Troy Brosnan (SA) claimed his fourth consecutive elite men’s downhill title with a nail-biting win on the final day of the 2016 Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championships at Bright, Victoria.
21 Mar 2016 - 11:23 AM  UPDATED 21 Mar 2016 - 11:33 AM

It was an anxious wait for the third ranked rider in the world as Connor Fearon (SA) had the opportunity to knock his mate off top spot, but couldn’t better Brosnan’s 3min 45:46sec to again take silver behind his fellow South Australian, with Josh Button (NSW) in third.

“Its been such tough battle between Connor and I, we’re really good friends and I thought he might’ve had this one this year,” Brosnan said.

“It was hard to get down in one piece to be honest.”

Plenty of talk surrounded the big time battle between Brosnan and five time World Champion Sam Hill (WA), but it was Fearon who threw himself into the mix with the fastest seeding run to ensure he’d be last down the hill for the final.

SBS will broadcast one hour of the 2016 Australian Mountain Bike National Championships highlights on Sunday 27 March from 4pm AEDT.

With sister Tracey having claimed the elite women only moments before, Mick Hannah, was keen to add to his national title haul of four, the last won back in 2013 but the Cairns resident ended up finishing fifth.

As hundreds lined the course to get a chance to see Hill in action, the Western Australia rider couldn’t produce, with a time of 4min 01:79sec seeing him finish 8th.

Button, who last finished on the podium back in 2009, produced a sensational run of 3min 51:59sec to tighten the screws on the last two on the course in Brosnan and Fearon.

And despite only getting back on his downhill bike for the first time since he crashed and dislocated his shoulder in Thredbo earlier in the week, the 22-year-old was dialled in.

“I was coming to ride for fun but felt good this weekend and thought I’d give it a crack and put it all in the back of my head of what’s happened before this race and it all worked out.”

For Fearon, it’s the third straight year he’s been out-classed by Brosnan to the Australian jersey.

“It always seems Troy is one step ahead, but still trying to catch him and hope to beat him one day.”

In the women's elite event, Tracey Hannah won her ninth Australian downhill championship with a flawless run.

The 27-year-old proved just why she has reigned in her division since taking her first title back in 2004, with Lisa Mathison (QLD) and Danielle Beecroft (NSW) rounding out the podium.

“It’s good take that form overseas with me and to fly the Aussie flag over there makes me really proud to race for this country," Hannah said.

It would be Hannah’s only Australian competition ahead of the Cairns World Cup next month, and the Queenslander didn’t let the huge contingent of fans down that cheered her down the course.

“Everybody knows my name and my nickname.”

“It’s really good the support and look forward to that when we have the world cup it’s gonna be a million times that in my home town can’t wait.”

Despite a hiccup at the start of the seeding run on Saturday which saw her flip over the handlebars, the world number three would still record the fastest time for the finals.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to have a good run.”

With Tegan Molloy out with a broken collarbone, it was left to the returning Beecroft to throw the down the gauntlet, and the New South Wales rider held the hot-seat with a 5min 15:87sec run.

That was until 2004 Athens Cross Country Olympian Lisa Mathieson, tossed age aside and took the top spot by 10seconds, showing she’s revelling in being back on the big stage.

“It's wicked to be back to have a crack at this level of racing, and a bonus to come back and face riders like Tracey at the nationals and be amongst this atmosphere," she said.

However Hannah was tearing down Mystic Mountain and left no doubt as to who would be taking home the gold for record ninth time, clocking 4min 39:12sec - more than 16 seconds ahead of her fellow Queenslander.