The 2017 Bendigo Golden Triangle Epic is just around the corner, and those riders gearing up for the weekend’s festivities can expect an exciting new course for the 12th edition of the popular mountain bike event.
Following on from the record-breaking success of last year’s race that saw over 550 competitors descend on the Central Victorian town, the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club is ready to welcome riders once again to one of the biggest events on the Australian mountain biking calendar. Scheduled for Saturday the 25th of March, the 2017 Golden Triangle Epic promises sublime singletrack, a multitude of course options, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
As with last year’s event, the Golden Triangle Epic will also form Round #2 of the National XC Marathon Series. This will see some of the country’s fastest mountain bikers coming to Bendigo to duke it out for valuable points in the XCM title race.
Bendigo local and national-level mountain biker, Tasman Nankervis ,is hoping to make it two-in-a-row, after taking out the 100km Elite Mens category last year in front of a roaring home crowd.
“It’s not often you get to race in front of all your Bendigo pals and family”, says Nankervis, who will be racing this year’s Golden Triangle Epic just one week after competing at the National Championships. “After the Epic, I’ll be travelling overseas to represent Australia in the World Cup series, and then back to Cairns for the World Championships.”
Nankervis is one of many Elite riders to have come out of Bendigo, and he cites the quality of riding as being a big reason why there is so much young talent coming out of the regional town. “The trails are definitely awesome, if you like rocks and natural features you’ll get them in Bendigo”, explains Nankervis. “I also think we just have a really solid and supportive riding culture here”.
Nankervis is in fantastic shape, recently winning the Otway Odyssey in Forrest, Victoria.
Something different and something new for Bendigo in 2017
For this year’s event, the race format retains the same successful recipe, with the popular 50km racecourse sending riders out along the rocky trails in the southern forests of Bendigo. Depending on their fitness, competitors can sign up to 50km, 100km or 150km race options. There’s also a 30km Miner option, which is perfectly suited to beginner riders. For the kids and their parents, there will also be a shorter 15km Pioneer option.
New for 2017, the event village will be located at Muldoon Reserve, which has become the offical home of the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club. Thanks to an injection of funding from the City Of Greater Bendigo Council, $150,000 is being spent on developing the site as the new trailhead for the Spring Gully Trail Network, which will include a pump track, skills loop, and a pavilion.
Bendigo MTB Club President, Rimmon Martin, is looking forward to welcoming new riders to town, while continuing to build the region’s prominence as a riding destination.
“The Golden Triangle Epic has grown year-on-year, and we’re expecting to top 600 riders for this year’s GTE”, explains Martin. “That will make it one of the biggest club-run events in the country, with all proceeds from event entries going straight back into trail development and maintenance.”
Thanks to the success of previous events, the Bendigo MTB Club has been able to implement a Master Plan to construct a brand new network of world-class trails as part of the Spring Gully Trail Network.
“We have received a preliminary concept of 38km for the trail network from World Trail”, explains Martin. “With generous help from the City Of Greater Bendigo, this Master Plan will set the gears in motion to develop brand new sustainably-built singletrack that will cement Bendigo’s reputation as a riding hotspot”.
Also new for this year’s Golden Triangle Epic is a reworked course that includes singletrack that lines the Spring Gully Reservoir, which will give both local and visiting riders the opportunity to experience rarely-accessible trails.
Outside of the racing, there’s plenty more on offer to attract riders and their families to Bendigo. With racing held on a Saturday, visitors are encouraged to spend the weekend in the Central Victorian town. Competitors will receive an invitation for a social ride planned on the Sunday after the race, which will take place on the private trails out at Andy’s Trail Network.
Of course Bendigo is well known for its superb riding and rich cycling heritage, but it is also establishing a reputation for its foodie culture and family-friendly atmosphere. Visitors can choose to enjoy a wide range of activities, including exhibitions at the high-profile Arts Centre, interactive displays at the Science Discovery Centre, and a historical tour of the Chinese Museum.
MarathonMTB.com in Bendigo
After battling through the race in 2016, Subaru-MarathonMTB.com racer Justin Morris will return for this years race – if you see Justin on the trails say g’day!
Date: Saturday 25th of March 2017
Location: Spring Gully, Bendigo, Victoria