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RESULTS and REPLAY: Red Bull Hardline Tasmania – Mountain Bike News Story

PImagine this: It’s the beginning of spring, you start the Red Bull YouTube page and Rob Warner and Eliot Jackson announce the first big downhill race of the season. The track is prepared and 27 of the fastest drivers in the world are ready to race. No, this is not a look back at the Downhill World Cup of years past, but the reality of Hardline Tasmania 2024. After a week of preparation and hype, race day was upon us with the first running of this iconic XL-sized race outside the original Welsh venue.

The track was criticized by social media pundits for being “too tame” amongst the massive features, but as it settled in and the speed increased, it bared its teeth and revealed itself for what it truly is: a progressive downhill track Built to test the skills and courage of the world’s best cyclists.

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Tahnee Seagrave is at the forefront of recruiting female riders to Hardline. A handful of women got their first taste of the event last year when they took part in training sessions in Wales. Four women have been announced on the permanent rider list for both hardline events in 2024, with additional event-specific wildcard spots also available. It was very rewarding to see the women step up their game and tick off all the features of the course this week, which was made difficult by windy conditions and a wet qualifying day. On the morning of race day, Gracey Hemstreet and Louise-Anna Ferguson finally managed to make the 70-foot jump across the finish line, securing a spot on the starting line for the main event. They had us on the edge of our seats as Gracey made a clean top-to-bottom run to claim the honor of becoming the first women ever to compete in a hardline event. Louise-Anna had a more challenging run as she fell twice, hitting the front end of a berm both times, but still picked herself up and completed her run to the finish line. Great respect goes to these two and to all the women who came here this week for this monumental event. It shows the progress of women’s riding – and we are here for it! To cap off a great event, Gracey was named Driver of the Week by her fellow competitors. Yeow!


As we got deeper into the driver list, the times dropped. Many freeriders have discovered how difficult it can be to do a full run on a technically and physically demanding route – just ask Thomas Genon about the very first Rock Garden. Connor Fearon raised the bar as World Cup downhillers laid down the law, showing the difference in speed between those who make a living quickly and those who make a living in the air or on the airwaves. Times were tight until Ronan Dunne wiped out the field, showing that his recent World Cup form is no fluke and we can rely on him to challenge for race wins in the years to come. Jackson Goldstone seemed to be on the right track to cause trouble for Ronan, but he fell hard between some trees and you could see him checking his knee afterwards – we hope it’s nothing too serious and that we Jackson will see you again soon between the bands. First place finisher and reigning King of Hardline with three titles to his name, Bernard Kerr, tried his best to win in Tasmania too, but he couldn’t keep up with the consistent pace of Ronan today and had to settle for second place. He may have pushed a little too hard as he looked a bit ragged on parts of the track where Ronan was finding his flow.

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Finally, we have to go into the driving level and route construction shown here. It is clear that there is a place in the sport for racing events of this magnitude as riders from different backgrounds came together to master a demanding course with flying colors. Red Bull’s production was also of a very high standard and was bolstered by commentators Rob Warner and Eilot Jackson – with great insights from guest commentator Tahnee Seagrave (who would have preferred racing but was philosophical about not wanting to “roll”). Rolling the dice” and tackling the final jump this morning in difficult conditions). Could this become something like a Diamond level downhill event series? Hell, yes it could. The course offered great racing and plenty of adrenaline for the spectators, whether on site or in front of our screens. Thank you Red Bull for continuing to push the limits – we are already looking forward to June and the next Hardline race in Wales!

Red Bull Hardline Tasmania 2024 results


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