The riding in Alice Springs is hard to explain. It’s rocky, but it flows. It’s technical, sometimes slow, sometimes fast – and it is a joy to ride. The racing there can be highly competitive, but always extremely fun. The Lasseters Easter in the Alice is a club level stage race that attracts some of the best riders in the country, and claims to be the cheapest MTB stage race in the universe! With three stages over the three days, this is a great Easter break in the Red Centre.
In 2017, the first stage also hosts the 3rd round of the Australian XCM National Series. IN a change to the past three years, the first day has been cut back a little to 75km, plus a few kilometres of a neutral roll-out through Alice Springs. 90km in Alice Springs is tough, and 75km should be a welcome change, with little impact on results, save for more fun the following days. Expect a 2:1 ratio of singletrack to firetrail.
Day 2 is still having the course set, but we are hopeful for a 25km stage with a summit finish atop Mt Gillen, which was a spectacular finish. This road is not open to the public, but in 2016, access was negotiated, and it seemed like the whole of Alice Springs came out to support the race.
Day 3 should be 37km, blasting out of town towards the Larapinta Trail. It’s expected to be a fast and flowing final day of the race, taking in the best of the Telegraph Station trails. There are about 45km of marked trails in the Telegraph Station – and about 250km more further out, depending on who you ask.
Alice Springs is a little out of the way, but the Central Australian Rough Riders MTB club put on a pretty good show for the Easter long weekend, and the mix of racing for 2017 means your mornings are on the bike, while the afternoon can be left for long lunches, scenic drives, or visiting some of the attractions around Alice Springs. Your best bet would be to use some of the public holidays, plus a bit of leave, and spend a week exploring our Red Centre – it truly is like no other place on earth.