After the resounding success of this year’s inaugural event, the Newcrest Orange Challenge is back again for 2017 and is shaping up to become one of New South Wales’ true cycling classics.
Earlier in the year the town of Orange played host to the first-run Newcrest Orange Challenge. Run by Bicycle Network, the Orange Challenge is positioned as a taster into bigger things – if you so choose. Not quite a 234km, 4,000 vertical gain Peaks Challenge and far more demanding that your average sportive, the 170km spring classic-style lap of the surrounding country is an adventure in its own right.
It’s back again for 2017. Pencil in Saturday 4 March and ensure you give yourself a night’s rest in town before heading home on Sunday. Orange has plenty to keep you occupied both on and off the bike. With an assortment of great cafes, standout pubs and even a couple of ‘hatted’ restaurants, there’s no excuse for leaving town early.
The distance of the Orange Challenge is enough to leave you well and truly spent but the it’s towards the latter part of the ride where you’ll really dig into the suitcase of courage. With 2,200m of climbing, much of it coming in the second half, you’ll be left with just enough energy to roll into the famous town velodrome and into the beer, cider and food festival that awaits.
Did we mention the spring classic vibe? Well, let’s just say you’ll never forget the words ‘Piggery Hill’. The profile leading into Orange from Mandurama might not look like much but just you wait. There are a number of sectors you’ll need to conquer before you can sample one of the many local drops on offer at the finish.
Two course options are on offer for 2017: the full, lung-busting leg-sapping 170km loop (no shortcuts) or a 70km option. There’s even a 4km Kids Ride in the afternoon for those coming with the whole gang.
For full details, including early bird entry, head to the Bicycle Network Newcrest Orange Challenge microsite.
For a taste of what to expect from the day, read our FULL COURSE PREVIEW.