PEAKS CHALLENGE FALLS CREEK
The ride that became legend…
Sunday 7 March, 2010
In 2010 we challenged riders from across the world to conquer three key peaks of Victoria’s rugged High Country.
The first Peaks Challenge ride was brutal. Riders dealt with dropping temperatures, rain and wind, meaning that few were able to adequately prepare themselves for what lay ahead. As a result, more than a third didn’t finish.
Those left were scattered throughout the course, crossing each summit one at a time. There is no doubt that each finisher earned their Peaks Challenge jersey, and out of adversity, a legend was born.
Sunday 11 March, 2012
A half distance ride was removed, strict cut off times were set and the lantern rouge and wave leaders introduced. On event support was enhanced with closed roads, pre-ride training packages made available and all climbs were timed.
The ride had tight police supervision, high grade operations and was confirmed as the toughest single-day event in Australia. Blue skies helped riders – the first finisher broke the sub-8-hour barrier and 100 went sub-10.
It’s pretty hard to describe the feeling of coming around that last corner, hearing the announcer on the loudspeaker, seeing the ‘Finish’ banner strung across the road and the supporters lining the side of the road – Climbing Cyclist
Sunday 13 March, 2013
Summer bush fires devastated the region and destroyed the Great Alpine Road between Harrieteville and Hotham Heights, forcing changes to an event that was hitting its straps.
Bicycle Network created the infamous Ovens Valley route to meet Peaks standards – 235 kilometres and 4,000+ metres of climbing. Team Bicycle Network’s own Alison McCormack became the hero of the day by sweeping up around 200 riders in her “mega peloton” and supporting them all the way to the finish line.
The most demanding gran fondo Down Under – Bike Radar
Sunday 9 March, 2014
Selling out in just two weeks, this year was not to be missed for elite riders and past participants alike, who were excited to have a crack at the original course. Clear skies helped Stephen Cunningham set a new course record of 7 hours 45 minutes.
I thought sharing the moment helped represent what this ride is all about—riding to your best ability, achieving your personal objectives and enjoying the moment with others – Steve Cunningham
Sunday 13 March, 2016
The introduction of more wave leaders and a greater insight into how to ride sub-10 helped more than 50 riders cross the finish line in less than eight hours.
2016 was also a cause for huge celebration with the 10,000th Peaks Challenge finisher coming across the line.
All those questions that were asked in those dark moments had been answered by a quote from Lance Armstrong, which was written on a sign on the side of the road about 15kms from home. “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever” – Steer North
Sunday 10 March, 2019
10 years of Peaks! A decade of riders pushing themselves to the limit in the pursuit of personal satisfaction and achievement.
2019 was one for the history books. The 10th anniversary was upon us, it was the calm before the storm. A buzz went around the event village, riders prepped and eager to take on the challenge and they did not disappoint.
2019 saw the highest number of riders cracking the sub eight hour mark. Including Taryn Heather, the first ever female to cross the finish line in under 8 hours. Ben Dyball took line honours and clocked the quickest time ever at 7:02:58.
Sunday 8 March, 2020
If the major bushfire crisis gripping the country early in the year and hindering the preparation for many riders wasn’t enough, the event itself was one of the toughest on record – with low visibility and unpredictable weather pushing many riders to their limit. However, the mist, rain and near-freezing temperatures didn’t stop almost 1,100 riders from crossing the finish line.
They said “be ready for anything”, but I didn’t know “anything” meant 2°C and rain on top of Mt Hotham. It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life… worth it though. – 2020 finisher
Sunday 7 March, 2021
The lock-down stifled training made the lead-up to the 2021 event like no other. Most riders had spent more time on the bike indoors than outdoors over the previous 12 months and the anticipation on the start line was palpable.
On the big day more than 1,800 riders were greeted with pristine weather conditions and the perfect return to big bike rides as they tackled the infamous 235km loop.
2021 also saw Justine Barrow set a new course record for women riders, finishing with an amazing time of 7 hours and 34 minutes!
Sunday 12 March, 2023 – Event cancelled
The 2023 edition of Peaks Challenge was cancelled due to the closure of Bogong High Plains Road—part of the route, and a vital operational link for the event—caused by a massive landslip.
We recognise this is a significant blow to all riders. We know the commitment it takes to train and prepare for this event”
“In addition to the heartbreak we’re all feeling, we’d also like to recognise the extended implications this has for the local Falls Creek community. – Alison McCormack (Bicycle Network CEO)
Read more about the event cancellation.
TAKE THE PLEDGE
Write your own Peaks Challenge story
While many have risen to the challenge, many have failed, succumbing to the unforgiving terrain, relentless grind and gruelling mental battle unique to Peaks Challenge. Even seasoned riders still struggle, because no matter how many times you top the climbs, it never gets easier, you just go faster.
Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is one of the toughest but most rewarding riding experiences of your life. It’s not a race – it’s much more than that – It’s a personal challenge, a never-ending journey in the pursuit of up.
If you take the pledge, you can conquer it…