In 2017 Velothon launched itsÂ world series and the Sunshine Coast featured as Australiaâ€™s inaugural entry. As any of the three-day riders would testify it was an event to remember. So much so that Velothon is returning to Maroochydore on its six-stop world tour from July 20-22, 2018. Road racing, blue skies, tough stages, creamy coffees, cold beers, right by the beach. Velothon returns.
Photography:Â Tim Bardsley-Smith
Berlin, Hamburg, Stockholmâ€¦ Maroochydore.
Cyclist had never before heard Maroochydore uttered in the same sentence as Berlin, Hamburg, or Stockholm, but as we previewed prior to and witnessed during the event, Velothon were on the money. Mid-winter riding in Australia couldnâ€™t have been more perfect.
The three stages were toughly fought in the Open categories, though it didnâ€™t deter riders enjoying the simple pleasure or pain of the course and an even bigger crowd for the 1 Day Velo in conjunction with Stage Three. Next yearâ€™s route is still being fine-tuned but will no doubt repeat the success of 2017.
In the club
Donâ€™t fix it if ainâ€™t broke applies to the clubhouse as much as the route. The clubhouse will return, located in the beachfront parklands at Cotton Tree Pier, to offer riderâ€™s everything they might need. The Clubhouse is where your event packs are collected and all your questions answered, whether itâ€™s ‘how do I get to the start line tomorrow?’ or ‘what size cassette and how many Weetbix do I need for Stage 3?’. More on that later.
The Clubhouse will be open a day before Stage 1 for pre-event briefings and from the ETA of each dayâ€™s stage finish. A â€˜Recovery Hourâ€™ featuring reviving caffeine and massages, followed by the equally important â€˜Happy Hourâ€™ and the opening of the expo, merchandise, and info booths ca all be found here. After the awards and briefing for the following day, the evening will be capped off with Tour de France stage highlights and possibly a revisit to Happy Hour.
More than Maroochydore
The Clubhouse may be centred on the beach but the real battles will take place inland. For those with like-minded mates or possibly even domestiques the 3 Day Velo is for you. Strategise and combine those efforts for a shot at the Team, KOM, Sprint and stage classifications over the three stages. Teams include four riders, with the first three over the line counted towards overall. For the gutsy who chose to brave it alone, set your sights on the Solo classification and donâ€™t discount a shot at the other jerseys or GC aspirations.
The course will feature full traffic management with food and hydration stations along the course with multiple Sprint and KOM sectors. WhileÂ the finer details are still being fine-tuned, hereâ€™s peek of the course outline.Â Follow the stage links for a more detailed preview of the route thus far.
118km / 2,182m
Starting in Buderim, heading for a big loop south-west then climbing back through the hinterlands to return to Buderim.
88km / 1,085m
Beginning on the beach in Caloundra before heading south down the hinterland, then traversing it back up north for a sprinterâ€™s finish in Woombye.
152km / 2,073m
Rolling just north out of Maroochydore donâ€™t let the cruise up the beach fool you, thereâ€™s plenty of climbing to come and save something in the tank for Obi Obi. All your efforts will be rewarded when the course finishes at the Clubhouse.
The 1 Day Velo, run on Sunday, July 22, offers a Gran Fondo style event featuring Stage 3â€™s course. Put your fresh legs to test by lining up for the 152km course or try the 90km route withÂ a little over 1,000m of climbing for taste of whatâ€™s on offer.
Velothon Sunshine Coast runs from 20 â€“ 22 July 2018, entries are open now.
3 Day Velo â€“ from $480
1 Day VeloÂ â€“ from $155, 90km â€“ from $105
Check the Mates Rates discount when you and a friendÂ sign up.