Australia’s pioneer mountain bike marathon, the Flight Centre Cycle Epic, is chasing new ground this year after participation records were smashed in the 10th anniversary of the event in 2012.
The 11th staging of the Epic at Spicers Hidden Vale in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, is being held on the weekend of the federal election, September 14-15, 2013
Race organisers are hoping to attract more than 2,000 riders to compete in the various events after a record 1700 competitors entered last year’s event.
The highlight of the Epic weekend is the 87km marathon on Sunday, September 15. The event, which has Flight Centre Active Travel as major sponsor, has been won over the years by some of the biggest names in Australian mountain biking.
Epic organiser and track builder Hayden Brooks said participants who register for the 2013 event by July 1 will be eligible for early bird pricing and a complimentary Epic cycling jersey.
“We have received more than 400 entries already for the Epic so it’s shaping as another record breaking year,” Mr Brooks said.
“The early bird offer has helped entice plenty of entries already and again this year we are seeing quite a few families embracing the event.”
The weekend has multiple events and activities beyond the 87km marathon, including the 50km Pursuit, the 20km Spicers Chaser, Mini and Minor Epics for children, plus a 4.2km free Family Fun Ride.
“There’s now something for the whole family, where children can challenge their parents and even their grandparents,” said Mr Brooks, who runs the event with his wife Fleur and Tod Horton.
The Brooks have helped turn Spicers Hidden Vale into the premier mountain bike venue in South East Queensland with the 4800ha estate now hosting three events a year – the 3PLUS3 race just before Christmas and the KONA 24HR during the Easter weekend.
“The Epic over the years has attracted many elite riders with world 24 hour champion Jason English winning the men’s race last year and Brisbane’s Jodie Willett claiming her third women’s title,” Mr Brooks said.
“But our focus has been attracting families and introducing people to the sport of mountain biking while having a great weekend at the Hidden Vale Adventure Park.”
Mr Brooks said they have partnered with Scody who are designing and supplying the jerseys this year while PCS Coaching – www.pcscoaching.com.au – have tailored training plans for the 87km and 50km events.
The Flight Centre Cycle EPIC is on 14-15 September at Spicers Hidden Vale located at Grandchester, about 55 minutes’ drive from Brisbane.