Mountain bike stage races and Alice Springs go together like red wine and cheese. The city in the centre of Australia has hosted mountain bike stage races for two decades, with riders visiting from the edges of the continent to ride the sweet singletrack in the red centre. In 2023 The Redback runs from 18-21 August, with 6 different event stages spanning the 4 days.
Ride the A or B lines
New for 2023, you can elect to ride a longer or a little shorter. Event organisers Rapid Ascent have elected to have some of the stages with two routes. We think this is great as it means you can find your challenge. Whether you want to just complete The Redback, and therefore take the shorter routes, or compete and take the full routes is now upto you.
Escape the soggy south
Sure, La Nina is in the rearview mirror. But winter is still winter, and there are few places better to spend the cold and dark months than Central Australia. At The Redback in August you can just about be 100% certain you’ll have cool and crisp nights that are great for sleeping soundly, with warm sun under blue skies in the middle of the day. It should be warm enough to enjoy a dip in the hotel pool post-event, but cool enough for very pleasant mountain biking.
Find your flow
You may not expect to find sweet, flowing singletrack in the Red Centre – but that’s exactly what is there. Many of the trails started as natural animal paths through the low hills, that mountain bikers adopted decades ago. While they have evolved over time, many of the trails from the Telegraph Station taking flowing lines through the surroundings. That said, there are plenty of other more technically demanding trails that have been built over the last decade, to keep you on your toes!
See the Red Centre
Alice Springs is the perfect launching point for sightseeing in the Northern Territory. While you can make the trip to walk around Uluru, there’s plenty to do close to town. Ride the bike path out to the Simpsons Gap walk, visit the Alice Springs Desert Park (don’t miss the bird show), take a drive out to a water hole – or take a hike!
Support a local mountain bike club
In 2023, Rapid Ascent are working with the Central Australian Rough Riders (CARR) mountain bike club. So the 4-day mountain bike event is run in conjunction with local mountain bikers. The Rapid Ascent crew have an affinity with central australia, running a variety of events there over the years. But with CARR’s on the ground nous, you’ll know the best trails are chosen, and that your event entry helps support the local club as well.
Race against clock
Here at MarathonMTB.com we have a soft spot for mountain bike time trials. Say goodbye to passing issues, to course traffic, to hectic starts. It’s just you, the clock, the trail and your favourite skinsuit. The Redback’s time trial is a way to let loose on the trails, or just cruise for fun. You can make that choice, but for the performance minded you’ll quickly realise why it’s called the race of truth! Don’t miss our tips for racing MTB time trials to get the most out of it.
So what are you waiting for? Contact a few friends, block out your calendar for 18-21 August (and a few more days) and get your entries in at The Redback website.