Australia's 3 Peaks Challenge: event report

The most demanding gran fondo Down Under

The 3 Peaks Challenge offers participants the chance to ride some of Australia’s most demanding terrain along a 235km route with 4,000m of climbing through the picturesque Victorian Alps. With the 2013 edition (run on March 9) now over, it’s not too early to start thinking about getting involved for 2014.

Those that completed this year’s epic edition, that saw a highly-successful revised route used over three mountain passes, should be congratulated. Fires in the area meant organisers made amendments to the usual route but the newly-featured 20km ascent to Mt Buffalo was more than suitable for what proved to be a day akin to a mountain stage at the Tour de France.

The 3 Peaks Challenge tested the endurance of every participant as it meandered its way through the area but there was adequate support along the way. Seven hydration and fuel stops were placed at specific locations meaning riders were never far away from food, water or electrolyte drinks.

A clothing and food valet service was available and with an early start to the day atop Falls Creek, it was great to be able to drop-off warmer clothing that many had worn for the opening 30km descent. The mid-way stop was complete with a lunch pack for all riders and was also the location to pick up items from the valet or drop off anything that would not be needed until the finish.

There's obviously plenty of time to plan for the 2014 edition but it’s worth taking a look at some of the training suggestions sooner rather than later. It’s not often you burn 6,000-plus calories on a single ride, let alone tackle that amount of climbing presented over the day so be prepared. Take a look at some of the training and ride plans and ready yourself for the Challenge!

Tawonga Gap features as one of the three peaks in the challenge

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