Landslip cancels Peaks Challenge

Australia’s legendary Alpine bike riding event, Peaks Challenge, has been cancelled for this year due to the landslip at Falls Creek.

The Department of Transport and Planning announced today that with the massive slip still not arrested, and further stormy weather predicted for the coming days, the Bogong High Plains Road would remain closed for public safety.

The closed road, near Falls Creek Village, is part of the Peaks route, and a vital operational link for the event.

Almost 2000 riders, event suppliers and partners, and especially the local Falls Creek community, will be devastated by the news.

The Peaks Challenge was a summer highlight for the Alpine region, and a significant economic out-of-snow-season boost.

Since the first Peaks event in 2010, Bicycle Network, has worked closely with the Alpine community, resorts management, road and tourism authorities and the state government to build Peaks Challenge into an internationally recognised premier cycling event.

Major Road Projects Victoria has been undertaking geotechnical investigations at the 100-metre wide and 70-metre-high – and still moving – landslip and has exhaustively explored options for keeping the route open.

Bicycle Network has also explored alternative options for the event, but none of them met the criteria that riders, the community and stakeholders of Peaks Challenge expect.

Bicycle Network Chief Executive Alison McCormack said today: "We recognise this is a significant blow to all riders. We know the commitment it takes to train and prepare for this event, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for sticking with us.”

"In addition to the heartbreak we are all feeling, we’d also like to recognise the extended implications this has for the local Falls Creek community.

"Peaks Challenge was set to provide a desperately needed economic boost for them and serve as a major milestone in their recovery efforts, however, they now face extended uncertainty around access to their community.

"We ask that riders registered for the event keep this in mind when contacting them regarding your accommodation.

“Bicycle Network is determined to bring back the event next year, better than ever, and looks forward to working with the Falls Creek community to make Peaks Challenge a highlight attraction in the Alpine landscape," McCormack said.

The Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan announced a $2.9 million package to provide service charge relief to Falls Creek businesses for a period of eight months.

Riders entered this year can rollover their entry to the 2024 event scheduled for Sunday 10th March 2024 or take a full refund.

Peaks Challenge is a 235-km loop starting/finishing at Falls Creek, with more than 4000 metres of climbing accumulated along the way. Set among the beautiful Victorian Alps, riders tackle three infamous climbs – Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and the back of Falls Creek – and have 13 hours to get it done.

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