
4Shelly Flood (Pinner Designs)0:00:07.44
5Victoria Armstrong0:00:15.45
DNSPhilippa RostanRow 5 - Cell 2
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U19 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrew Crimmins (Kona Factory)0:02:04.15
2Max Warshawsky (Planet Cycles)0:00:01.96
3Ben Hill (Clint White Racing)0:00:03.36
4Matthew Taylor (Kona Factory Team - Aust)0:00:06.00
5Aiden Varley (Yvc/Giant Race Team)0:00:06.22
6Benjamin Dengate (Bilt Bikes)0:00:07.10
7Joel Willis (Fox Suspension)0:00:07.47
8Jackson Davis (FJC)0:00:07.69
9Dan Booker0:00:08.13
10Darcy Grooby0:00:08.92
11Connor Mackne (Alltrack Bicycles)0:00:09.46
12Cody Love (Mum And Dad)0:00:09.57
13Cody Barker0:00:12.05
14Drew Gartery (Aldgate Bike Shop)0:00:12.38
15Matthew McCorkell (SCV Imports (Marzocchi)0:00:13.38
16Benjamin Kelaart0:00:15.51
17Ryan O'Linn0:00:15.55
18Dru Berryman (Bike Related Industries)0:00:16.42
19David Maggs (Deubel Bicycles)0:00:16.59
20Joshua Dierickx0:00:16.71
21Kelcie Howie0:00:18.78
22Tim Black (Bike Techniques Australia)0:00:19.11
23Corey Booth0:00:20.69
24Josh Lea0:00:21.32
25Ryan Plunkett0:00:22.32
26Jack Stewart0:00:26.59
27Wade D'arcy (Bicycles Mount Barker)0:00:28.20
28Jarrod Wynn (Avanti Plus Wollongong)0:00:32.11
29Brad Greenham0:00:37.20
30Jack ParsonsRow 29 - Cell 2
31Joshua HughesRow 30 - Cell 2
DNSCameron HeadingRow 31 - Cell 2
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U19 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tegan Molloy (Kona)0:02:25.79
2Ellie Wale (Torq Australia)0:00:20.24
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U17 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jackson Frew (Lennock Motors)0:02:08.42
2Remy Morton0:00:03.21
3Harry Parsons (Red Hub)0:00:10.24
4Henry Hunt0:00:14.29
5Lachlan Gibson0:00:15.57
6Jarrod Murphy0:00:15.69
7Jacob Mossner0:00:15.79
8Matt Kelly (Aldgate Bike Shop)0:00:16.14
9Logan Quinn0:00:17.11
10Jackson Howie0:00:17.27
11Harri Jones0:00:18.14
12Leyton Barker0:00:18.17
13Harry Donald (Planet Cycles)0:00:18.28
14Harry Ewings0:00:18.79
15Christopher Findlay0:00:19.22
16Matt Ellison0:00:19.57
17Ben Silkstone0:00:21.58
18Riley Horsman (Sacred Ride)0:00:21.92
19Sebastian Barbour0:00:22.14
20Alex Dickson (Sacred Ride)0:00:22.78
21Louis Stevens0:00:24.12
22Kyle Longmore0:00:24.15
23Samuel McNaughton0:00:26.79
24Callum Dawes0:00:26.80
25Harry Lukasz0:00:33.79
DNFOwen GilmoreRow 25 - Cell 2
DNFAidan Wynn (Avanti Plus Wollongong)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNSThomas MattoRow 27 - Cell 2
DNSJacob HooymansRow 28 - Cell 2
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U15 Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Laura Kelly (Aldgate Bike Shop)0:03:15.80
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U15 Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Patrick Butler (Kali Helmets)0:02:25.34
2James Findlay0:00:04.88
3Matthew Dinham0:00:05.46
4Mitchell Wynn (Avanti Plus Wollongong)0:00:12.65
5Bryce Heathcote0:00:13.47
6James Anderson0:00:45.38
7Christopher Palser (Jet Cycles Sydney)Row 6 - Cell 2
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Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Martin0:02:13.34
2David Ferroni (SRAM)0:00:02.77
3Sean Martin0:00:05.98
4David Sharp0:00:06.07
5Jake Royle0:00:17.19
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Master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Boris Fontanella0:02:20.40
2Daniel Taliana0:00:05.17
3Pete Smith0:00:18.58
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Super master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Sumner (BMCR)0:02:53.98
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Open men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Parsons0:02:27.07
2Nathan Booth0:00:01.83
3Christopher Maclurcan0:00:06.42
4Christopher Jeisman0:00:08.89
5Luke Brown0:00:14.51
6Harley Cunningham0:00:14.92
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Senior hardtail
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Scott Roberts (Craftworks Cycles)0:02:26.61
2Rhys Heard0:00:03.92

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