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Last weekend saw the running of the first Ultimate Snowy Challenge http://www.ultimatesnowychallenge.com/ here in the NSW Snowy Mountains. It was a two day event with a 5km scenic hill climb being run on Saturday morning, followed by a crit race in the afternoon. Sunday saw the running of the real challenge with a short course of 80kms (Jindabyne to Charlotte Pass) or the longer course 155kms (Jindabyne to Dead Horse Gap, back to Jindabyne and then on to Charlotte Pass, back to Jindabyne). A challenging route given all the climbing!
Did anyone here participate? We locals were really happy with the turn out to the first event and it was great to have some of the NRS teams come down to race as well. The weather conditions on Sunday proved brutal and saw riders on the long course get turned around at Perisher. I must admit I was less than happy when I was told I would have to turn around 8kms earlier than I wanted to. Once I got out of the tree line it was all I could do to stay upright with cross wind gales blowing close to 70km/hr trying to bluster me off the road! I was even reduced to walking my bike DOWNHILL 50 odd metres to get to the turn around point (now that is a first!) My final stats were 137kms, 3000m of climbing, 7hrs, 30mins (Damn wind slowed me right down on the way back!) Still it was my own personal challenge and I was just so happy to roll through the finish line.
Other than the windy weather the event itself was fantastic. With 3000 odd metres to climb us local riders enjoyed getting out for training rides up in the hills (lucky enough to have a plethora of them to choose from on our doorstep) for the two months leading up to the event.
I'd be keen to hear how others went - were you lucky enough to get through the windy section before being turned around? How did you find the climbing and how did you find the running of the event. Being friends with the organisers we are keen to have this event grow year on year with the hope of creating the NSW version of the 3 peaks and the like. We have enjoyed the riding in our area for years and are so happy to see more and more people with road bikes come visit our neck of the woods to enjoy the climbing and take in the scenery on the quiet roads
If you want to check yourself out on the course pics of the event can be found here: http://www.petemolloyphotography.com/Events/Ultimate-Snowy-Challenge
I did the Long course on the Sunday. Except for the wind I had a great day out. Got blown to a stop at one stage. Managed to finish in 5h6mins so was very happy with time. Found the ride to be very well run and i have never been so happy to have a bottle filled and be given a handful of lollies at the Charlottes turnaround knowing it was downwind and downhill pretty much all the way home. Please pass on my thanks to the organisers and especially to the legend ladies at charlottes.
Hope to be back next year.
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