Test your fitness limits with this 75km endurance ride through the iconic Nevis Road from Garston to Bannockburn.
Participants start at Garston Township, 315m above sea level, and ride 1.5km on State Highway 6 before turning off onto the metalled Nevis Road. A further 2km of uphill is just an introduction to the gutbusting climb to the 1100m summit, past a historic ski hut, and overlooking the Nokomai River. Riders climb some 800m in 12km, a grade of 1:14.
Starting a long, gradual downhill and following a good 4WD track, riders cross about 25 fords, passing Drummond and Commissioner Creeks where past and present gold mining operations provide interest to the spectacular landscape.
Past the Ben Nevis Station and sheepyards (your only comfort station on the trip!), riders reach the Nevis Crossing Bridge, some 52km from the start and at 660m above sea level. From the bridge, riders face another gutbusting ride up to Duffers Saddle at 1300m (gradient 1:12), then another 8km steep downhill on a good metalled surface, to the Nevis turn-off. The sealed road to Bannockburn is an easy 5km to the finish line at the Bannockburn Domain at 252m above sea level. The domain has lots of grassy area and shady trees for participants to relax in after the race, and is a stones throw from the Bannockburn Hotel.
The weather in the Nevis Valley can change very quickly so take note of the following suggestions and observe the instructions of your support convoy staff.
The course will be well marked with bright pink arrows, with marshals on key corners. Aid stations with water and electrolyte approximately every 5km and at the start/finish.