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Round 1 – Barjarg – Photo epic – 2019/2020

Words by Kris Koper & Photography by Howler Photographic

Every year hundreds of riders compete in the Victorian Downhill Series, this year was no different. Almost 300 riders battled for the podium at the infamous Barjarg Downhill Track.

Located just over two hours north-east of Melbourne, this old school rocky track is known for claiming collar bones, and even turning a foot around backwards (Jake, if you’re reading this, hello!).

The weekend delivered classic Melbourne weather, patches of rain kept the mossy rocks slick and the dust down for some loose racing.

This year we saw a few of our top under 19’s riders step up for their first year in the Elite Men’s category, including Cooper Downey and Will Arblaster, who both finished in the top 10 of the category.

To keep things competitive Kona Factory rider and World Cup competitor Jackson Frew got between the tape to finish first with a lightning fast run of 2:38.75 followed closely by Aarron Gungl with a run of 2:41.60 and Darcy Coutts with a run of 2:44.76.

Troopy at Barjarg
Name a more Aussie shuttle rig, I’ll wait.
Mountain bikers in shuttle queue at barjarg
Expert and Short Travel riders waiting for their race runs
Alex Hay downhill rider
Elite Men’s rider Alex Hay was on the hunt for the podium this weekend.
Aaron gungl at barjarg
Don’t let all the rocks fool you, there’s a few fast sections too. Aaron Gungl gets on the gas.
moss on rocks at barjarg
After a few years off the race calendar the moss was extra slick. 
spectators at barjarg
Even the spectators had to put some work in to navigate the rocks. At least the light rain kept the dust down!
Cooper Downy pushing for the podium in his first Elite Men's season.
Cooper Downey pushing for the podium in his first Elite Men’s season.
Come for the racing, stay to pat the doggos. Dogs at barjarg
Come for the racing, stay to pat the doggos.
Black lab at barjarg
10/10 good boy.
volunteers at barjarg
There’s no racing without these guys.
loading bikes at barjarg
Huge shout-out to all our volunteers!
Barjarg local Jackson White charging into 4th place in Elite Men.
Barjarg local Jackson White charging into 4th place in Elite Men.
Matt Carter was on the pace this weekend, finishing in 6th place in Elite Men.
Matt Carter was on the pace this weekend, finishing in 6th place in Elite Men.
Liam at barjarg
Whether your 7, or 57 (might need a fact check on that lol) the Victorian Downhill Series has a category for everyone, get out there and shred the trails with your mates! 
David at barjarg
Liam Steinlauf (left) and David Barnes (right) having an epic time at Barjarg.
Kyleigh Stewart wasn't scared of the rocks this weekend, claiming 3rd place in Elite Women.
Kyleigh Stewart wasn’t scared of the rocks this weekend, claiming 3rd place in Elite Women.
Ashleigh Weinert putting down a solid run of 3:34.35 for 2nd place.
Ashleigh Weinert putting down a solid run of 3:34.35 for 2nd place.
Maddison Smith coasting over the rocks into 4th place.
Maddison Smith coasting over the rocks into 4th place.
Jackson Frew charging for the top step at Barjarg for round one of the Victorian Downhill Series.
Jackson Frew charging for the top step at Barjarg for round one of the Victorian Downhill Series.
Elite Women's podium
Elite Women’s podium
Elite Men's podium
Elite Men’s podium

Elite Women

1st – 204 – Elise Empey – 3:19.04
2nd – 207 – Ashleigh Weinert – 3:34.35 | +0:15.31
3rd – 208 – Kyleigh Stewart – 3:39.95 | +0:20.91
4th – 210 – Maddison Smith – 4:06.75 | +0:47.71
5th – 202 – Jessica Sheridan – 4:08.41 | +0:49.37

Elite Men

1st – 5 – Jackson Frew – 2:38.75
2nd – 7 – Aaron Gungl – 2:41.60 | +0:02.85
3rd – 4 – Darcy Coutts – 2:44.76 | +0:06.01
4th – 2 – Jackson White – 2:48.50 | +0:09.75
5th – 18 – Cooper Downey – 2:49.30 | +0:10.55

Full Results


Thanks all the volunteers that make these events possible and all the riders for a huge first round. Shout out to our sponsors: Yarra Valley Cycles, Life of Bikes, Dynamite Cycles, Krush, Reckless Race Concepts, Racefit Athlete Development, MTB Suspension Works and Echuca Printers.

For more photos head to Howler Photographic

Racing

Track walk and coaching with Jackson Frew

World Cup rider Jackson Frew has offered to take 10 junior riders under his wing for the weekend at Barjarg.

This will include a guided track walk and coaching to help riders dial in their lines.

If you’d like to take part, please enter your details in the form below. As places are limited riders will be randomly selected and notified before practice on Saturday 9 November.

Coaching is open to male riders competing in U15, U17 sport, U17 and female riders aged U17 competing in Sport Women or Elite Women.

Downhill mountain bike racer pedalling at Mount Buller tiny Sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors!

Thanks to all our sponsors for the 2019/2020 season! These guys will be here supporting riders and providing prizes throughout the season, don’t forget to check them out and follow them on social media

The first round is just around the corner! This season we’ll be back at Barjarg for the first time in a few years, don’t forget to get your entries in online to save $30 when compared to entering on the day!

Racing

VDHS rider support program

Are you looking to take your riding to the next level, but need some support to make it happen?

This Grant has been set up to provide Junior riders from Victoria who regularly participate in the Victoria Downhill MTB series (VDHS) with financial support to attend and race at World Cup and World Championship races, within Australia and overseas.

Eligibility

  • Funding is only available for Junior category riders ie those eligible for U17 or U19s, residing in the state of Victoria who regularly participate in VDHS events.
  • Applications will be accepted at the end of the VDHS season and will close on 31 October 2019.
  • Applications are not restricted to only those selected for the Australian team.
  • If number of applications exceed amount of funding available, funding will be allocated at the discretion of the VDHS Junior Rider Grant sub-committee.
  • Priority will be given to those who have demonstrated giving back to the MTB DH community either at club level or at VDHS level and those who have been more specific as to why they would benefit from the funding.
  • Applicants can apply in subsequent years, however, riders applying for their first round of funding, will be of higher priority.
  • Applications can be submitted for financial support for domestic as well as overseas racing.
Downhill mountain bike racer turning corner at Mount Buller tiny Photography

Shout-out to Howler Photographic and Daniel Brooks Photography

We’d like to thank Howler Photographic and Daniel Brooks Photgraphy for donating some amazing photos from previous Victorian Downhill Series seasons to help us complete our website.

Downhill mountain bike racer rolling over rock at Barjarg tiny

Check out Howler Photographic at:

Amelia will be taking photos at all rounds of the Victorian Downhill Series this season.

If you find a killer photo of yourself and want a high res copy, they’ll be available to buy on her website.

Check out Daniel Brooks Photography at:

Daniel has been part of the VDHS community for some time, when isn’t taking photos you’ll find him on track at the races.

Want to support the great work Daniel does? Head over to his Roots and Rain page where you can buy high res photos of you on track.

Welcome to our new website, it’s a work in progress and there might be a few things missing.

If there’s anything you’d like to see, let us know in the contact form on the home page!