Unique Mountain Bike Race On Snow Closes 2018 Snow Season at Falls Creek

October 8th, 2018
  

Mountainwatch | Press Release

Falls Creek’s 2018 snow season finished with a bang over the weekend, closing lifts for the second year running with well over 1m of snow covering the slopes. In what has become a highly-anticipated tradition, the resort made sure the closing weekend was a spectacular one with the hosting of the 4th annual McKayos mountain bike race.

McKayos is a one of a kind MTB race experience in Australia. Taking place on the closing weekend of the Falls Creek snow season, the event truly says goodbye to winter and hello to a summer of mountain biking.

Inspired by the epic mass start Megavalanche race in the French Alps, McKayos is Australia’s only snow-based mountain bike race. Over 250 participants lined up on the Falls Creek slopes at 1770m for a chaotic mass start racing through the ski fields. Predictably there were plenty of spills as riders attempted to remain on two wheels at speed on the snowy surface. A literal sea of riders provided the other major obstacle to achieving this goal.

 

Over 250 participants lined up for a chaotic mass start. Image: Matt Rouso

Once through the ski fields, the race becomes a more traditional mountain biking event with Falls Creek’s summer mountain bike trails and fire tracks providing the 20km course to the beautiful shoreline of Lake Guy at 670m in Bogong Village.

Mount Beauty local and 2017 McKayos champion, Ben McIlroy, proved too good for the competition, registering back to back victories. In the female division Goele Schmitz took out the win in the Elite category while others battled it out for category honours.

 

Back to back champion Ben McIlroy spraying snow. Image: Matt Rousu

Elite Womens winner Goele Schmitz was overjoyed to take home the win.

“The snow section was carnage but because I started on the front row I still got through quite safely with only 3 crashes, it wasn’t too bad. After that it was just pure fun and I managed to ride smooth on the dirt section to take the win!”

Ben McIlroy said his race was run to plan despite stiff competition.

“Three of us (Chris Panozzo and Max Kreuzer) rode pretty close together for the snow section, it was so fast. As we got into the village Chris slid out on the outside of a corner and I took the inside and was like see-ya later!”

 

The snowy course causing trouble for some. Image: Matt Rousu

Event organisers could not have been more pleased with the success of the event. Falls Creek Resort Management Event Coordinator, Xena Pahina, said the turnout was immense.

“After racing with 85 in 2017, we’ve been watching the numbers climb over the last few weeks to over 250. Having this size field is simply amazing and made for an intense start! This event really represents everything our resort stands for with winter and summer combining for an event like nothing else in Australia.”

After another successful snow season, Falls Creek will soon turn its attention to summer when the activity kicks off again with mountain bike season officially opening on November 17. Opening with an even larger social ride weekend, the season opener event “Ignition” is expected to see over 500 riders take to the resort in celebration of the opening of Falls Creek’s world-class mountain bike trails.