Australia’s pioneer mountain bike marathon, the Flight Centre Cycle Epic, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a new timeslot and an expanded program.
The 10th staging of the Epic at Spicers Hidden Vale in the Lockyer Valley, just west of Brisbane, will move from its traditional August date and will be held on the weekend of September 15-16.
Race organisers expect more than 1500 riders to compete in the various events and many more to attend.
Event founder and major sponsor, Flight Centre boss Graham “Skroo” Turner, said this year will also feature a Hall of Fame for riders who have contested every Epic since its inception in 2003.
“Completing the Epic, actually even attempting, is a stellar achievement for any recreational mountain bike rider,” said Mr Turner, a regular competitor in the event.
“One of the added attractions for the 10th anniversary will be to acknowledge the many male and female riders who have supported the Epic from day one and helped built into a great success by creating the Hall of Fame.”
The highlight of the Epic weekend is the 80km marathon on Sunday, September 16. The event has been won over the years by some of the biggest names in Australian mountain biking.
Merida Flight Centre teammates Adrian Jackson and Jason English shared a dead-heat first place in last year’s men’s Epic while national champion Jenni King took out a hotly contested women’s event.
Spicers Group will be the main organisers of the 2012 Epic having taken over from Tailwind Promotions, while Healthwise Active Travel will be co-organisers.
MTB enthusiast and track builder Hayden Brooks will also be making some exciting changes to the Epic course.
The Epic has traditionally followed a route along the Bicentennial National Trail in the Lockyer Valley, traversing four valleys, following historic Ma Ma Creek and crossing Laidley and Edwards Gaps to finish at Spicers Hidden Vale.
But changes to the course were required last year after it was substantially damaged in the January 2011 floods and the marathon event was reduced to 75km. This year it has been increased to 80km with new thrills and challenges.
“We’ve taken a lot of rider feedback into consideration so that the event gets better every year,” Mr Brooks said.
The Epic weekend also includes the 50km Merida Pursuit, the 20km Spicers Chaser, and Mini and Minor Epics for children.
A new 10km Family Fun Ride has also been added to this year’s attractions as a growing number of families have joined the Epic ranks.
“There’s now something for the whole family, where children can challenge their parents and even their grandparents,” Mr Brooks said.
“We’ve also seen increased interest from corporate groups challenging each other – it should be a fun weekend for everyone.”
For more information about the Epic or to register for the event from this Friday go to http://www.cycleepic.com.au/
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