New South Wales offers access to some amazing cycling destinations with beautiful scenery and equally challenging terrain. Despite this, many of us are guilty of riding the same roads over and over again, not venturing beyond our local loop to explore what else is on offer. To help mix things up a bit, and set a challenge for the new year, we've compiled a list of cycling events that are sure to challenge you and help you discover some great destinations in your own backyard.
With the help of Destination NSW, we've put together the top nine cycling events in NSW for 2017. The list comprises road and mountain events, rides ranging from family-friendly to ones that will challenge more experienced riders, half-day and full day events, all within a short drive or flight away.
L’Etape Australia by Le tour de France - December 2017 (date tbc)
Image supplied by Tim Bardsley-Smith @ tbsphotography.com.au.
Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to ride a Tour de France stage? L'Etape Australia is providing amateur riders with the closest Tour experience possible - a one day race held under professional race conditions including closed roads, a challenging route with two epics climbs, a Sprint and King of the Mountain competition, as well the coveted yellow jersey which will be presented to the overall male and female winner of the flagship race.
Riders can choose between the full 157 km race or the shorter 126 km race, the full course finishing with the 'COL DE KOSCIUSZKO', a 22 km climb with an average gradient of 4.4%, Tour worthy indeed. We summarised the top things you need to know about L'Etape Australia to get you up to speed with the event.
For more info visit www.letapeaustralia.com
Newcrest Orange Challenge - Sunday 5 March 2017
The Newcrest Orange Challenge is the latest in a series of challenging events from Bicycle Network, that will see more than 2,000 bike riders and visitors from around Australia descend on the rolling hills of New South Wales’ central west region.
The Newcrest Orange Challenge is slightly paired back with reduced distance and vertical gain, but challenging none-the-less. There are two ride options; 170 km and 2,200 m of vertical gain or the shorter 70 km ride with over 700 m of vertical gain.
Each ride option has a time cut off which should provide plenty of motivation to keep pressure on the pedals throughout.
For more info visit www.orangechallenge.com.au
Evocities MTB Series - April – November 2017 (dates tbc)
Evocities MTB Series is Australia’s richest mountain bike series, with the combined series prize pool over $80,000. The heavy prize purse and variety of different locations means the series attracts Australia’s best riders, so whether you're seeking the prize money, or the opportunity to ride the same laps as the sport's best, this event is a must do for 2017.
For more info visit http://www.evocitiesmtb.com
Port to Port MTB - Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 May 2017
The Port to Port is an annual four-day MTB stage race that is open to riders of all abilities, with a health motto, 'it's a ride, not a race'. There is an elite race with some big names featuring on the start line, but every year the number new riders also grows.
The event kicks off at the idyllic Nelson Bay Marina, and once underway riders are greeted by four days of sandy tracks, fire trails, testing hill climbs, fast single tracks and steep descents that take in the spectacular Hunter Valley and Newcastle Region. Port to Port MTB is the sister event of Australia’s number one stage MTB event, the Cape to Cape MTB in South-West Western Australia so you can be sure it will be run to perfection.
For more info visit http://porttoportmtb.com/
Battle on the Border - 29 April – 1 May 2017
Now in its ninth year, the Battle on the Border is a combination of competitive racing and social riding that covers elite level National Road Series (NRS) riders through to recreational riders. The multi-stage tour travels along breathtaking valleys, next to untouched beaches and up challenging mountains showcasing what the Tweed Coast has on offer.
2017 will see a number of changes to the Battle, including a date change to allow Queensland riders to take advantage of the Labour Day long weekend and a revamp of the event format.
For more info visit www.battleontheborder.com.au
Bowral Classic - October 2017 (date tbc)
The Bowral Classic has something for everyone with three courses on offer ranging from the 160 km 'Maxi Classic' to the 25 km 'Mini Classic'.
The Maxi Classic travels around the beautiful Southern Highlands where riders face a variety of rolling hills, short steep climbs, beautiful descents, long flat sections and to finish off, a leg-burning trip around Kangaloon. The ride gains approximately 1,900 m of elevation which is sure to test the heart and lungs. The 'Midi Classic' virtually cuts the Maxi in half being 75 km in length and gaining approximately 1,000 m of elevation, while the 25 km 'Mini' provides a great option for families.
For more info visit http://www.bowralclassic.com.au/
Spring Cycle - October 2017 (date tbc)
Take this unique opportunity to see Sydney at a slower pace as Spring Cycle offers you a chance to see parts of Sydney only normally accessible by car. Regardless of whether you choose the 12 km, 50 km, or 105 km event, the event provides the only opportunity to ride the main deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Cahill Expressway and historic Rocks area. Public transport to and from the event is free for all Spring Cycle participants, giving you the chance to go completely green for day.
For more info visit http://springcycle.com.au/
Gears & Beers - October 2017 (date tbc)
Cycling, Craft Beer and Cider festival... need we say more!
The annual Gears and Beers festival is not just for cyclists, but for all those that enjoy cycling, beer, cider, great food and entertainment. For those keen on riding, there are five different course options available, with the focus on community participation; mums, dads, children, current cycle enthusiasts and beginners. There's also a business challenge for your chance to outride your colleagues and competitors.
Off the bike, there is just as much fun to be had. The Craft beers and Cider festival, outstanding locally roasted coffee, accompanied by great local food should make for all those k's on the bike well worth while.
For more info visit http://www.gearsandbeers.org.au/.
MS Sydney to the Gong - November 2017
The MS Sydney to the Gong event has been going strong for 35 years and in the process raised over $2million to support people living with multiple sclerosis. The 98 km or 58 km rides take place between Sydney and Wollongong and are as much about the fundraising as the rides themselves. The field is capped at 10,000 (which regularly sells out) and participants are encouraged to raise as much money as possible to go towards the MS cause.
The event's unique 'Legends Roll' pays tribute to the hundreds of participants that have completed the ride 10 or more times, a ringing endorsement of how enjoyable the event is.
For more info visit http://www.msgongride.org.au/