There’s no doubt that the Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grind (GOGG) making one of the best weekends of offroad riding and racing in Australia. This week, Team Roxsolt Liv SRAM – Australia’s only UCI Continental Women’s Team – have announced that they will be racing the two events in Forrest Victoria on the 20-21 of February 2021.
While you might associate the team as ‘just roadies’ as they are the reigning NRS (National Road Series) Champions, their rider Peta Mullens has actually won the Odyssey 6 times – although it will be the first time the team has raced on dirt.
Mullens, a long-time supporter of the Odyssey says, “It’s still my favourite course, in my favourite setting, at the best time of year! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves adventure and awesome trails, and the shorter varieties to anybody staring out,” said Mullens.
With the team lining up, Mullens will be accompanied by team mates Courtney Sherwell, current U19 National Champion Izzy Flint, Neve Bradbury, Saffron Button and Justine Barrow.
How well can team tactics play out in the Odyssey? While it would be an advantage on the recent course, there is more of a distinct advantage on the return to the race start in Apollo Bay. With a seperate women’s start, the Roxsolt Liv SRAM team could use some firepower to split the elite women’s group and end up with a select few riders in the front group. To be honest, the opening climb does that anyway. But with the right riders on hand for some TTT work across the top of the ranges before entering the singletrack – a race strategy like this could work.
In addition to racing the Odyssey, Roxsolt will also play a role in encouraging female riders to join them off-road at the event and to engage further via the female exclusive Odyssey Angels Facebook page where a range of tips and tutorials will be rolled out over coming weeks.
With an increased prize pool of $9,600 for the 100km race, entries have surpassed organisers expectations already.
“It’s great to see so many riders already committing to the challenge and ready to conquer the course of old,” said Rapid Ascent Event Director John Jacoby.
The Great Otway Gravel Grind will also see Mullens and team mates back-up their Odyssey race in tackling the 97km big chain ring course.
“It is one of the best weekends you can have on two wheels and we can’t wait to welcome Team Roxsolt and all riders to celebrate 15 years and experience first hand the history of such a reputable mountain bike event,” said Jacoby.
Entries to the 2021 Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grind are open online at www.OtwayOdyssey.com.au and www.TheGOGG.com.au with both experiencing higher than normal entry fields so far – so lock in your accommodation, find your climbing legs and get your entries in!