The fifth annual Scody 3 Peaks Challenge hosted by Bicycle Network is now done and dusted, with an estimated 92 per cent of the 1,800 starters finishing the 235-kilometre route over Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek inside the 13-hour cut-off time.
The 3 Peaks Challenge was one of only two events listed outside of Europe voted as one of the Top 10 best sportives and Gran Fondo’s in the world last year. This year’s event sold out an entire month before the start last Sunday in Falls Creek – a 3 Peaks first.
A staggering 50 per cent of the riders hailed from outside Victoria, with some travelling internationally from Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Many records were broken at this year’s event. The average time to climb both Tawonga Gap and Mt Hotham were 31 seconds and 2 minutes faster than previous bests set in 2012.
“The calibre of the rider has definitely improved,” stated Darren Allen, General Manager of Rides for Bicycle Network, in an official media release on Monday. “Average speed is on the increase and at the same time we had a fantastic completion rate.
“They’ve obviously done their preparation and followed our training plans,” Allen suggested.
Two-time Australian national sprint champion Steve Cunningham, of Adelaide, was the first rider across the line setting a new course record of 7 hours and 35 minutes.
Canadian-born Tani Ruckle, 52, of Sydney, was the first female to finish in a record women’s field (11 per cent overall) up 5 per cent from 2013. The 1990 Commonwealth Games silver medallist long-distance runner and City2Surf winner (1989) smashed her way to an impressive sub-10 hour time of 9 hours 16 minutes.