If there is a rite of passage for an endurance mountain biker in Australia, it must be doing a stage race in Alice Springs. And mountain bikers from across Australia will race along kilometres of hand built singletrack in Alice Springs this August as The Redback, a four-day, six-stage race invites riders to escape the colder temperatures in the southern cities.
First held in 2008 – the race formerly known as the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017, taking place from 17th-20th of August in and around Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory.
“We are stoked to conduct the 10th edition of this iconic race in 2017,” said Race Director John Jacoby from Rapid Ascent. “The mountain biking around Alice Springs has really matured over those years and it is now deservedly known as one of Australia’s most significant riding destinations.”
“When we conducted the first race in 2008 there were plenty of trails that the locals had built but we had to work hard to convince interstate riders to come and race. But now it is widely known that the Red Centre trails are some of the best in Australia.”
Event Manager Sam Maffett added to those comments saying that the trails surrounding Alice Springs are like nothing else in Australia.
“Anyone who rides the Red Centre for the first time is blown away by the quality and quantity of trails,” Maffett said. “There is an endless network of hand built single track that weaves its way through this incredible outback landscape.”
The stages for 2017 have been tweaked to include many of the new trails that have been built recently, providing riders with the best Alice Springs has to offer, from 40-50 kilometre cross country racing, an ANZAC Hill Climb, individual time trial and the 22km Night Race.
“Although the racing is fast at the front, no stages are too long or hard so there’s plenty of time to socialise and hang out around the pool after each day with a great sense of camaraderie established between riders as they knock off each stage one race at a time,” Maffett said.
The Redback has become a dream mountain-bike holiday for many who travel to the Red Centre for a mid-winter escape to blue sky and dusty trails.
All races start and finish within rolling distance of Alice Springs so riders do not need a support crew or a hire car and unlike many other stage races they can stay in the one hotel for the entire event. There is also the flexibility for riders to either do all stage races or pick and choose just the stages that suit them, ideal for working locals.
The nightly presentations and social functions create a great atmosphere, especially as most riders choose to stay at either Chifley Alice Springs Resort – the official event centre – or nearby Lasseter’s, both offering discounted rates for The Redback competitors.
The 2017 event coincides with the famous Rotary Club’s Henley On Todd Regatta on Saturday 19th August, a spectacle family event involving ‘boat races’ on the Todd River in the centre of Alice Springs.
Entry discounts are available for groups so riders can share the holiday with their mates, and discounts are also available for Alice Springs locals.
Entries to The Redback 2017 are now open. For more info or to enter – head to theredback.com.au