After a quiet year where few numbers where attached to handlebars, Rapid Ascent are have opened entries to the award-winning Redback MTB Stage Race, set to return to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory (NT) on Friday 20 to Monday 23 August 2021.
The Redback has had a couple of variants and names over the years, but the event has always drawn a keen crowd who enjoy the variety of stages, easy event logistics, and of course the raw trails and rugged outback setting – all within a short ride from the centre of Alice Springs.
“To bring racing back to the NT after a roller-coast year is fantastic for not only the mountain biking community, but for local tourism, a returned sense of normality and all associated industries. We are really looking forward to racing again,” said Rapid Ascent General Manager Sam Maffett.
The Redback has six stages of mountain bike racing over four days, with the 14th edition of the event seeing a number of changes to the program including new stages, new trails, longer stages plus plenty of sunshine.
- Stage 1 – 36km – Friday (AM)
- Stage 2 – Rapid Ascent 300m ANZAC Hill Climb – Friday (PM)
- Stage 3 – 47km Cross Country Race – Saturday (AM)
- Stage 4 – 22km Individual Time Trial – Sunday (AM)
- Stage 5 – 22km Night Race – Sunday (PM)
- Stage 6 – Mercure Alice Springs Resort 51km Cross Country Race – Monday (AM)
The new opening stage through Alice Springs’ famed “West Side’ singletrack includes plenty of the recently developed trails in this area and with almost ‘too much singletrack’, stage one sets the scene for the ultimate multi-day event.
The schedule for each stage has also been revamped for 2021 with two racing stages on day one and day three, and single stages on day two and four. The revised format provides more time for rest and relaxation (around the hotel pool) between stages while still providing plenty of variety and riding action.
Past participant Sarah says, “If you are one of those people who have heard about The Redback and thought you might have a crack at that one day… Start planning for 2021! I can highly recommend it as a fantastic challenge with an awesome crew of like-minded and very friendly competitors.”
The event is known for its easy race logistics and friendly race vibe. With all stages starting and finishing in Alice Springs, you can book into one hotel for the duration and ride to/ from each stage without the need for rental car or support crew.
For full event details, head to the Rapid Ascent website. Maybe we’ll see you out there in August?