2 June, 2024

Crankworx magic

LEADING mountain bike competitor Tracey Hannah has scored gold at the 2024 Crankworx in the RockShox Downhill Cairns last weekend.

Local rider Tracey Hannah in action during Crankworx at Smithfield. Picture: Clint Trahan
Local rider Tracey Hannah in action during Crankworx at Smithfield. Picture: Clint Trahan

Despite the wet conditions at Smithfield, Tracey Hannah and Connor Fearon, both returning to Crankworx Cairns after a brief hiatus, navigated the technical rock garden and slippery roots to secure the top spots on the podium. 

The tropical weather varied from heavy rain to sunny skies and gusty winds, making the already challenging course even tougher. 

Local favourite Tracey Hannah, who seeded first alongside her brother Mick Hannah, started last and raced into the finish corral with an impressive 18-second lead over fellow Australian rider Ellie Smith. 

Martha Gill placed third, only a few seconds ahead of the rising star Elleni Turkovic, who narrowly missed the podium.

“It got a bit hard by the last run, which was the race run obviously, but it was fun. I’m just happy that I got to ride,” said Hannah.

Having her six-month-old son Cooper in the crowd with her family, Hannah reflected on getting back into racing after a one-year absence.

“It’s super weird because you just forget how intense the nerves are. And then, you have to go back into your race routine and how you put it out of your mind. You really have to think through it. It was cool and interesting to go through that again.”  

In the men’s category, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene had to leave the hot seat to make way for three Aussie riders. 

Connor Fearon clinched gold with a smooth run despite the challenging conditions, bouncing back after a difficult seeding run. 

Absent from Crankworx Cairns for a year, Fearon improved on his silver medal from 2022. 

“He was the main competition I think for this race”, referring to Mick Hannah who struggled to make it through the rock garden leading to some technical issues with his bike. 

“So, I was happy with my run, came into the hot seat, and then unfortunately Mick had some problems in the rock garden, so I couldn’t see if my run was enough to beat him but won the race regardless.”

Joel Sutherland, another hometown hero, secured second place with a run that had everyone at the edge of their seats, before he was carried across the finish line by the cheering crowds. 

Jackson Frew rounded out the podium in third place. 


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