Race promotion company Rapid Ascent is excited to welcome over 1,400 riders to Forrest, Victoria this weekend for two huge days of racing at The Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grind (GOGG) presented by Focus, one of the most iconic races in Australia.
The 12th edition features mountain bike races; the 100km Odyssey, the 50km Shorty and the 30km Rookie, all starting and finishing amidst a huge bike expo and food festival at the Forrest Football Ground. The GOGG races and the kids 10km Pioneer MTB will be held on Sunday 25th February.
Competitors range from the recreational to the elite who will travel from across Australia and overseas to race, including 4 x 100km Odyssey champion Peta Mullens of Bendigo, 3 x 24hr world solo champ and 11 x Otway Odyssey 100km racer Jessica Douglas (Geelong), 13 x Australian MTB champion and 6 x Otway Odyssey winner Chris Jongewaard (Adelaide), former world number one, two-time Commonwealth gold medal winner, and 11-time Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Phil Anderson.
The weather forecast for the weekend is looking very favourable with cooler temperatures and the chance of a shower (25 degrees on Saturday, and 21 degrees Sunday); if the forecast shower of rain on Friday eventuates it will settle the dust and make the courses even faster.
All courses of the Otway Odyssey take advantage of the extensive network of single track and 2WD roads of Forrest and the Otways that are known as some of the most diverse and fun trails in the country.
We encourage the general public to cheer on the riders if you see them, and also be aware of the course-markings on roads and trails and the short road closures, and we thank locals for sharing and maintaining the trails for the riders.
The event generated an overall economic impact of $4.9million to the Otway economy in 2017, with entries being in line with previous years we expect the impact to be similar again this year, reinforcing the race weekend as one of the region’s premier events.
An the electrifying race atmosphere for both competitors and spectators, the Grommets Ride, plus the array of adventures on offer in the Great Otway National Park including walks, waterfalls, lighthouses and local produce make it an event weekend the whole family can enjoy.
In addition to the 1,400 competitors, several thousand spectators are also expected to descend on the Forrest region for the event.
Entries to the 2018 Otway Odyssey are still available online at www.OtwayOdyssey.com.au until 3pm Thursday, after which entries will be available on Friday night at the Event Expo and on race mornings.
Check out team marathonMTB.com rider Justin Morris’ preamble here.