2019 is drawing to a close, and while there are some big events still to play out, like the 2019 edition of The Pioneer, most riders firmly have their focus on 2020. To that end, we have been updating our calendar, and as events confirm their dates for 2020 you can be sure we’ll keep adding to it.
But here are 7 events that we think you really should look at in 2020, and why.
Otway Odyssey/Great Otway Gravel Grind weekend
Taking place in the Otway Ranges about 90 minutes west of Melbourne, this weekend combines a classic Australian marathon race on a testing route on Saturday 22nd February, and a gravel ride or race on the Sunday 23rd February.
Sure, you can push hard on the Sunday, but you don’t have to, and if you have cooked your legs in the Otways in the marathon, it’s a good way to ride the dirt roads down to the ocean and back with some mates.
And if you’re not sure about your ability to back up two big days, there are different distance options for both events. Fine out more on the event website.
Dragon Trail MTB stage race
This is a new kid on the block, but it is a 3-day mountain bike stage race running on 70% purpose-made singletrack being organised by one of the most experienced event organisers in the country.
We expect the Dragon Trail MTB event to really deliver in the first year, as right at the heart of it is the goal to deliver an awesome experience from riders. This includes quality trails, endless options for event services, and plenty of opt in or opt out logistics services for getting there and getting home. This could be the perfect way to experience the great new trial in the north east of Tasmania, across March 26-28.
Bike 4 Islands
Running over 4 days across 4 islands, the Bike 4Islands stage race is a little different. The Islands of Croatia attract tourists from around the globe, and the race is now well-known for offering high quality event services, trails, and some hot racing!
Don’t miss the event report from our European Editor Ben Thomas.
If you live in Sydney, this is your local marathon race. There are no machine-built berms, no flow trails, and no laps or loops. The Convict 100 is one big 100km marathon (ok there are two shorter distances) that gets punctuated by a steep climb, fast sections of dirt road and firetrail, and of course a long section along the old Convict Trail, where your line selection on a road built by convicts creates a test piece that is unique to the Sydney sandstone basin.
This year, the Convict 100 falls on Saturday 2nd May.
Mind Matters Athlete Training Camp 2020
Having seen the action over social media, the training camp run my our team member Justin Morris looked nothing short of epic! Held in Tasmania in November, a large group of his Mind Matters Athlete Coaching athletes tackled 4 days of training on the Apple Isle in what can only be called ‘atmospheric’ weather.
We hear there are plans for camps on the mainland in 2020, and there might even be a mountain bike specific one. Stay tuned.
The Swiss Epic
We’re a sucker for this one. But given the location in the Swiss Alps, it is always going to deliver.
The 2020 race falls on 18-22 August. The stage towns have been updated in 2020 compared to 2019, and that means almost entirely new trails as well. not many stage races do that. If big stage races aren’t appealing due to camping, or long dusty dirt roads – this is one for you.
Any round of the Shimano MTB GP Series
There are 9 races across New South Wales and the ACT, and we hear some are coming to Queensland in 2020. If you’re new to endurance mountain biking, this series has a whole lot to offer.
Each race uses fun trails, and Rocky Trail Entertainment make sure the event vibe is right for both new riders and those with more experience. Check out their website for full event listings, and sign up for a challenge.
This is just a snapshot of what is on the cards for 2020, but it’s this kind of variety that makes endurance mountain biking so cool. So what event are you looking forward to?