One of the constants in mountain bike racing is that the weather is constantly variable and can be very extreme at times. Awaba was no exception. Temperatures on Friday and over the weekend were a formidable 45 degrees celsius, plus. Some reckon the mercury hit 48 at some point on Friday or Saturday.
I was lucky enough to just get there on Sunday, when the weather was much cooler. Slightly overcast skies and a little bit of moisture in the track from some overnight rain showers.
A big turnout of Australia’s best downhill riders made it out to Awaba, including the Crimmins brothers, Brosnan, Cory, Remy Morton, Joel Willis, Jackson Frew, Tegan Molloy and up and coming talent like Baxter Maiwald and Pat Butler. Even Chris Kovarik made an appearance along with some of his teammates! Graeme Mudd would sit on the sidelines for this race, maybe he had something to hide? Pat Butler got stuck into the race with a rumour circulating that he has a big deal lined up for a world cup campaign, so would this be the last time we’d see him on the Lusty team riding his Santa Cruz V10?
Whatever training Newell’s been doing lately (maybe all the hanging out with Ed Masters is rubbing off?) has been paying dividends, his pace was blistering and put him into the hot seat on his run, the second last of the day for the elite men.
In the end though, it was Brosnan who crossed the line putting Newell into second and taking the overall win.
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