Nearly 2,000 cyclists took to Victoria’s Alpine region today to tackle Australia’s toughest one-day bike ride, Bicycle Network’s Peaks Challenge Falls Creek 2016.
Misty skies soon gave way to searing heat with 88% of riders completing the ride and claiming their Finishers’ jersey.
At 6:45am, riders headed downhill from Slalom Plaza at Falls Creek before facing Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and then back up Falls Creek within the 13-hour time limit. The 235 kilometre route included 4,000 vertical metres of climbing.
The first rider to cross the line to claim a Finishers’ jersey was Sydney’s Dan Bonello, who in a massive solo effort, topped all three peaks in just under 7 hours and 43 minutes.
While Mr Bonello lead for the whole ride, he said that finishing first wasn’t his aim and that Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is one of his favourite events.
“It wasn’t about that [leading the ride]. Falls Creek is a great event that is good fun and what cycling should be like for most people. If you haven’t entered this year’s event you should get into next year’s, they’re unbelievable.” said Mr Bonello.
Bicycle Network General Manager of Events, Rebecca Lane, said that Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is more than just a ride, it’s about the individual stories of achievement, challenge and struggle that make it unique.
“Whether you finished in less than eight hours, beat your own time or came in just before our Lanterne Rouge riders, our cyclists inspire us year after year, ride after ride.”
“It’s incredible to be part of an event that means so much to so many cyclists across Australia. If you haven’t done a Peaks Challenge series ride before, I strongly encourage you to put Falls Creek, Gold Coast or Cradle Mountain on your bucket list.”
For timings or images from the event, visit peakschallenge.com.au.
photo credit Atlas media