Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Josh Carlson was back in his home country of Australia last week to compete at the Thredbo Cannonball Festival, Australia’s biggest gravity-inspired MTB festival. The 31-year-old had a busy schedule, racing four events and scoring a couple of podium finishes on his new Reign Advanced enduro bike.
“Heading down to the Cannonball Festival is always a blast,” Carlson said. “This is my second time attending this event and it really kicks off my summer of training in Australia perfectly. The awesome atmosphere and chill vibes over the whole week lead into some great racing and lots of fun both on and off the track.”
Currently in his off-season for enduro racing, Carlson saw the Cannonball Festival as the perfect way to test and dial in his new 2018 Reign Advanced race bike. “I chose to race it in all events over the weekend to really test out the all-rounder gravity capabilities and enjoy plenty of laps on my bike,” he said. “I raced my standard Enduro World Series set-up with a 180mm fork, coil shock and Schwalbe Super Gravity tires. I competed in the All-Mountain race, Pump Track, Flow Motion Cup and Cannonball Australian Open Downhill to finish the weekend.”
Wearing the new Giant Line trail/enduro shoe, Carlson had his best performances in the All-Mountain and Flow Motion Cup events. “I came away with a second place in both those races,” he said. “A small mechanical in the Flow race kept me off the top step of the podium, but I had another awesome run and again the Reign was loving the warp speed of the flow trail.”
Carlson even used his new Reign Advanced for the final race of the weekend, the DH, which is more suitable to a downhill bike like the Giant Glory “The DH track at Thredbo is one of the wildest tracks in Australia, and racing it on my Reign was a tough one,” he said. “But it kept things spicy and handled it like a dream. It was so wildly fast I couldn’t help but giggle on the way down. I pushed my Reign to the absolute limits and loved it. To see all the new changes we made to this bike really shine through on a track like this was awesome. The harder I pushed it, the better it felt.”
Next up for Carlson is more off-season training and preparation, before the Giant Factory Off-Road Team gets back together for winter training camp ahead of the 2018 racing season.