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B.C.'s Gracey Hemstreet becomes first woman to complete — and win — Red Bull Hardline

The 19-year-old Sechelt downhill mountain biker triumphed at the Red Bull Hardline course in Tasmania’s Maydena Bike Park on Feb. 24, making history.
Gracey Hemstreet not only earned the fastest female time at the 2024 Red Bull Hardline in Tasmania, but took home the BF Goodrich Rider of the Week award. Hemstreet is the first woman to ever complete a Hardline course in the series' 10-year history.

In 10 years of the series’ history, no female mountain biker has ever completed a full race run on a Red Bull Hardline course — until Gracey Hemstreet. 

Hemstreet wasn’t originally supposed to be there. Six women had been invited to the Red Bull Hardline course in Tasmania’s Maydena Bike Park, but one dropped out. When Hemstreet heard there was an open spot, she asked her Red Bull manager if there was any chance she could attend, she told Coast Reporter as she waited for the ferry home in Horseshoe Bay. She got the go ahead. Hemstreet was one of two female riders who qualified, alongside Louise Ferguson of the U.K., and the two became the first women in Hardline’s history to compete in the final. 

The Red Bull Hardline is touted as the “world’s toughest downhill MTB race” on Red Bull’s website — an assessment Hemstreet agrees with — and the February event was the first time it was hosted in Australia. The 2.3-kilometre Hardline course in Tasmania includes a 75-foot canyon gap jump, a more than 10-metre vertical drop, dusty berms, and a vertical elevation of 575 metres. 

All six of the women completed half of the track on the first day of practice, Hemstreet said. She didn’t hit one of the drops, and was pretty scared of it. “Watching the other girls, it doesn’t make you feel any better,” she said. “It was just gnarly.”


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Leading up to race day, spectators along the track gasped as Hemstreet overshot a jump and took a fall, losing her back wheel. In a video posted to one of Red Bull’s instagram accounts, Hemstreet said she was sore, but stoked — she’d hit every feature except for the last jump. The next day, she’d landed the course’s final 70-foot gap jump. Bike Mag reported the gap has earned a “laundry list” of injuries, including a broken femur. A strong headwind prevented the athletes from hitting the last jump again before the race.

On Feb. 24, not only was Hemstreet the first woman to ride a full Hardline lap, she became the first female winner. Hemstreet crossed the finish line after a clean run with a time of 3:56.586, the fastest women’s time, earning her the BF Goodrich Rider of the Week award, Canadian Cycling magazine reported. Ferguson followed Hemstreet’s race with two crashes causing more than a minute gap between their finish times, though she still hit every feature. The replay can be watched on Red Bull TV.

“My goal was, honestly, to complete the whole course. I can’t believe I actually did it,” Hemstreet said. “The atmosphere was just perfect. Everyone was so supportive.” The competitors helped each other figure out the track, making the Hardline “probably the funnest event I’ve ever been to,” she added. 

On her Instagram, Hemstreet wrote, "I am sooo proud of what all us girls accomplished this week! It’s honestly insane," adding that the Hardline was "definitely the sickest track I’ve ever ridden..."

Hemstreet’s latest accomplishment is yet another defining moment in Hemstreet’s competitive career. In 2022, she was honoured with a Red Bull helmet and named a B.C. athlete of the year in 2023

The next and final stop of the Red Bull Hardline series will take place in Wales’s Dyfi Valley at the beginning of July. As for Hemstreet, in late March, she has a training camp in Portugal. Then she’ll be back home for two weeks before the World Cup series kicks off in Fort William, Scotland. 

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