The year that was 2016

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Our favourite moments of 2016

Where did the year go!? 2016 was a big year for Mountain Biking in the region – with the return of the UCI Mountain Bike World-Cup, RRR Mountain Bike Challenge, Crocodile Trophy & Gravitate Tropical MTB Festival offering a diverse range of events for those either competing, or spectating! We take a look back at some of our favourite moments from the year in Mountain Bike sporting & events, and look forward to another jam packed year in 2017!

Lincoln Carolan finishes top-10 in the Croc Trophy

Cairns local Lincoln Carolan has put in the hard yards over the last few years, quickly moving through the ranks and proving himself as a strong, XC competitor. The Crocodile Trophy is world-famous for being the toughest XC stage race in the world. Racers come from all corners of the world to take part in the week long stage race through some of the harshest and challenging Mountain Biking terrain in the country. Lincoln – in only his second running at the race for 2016, ended up with a 9th place overall position, a well deserved result in such a highly contested field!

Lincoln Carolan finishes top-10 in the Croc Trophy

Cairns local Lincoln Carolan has put in the hard yards over the last few years, quickly moving through the ranks and proving himself as a strong, XC competitor. The Crocodile Trophy is world-famous for being the toughest XC stage race in the world. Racers come from all corners of the world to take part in the week long stage race through some of the harshest and challenging Mountain Biking terrain in the country. Lincoln – in only his second running at the race for 2016, ended up with a 9th place overall position, a well deserved result in such a highly contested field!

Gravity riders dream day

Going on with the Gravitate topic – it’s hero event; the “Dawn to Dusk DH Tour” once again sold out in absolutely no time, with riders from all over North Queensland and beyond loaded into the busses and on their way for 13hrs of Gravity insanity! The day allows riders to sample the untapped and normally off limits trails around the region, some hidden in the dense, steep rainforest hills. With rain making for a very wet day, the trails were extra challenging (and bordering impossible in some sections) for the riders, who lapped up the added adrenaline and soldiered on with riders and bikes covered head to toe in mud by the final descent.

Fun in the sun during the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge

Now in its 26th year, the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge has come along way from its humble beginnings in the 90’s. What began as a local event run by the Cairns Mountain Bike Club with as little as 20 racers – has now grown to be one of Australia’s biggest and most popular single point-to-point MTB events, with 2016 seeing some 600 riders tackling the 35 + 70km courses!

Exploring the region with MountainBiking Media Royalty

With such a stacked international racing schedule in the sport of Mountain Biking, riders, teams, support & media personnel are often late to arrive and quick to leave, off in preparation for the next stop. With Cairns still relatively new to those currently in the international racing circuit, we felt the need to invite some of the biggest influencers in the industry – the Media – to hang around a few extra days after the 2016 World-Cup to explore & experience the region; trails, rafting, coral, rain, crocodiles and all!

 RideCairns trail Inspiration

Perhaps credited to you, the riders; it seems after following all your adventures – the most popular trail of the year has been the journey to Wyndham Falls, off the ‘Old Cairns Track’. Starting from the Atherton Tablelands just in from the top of the Gillies Range – the old logging road ventures through thick, tropical Rainforest up, down & through the hills before ending abruptly at a pristine and hidden waterfall – with views to die for. It has been quite interesting to see the trail grow in popularity among riders throughout the region sharing their experiences, and inspiring others to do the same!

Pic by @jadeeeeee from Instagram

Anthony Lincy almost missing opportunity of a lifetime!

Hailing from France, Anthony Lincy has made Tropical Cairns his hometown in the last few years. No stranger to bikes, Anthony quickly fell on his feet while both working in the industry he loves, and getting up to speed against the locals in the local racing scene. After tackling the challenging 2015 Crocodile Trophy, Anthony earned the required points making him eligible to qualify for the 2016 Cairns UCI World-Cup. A fierce XC competitor, Anthony put in the hard yards and was well prepared to battle in the packed starting line – however almost came to missing his chance due to some sticky diplomatic affairs (racing / licensing issues). Literally down to the last moment, Anthony was cleared and took off from the start line. With a major hold up in lap 1 of the race, there was no hope for Anthony to contend for the title – but that didn’t stop the crowds from cheering him on as the local hero!

Tracey Hannah; Queen of the Jungle

One last flash back – again from the 2016 Cairns Mountain Bike World-Cup. With such a hyped event, not only as a series – but in particular for the locals of Cairns, it is rather special to see your idols and the fastest athletes in the wold tear around, or down, your favourite trail in the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park. With everything happening during the event, the excitement levels couldn’t have eclipsed that of the friends, fans and family of Cairns local Tracy Hannah as she rode past at lightning speed. Living just a stones-throw from the event venue, Tracey is no stranger to the trails – however on any normal trail ride during the off season, she doesn’t have thousands of excited spectators screaming and chanting her name with signs held up by her closest friends. It also adds to the proud-moment feels that Tracey piloted her way down the demanding course into a well deserved 2nd place, on home soil!

With so much happening around the Region in the Cairns Mountain Biking and Cycling community – it’s safe to say we would struggle to leave room for everything that’s happening during 2016….

Stay tuned for another action packed year as we move into 2017, and keep your #RideCairns adventures flowing on Social Media so we can follow along for the ride!