Over the weekend the Enduro Fest kicked off the 2021 AusCycling MTB National Championships at Maydena Bike Park. The enduro event was an EWS Gold Qualifier event with practice going down on Friday, and racing taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Kona was solidly represented in the pro field with Connor Fearon and Josh Button holding things down in the pro men, while Shelly Flood would fly the Kona flag in the pro women’s field.
Tasmania has some of the world’s best trails and with that, it’s attracted some of Australia’s fastest riders to both live and build there, one of these riders would be a thorn in Connor’s side for the race weekend, besting Connor on five of the six stages. In the end Connor would finish in second place just 17.4 seconds behind first while Josh Button would round out the podium finishing a further 1:09 behind Connor.
“The second Australian EWS qualifier round was held at Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania’s South. If you’ve ridden at Maydena before you know how awesome this place is, if you haven’t, then in short it’s a bike park in an epic rainforest with a steep 800m elevation drop. Endless loamy and Rooty technical tracks that go on for almost 15 minutes if your riding top to bottom. I love racing enduro here because there’s always a lot more braking than pedaling! The race for me was just under 29 minutes over 8 stages, about 15kms of gnarly technical tracks, 1200m of climbing, and a huge 3000m of descending. I was lucky enough to be here for a few days before the race and did 1-3 runs on each of the tracks, which is more than the single run you get at an EWS event but nowhere near enough to memorize any of the tracks here. It was going to be a tall order to compete with local pinner and Maydena track builder Dan Booker that I’m sure, knows these tracks like the back of his hand. I had really good stages, I pushed super hard and was really happy with my riding. We had a few really close stages and I got one stage win but in the end, was just a bit behind the local, so with that said and done I’m happy to take second place. It’s amazing what the Process X is capable of here, the abuse it took over the days racing and it didn’t let me down at all. This week I’ll swap out my Process for my Operator Downhill bike and start getting excited for DH national champs this weekend here at Maydena on a brand new track.” – Connor Fearon
Shelly Flood would have a similar battle, duking it out with a local shredder, and much like Connor, she would win just one of the six stages. It was tight racing though and with just 42 seconds separating first and second after 37 minutes of racing.