Round 1 – Barjarg – Photo epic – 2019/2020

Racing

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

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