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Luke Meier-Smith Repeats Aussie DH National Title!

Monday, March 18, 2024

Teams/Riders

Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Luke Meier-Smith defended his Elite Men’s downhill title at the Australian Mountain Bike National Championships, taking his second consecutive win to earn another year in the green-and-gold national champion’s jersey.

Meier-Smith came into the race as a top favorite, and he was able to live up to the expectations. Racing his Glory Advanced DH bike at the Awaba MTB Park in New South Wales, the 21-year-old came from behind in the second half of his run to post a faster time than race leader Troy Brosnan, who eventually finished third, 1.5 seconds off Meier-Smith’s winning time. Jack Moir ended up second, .78 seconds back, while Luke’s younger brother Remy finished fourth to put the two brothers on the podium.
 
“I was definitely feeling the pressure this week being the defending national champion,” said Luke. “But I was also really confident on this terrain with Awaba being so close to home. I also had my mechanic Brad [Blackwell] from the U.S. keeping my Glory Advanced on point.”
 
Luke made one last-minute change to his bike before the final run, swapping out his usual rear tire, the Maxxis Assegai, for a Maxxis DHR2.
 
“I had a few bobbles from pushing too hard, and the track was extremely difficult to piece together and find a flow,” he said. “But my run was enough, and I’m stoked to take the win and hold onto the jersey for another year. It’s a massive kick start to the DH season with the World Cups fast approaching.”
 
Hot Start for Dario Lillo
 
XC racer Dario Lillo, a new signing for the squad this year, kicked off his race season with a win at the Swiss Cup series opener in Gränichen. Racing in the men’s Under-23 category, Lillo made his first race with the team one to remember. Racing on his new Anthem Advanced Pro 29, Lillo conquered the muddy conditions to get the win.
 
“The first race of the year is always a bit tricky because you don’t know where you’re standing and what’s possible,” said Lillo, who wore the Giant Rev Pro helmet to take the win. “I had a good first lap and was in the mix, racing in the U23 against the Elite men. After the first lap I decided to stick to my own rhythm and ride as consistently as possible. The last two laps I was on my own, trying to secure the fifth position amongst the Elites. I achieved that and won the U23 category.”
 
Lillo now heads to Portugal for a road stage race with the Swiss national team before turning his attention toward the XC World Cup series, which kicks off in April.

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