Our new rider Graeme Mudd (Muddy) repped the Trek Factory Racing DH colours in style this weekend at Toowoomba in Queensland Australia for the 2017 Oceania Championships. He qualified first in 2.44 but struggled with his energy in the Finals, dropping back to 4th place at 2 seconds slower than his qualifying run.
It was the first time that the Trek Factory Racing DH 2017 red kit has been seen on a race-track and Muddy aquitted himself in fine style against a stacked field including both World Cup DH riders and EWS star including Jackson Frew , Josh Button, Wyn Masters and last year’s Oceania winner Bryn Dickerson.
The Oceania Championships alternates between Australia and New Zealand and offers UCI points so it’s a popular stop for riders starting to build their World rankings before the World Cup season gets underway.
The race serves as a joint Championships and a Round of the Australian National Series, in 2015 Muddy raced here as a privateer scoring 3rd in the National Series and 5th in the Oceania Championships.
The Toowoomba track is “very pedally” and not technically challenging with few line choices, but this year did see “some small improvements with a new line through the rock garden that is pinned. “ Speaking after a hot and dusty practice session on Friday Middy reported “ the track is very Australian! Red dirt, dry dusty turns and a lot of loose rock!” It straightens out down the bottom with a pinned rock garden and fast chute. Its going to produce some very tight times!”
Before the race Muddy said “ Training with the team in California was awesome, I’ve come back fully motivated, shaken off the jet lag and am straight back in to riding my bike. I had some big conversations with Joe about the optimum set-up for the Trek Session 9.9 in the kind of conditions out here so we’re all good.”
Saturdays qualifications proved everything that our new rider could have hoped for, Muddy said “ I had a great day today, in practice I picked apart all the awkward sections to try to get some consistency, my qualifying run was really clean, I’ve messed up runs here in the past by pushing hard in the loose conditions. I’m feeling confident that I can squeeze more speed out of the track tomorrow. Id love to take the win at the first race on my new Trek Session 9.9.
But the fairy tale was not quite to be. Muddy said “ I was a bit off today, struggled with energy and just felt I wasn’t as sharp as yesterday 2 seconds slower than my qualifying time. It was enough for a respectable 4th place but Muddy will move on to next weeks Australian National Championships super-hungry for the win!
1 Josh Button
2 Keenan Wright
3 Wyn Masters
4 Graeme Mudd
5 Remy Morton
Pics Matt Staggs