Test your limits on one of the world’s hardest grand fondos

The route

Slumped over my handlebars on the side of the road, searing in the afternoon sun, I was about five kilometres from the finish at the top of Falls Creek – but it may as well have been 50. Just turning the pedals was an ordeal. I was exhausted from the heat and so nauseous that I couldn’t eat, which meant I had gone hunger flat over an hour ago.I was a broken man. The 231-kilometre 3 Peaks Challenge had defeated me – this time – and I’m not ashamed to admit. But my story shouldn’t deter you from conquering Australia’s hardest recreational ride next year. If anything, the difficulty of this ride is what makes it so majestic and so rewarding once you eventually creep over the finish line.

Total distance: 231km

Total elevation: 3,886 vertical metres

How we got there

Travel

The closest airport to Falls Creek is Albury, which is an easy two-hour drive to the resort. VirginAustralia.com offers flights starting from $200 round trip. A Subaru Outback makes the perfect car hire with plenty of space for bikes and gear. Europcar.com.au features a three-day package starting from $225.

Where to Stay

Staying at Falls Creek in summer is a favourite for many pro riders looking to train at altitude before the European season kicks off. Luckily, there are plenty of accommodation options for any budget. Here are a few of our favourites.

Howmans Gap YMCA: Nestled four kilometres from the Falls Creek village, Howmans Gap YMCA is a great option for a large group of cyclists who want to stay together. The facilities may be basic, but it has everything a cyclist needs. The kitchen is accessible all day and night, with three meals provided every day.Staying at Howmans Gap YMCA is a perfect way to bond with a group of mates over a weekend of long alpine riding. For more information, call (03) 5758 3228.

Quay West Resort & Spa: If luxury is your thing, Quay West Resort & Spa is the place for you. Fully self-contained apartments located in the heart of Falls Creek are available, with the resort also boasting a luxurious day spa, restaurant and bar. After six hours in the saddle there’s no better way to rest and recover than being pampered in five-star comfort. For more information, visit quaywestfallscreek.com.au 

Details

What: SCODY Peaks Challenge

Where: Victorian Alps: Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek

When: March 2015

Distance: 235km

Entry:  Entries open September 2014

Contact: Event info can be found at www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/peaks-challenge

You can read more of Rowan Dever’s extraordinary efforts in Cyclist on the iPad or subscribe to the magazine here.

Check out his SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge ride on Strava.

 

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