Two years ago Velothon Sunshine Coast was merely but a whisper. The world tour series of events was coming to our shores and we simply had to get a closer look. Since then the competition has stiffened and the Queen climb of Obi Obi has become legendary, Velothon returns in 2019.
Obi Obi is beyond steep. It’s near 30% pinches will bring a burn to your legs like you’ve never experienced before. Your lungs will burn, the slope too steep to sit down, your calves tighten and strain as they crest 12 o’clock on the pedal stroke. You creep up the brutal ascent one painfully slow pedal stroke at a time. You spot a familiar jersey ahead, it’s the same as yours – it’s your teammate and they are struggling just like you – but you’re gaining on them. They left you behind earlier on the climb but now is your chance to claw them back.
Want the good news or the bad news? Well, they are one in the same. Obi Obi, the battle royale of Velothon Sunshine Coast is returning for 2019 but with a teammate alongside it’l hurt a little less, right?
Cyclist has followed Velothon since it’s inception in 2017, a world tour with an Australian debut on the Sunshine Coast. In 2018 we even had to chance to ride the hotly contested Open category over the full three days. Seeing the strength of this event – the turnout for the final stage was over 800 riders – it’s no wonder it’s back in 2019. This time around, we’ll be sure to drag a few new souls along to join in the fun.
Teamwork makes the dream work
The course remains more or less the same (exact details are yet to be announced) but the game has changed. Next year sees a real push towards the teams category. Grab your mates and register a team of up to four riders but make sure at least three of them are fast enough as their times will count towards the overall classment. Over the three days your team’s stage times will be accumulated into a Team Classification. There will be a female, male and mixed category on offer and better still, Team entry is the same as individuals – so there’s no reason not to rope in some fast guys and girls. For those that like to go it alone, the solo categories are still up for grabs, along with daily KOM, Sprint, and Leader’s jerseys.
It all takes place in and around the Sunshine Coast. Those familiar with the event will remember the Clubhouse, it’s the HQ of the event with everything a rider may need including briefings, caffeine, massages, bike washes, post ride beverages and hearty meals.
The course itself moves along the coast, and into the hinterland where the real challenges take place. Just remember to save some bikkies for Day 3, it’s the biggest and when the fresh-legged 1 Day Velo riders join the fun and head to Obi Obi you’ll be pushed to your limits and beyond.
Stage 1: Hinterland Climbing – Friday 19 July
118km / 2,182m
Short on kilometres, big on vertical metres, but rest assured the views over the Glasshouse Mountains are worth it. Don’t forget the KOM in the last kilometre, with points on the line one can expect a serious challenge into Buderim.
Stage 2: Glasshouse Mountains – Saturday 20 July
88km / 1,085m
It’s described as a ‘sprinter’s stage’ with just 1,000+ metres of climbing. One could be mistaken for assuming it’s a rest day. It’s very much not. The course gently rolls west from the beach traversing inland to Woombye before the final section really ramps things up.
Stage 3: Coastal – Sunday 21 July
152km / 2,073m
It starts off with a beautiful cruise north along the beach all the way Noosa, take the moment to warm up, relax and watch the sunrise over your shoulder because there’s plenty of time to stare at your stem later. There’s only one question to ask yourself today: are you riding or walking Obi Obi?
The 1 Day Velo gives riders a chance to sample the experience, running in conjunction with Stage 3. There’s a 90km option too if we’ve scared you off the big route.
The course will feature full traffic management with food and hydration stations along the course with multiple Sprint and KOM sectors.
Velothon Sunshine Coast runs from 19 – 21 July 2019, entries are open now.
Early Bird entries close at midnight 8 November.
3 Day Velo – from $480
1 Day Velo – from $152, 90km – from $98