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Otway Odyssey 2017
Saturday, 25 February 2017 | 08:00AM to 04:00PM
Great Otway Gravel Grind joins Otway Odyssey schedule
Entries have opened for Australia’s most respected mountain bike marathon, The Otway Odyssey presented by Focus which will see two new gravel road races added to the 2017 line-up over the weekend of 25th-26th February.
For ten years, riders have travelled to the famous Otway rainforest of Forrest in south-western Victoria to take on the region’s iconic single track, but in 2017 even more riders can be part of the action with the addition of the Great Otway Gravel Grind (The GOGG) to the schedule of events.
A Gravel Grind is an event held on unsealed 2WD roads and the Otway Ranges around Forrest are infused with these, making for some superb riding on traffic free roads through the wilderness. The GOGG will include 49km and 97km options that make them achievable for all styles of rider on either road bikes, cyclocross, mountain or hybrid bikes.
The action gets underway on Saturday 25th February with the principle mountain bike races; the 100km Odyssey, the 50km Shorty and the 30km Rookie, all starting and finishing amidst a huge bike expo and food festival at the Forrest Football Ground. The GOGG races and the kids 10km Pioneer MTB will be held on Sunday 26th February.
The Otway Odyssey MTB Marathons have been held for the last 10 years and have grown to become the pre-eminent mountain bike races in Australia and on the bucket list for many cyclists. The courses are well known for their tough climbs and technical trails, but also for the friendliness on course and the race atmosphere around the Forrest Football Ground expo area.
Defending champion and three time 100km Odyssey winner Peta Mullens of Bendigo said she couldn’t wait to return to give the iconic race another crack.
“I love the Odyssey. It really is a mountain biker’s marathon with all the sick single track out there, but it also caters for everyone with the variety of events,” Mullens said.
“I’ve raced it six times now so I feel like can enjoy the trails a little more, but the struggle is still real! That climb out of Forrest on the final loop gets me every time!”
Race organisers at Rapid Ascent are gearing up for huge weekend with over 1,500 competitors and several thousand spectators expected to descend on the Forrest region for the event once again.
“We’re so excited to be adding the Great Otway Gravel Grind to the range of events on offer. Gravel Grinds have become really popular overseas and the terrain around Forrest is perfect for riding dirt. It will make this iconic weekend even more inclusive to all riders out there,” said Sam Maffett, General Manager, Rapid Ascent.
“Now riders who like their tyres on the skinny side can see how magnificent the Otway rainforest is without having to learn how to ride a mountain bike. We expect some competitive road riders to come and race but The GOGG is equal suited to novice riders who have quite simple bikes but want a cycling challenge in a beautiful part of the world away from traffic and busy sealed roads”.
Mike Boudrie of La Velocita said the addition of the GOGG to the schedule of events was exciting news for cyclists.
“It’s amazing country down there, I’ve raced the Odyssey a couple of times, and to be able to do both – mountain bike one day, then gravel grind the next, it’s the perfect weekend really,” Boudrie said.
“In the mountain bike world, the 100km Odyssey is one of the ones to do. It’s got a combination of everything; great downhill sections, good climbs, a challenging course, stunning scenery and a great atmosphere. You don’t have to be an elite athlete; it caters to people of all levels and there’s a ride for everyone.
“Now with the gravel grind, it’s giving people the opportunity to ride on gravel roads they wouldn’t normally ride on. When you get onto these roads there’s a lot less cars. It’s an adventure, but it’s also safe and supported.”
All courses of the Otway Odyssey take advantage of the extensive network of single track and 2WD roads of Forrest and the Otways. Combined with the beauty on offer in the Great Otway National Park, the electrifying race atmosphere and sense of satisfaction you get when you finish in the middle of the massive event festival, it’s an event not to be missed.
Entries to the 2017 Otway Odyssey are now open online at www.OtwayOdyssey.com.au
Date:Saturday 25th February and Sunday 26th February, 2017
Location:Forrest, Otway National Park, Victoria
NEW: GOGG Big Ring 97km
NEW: GOGG Little Ring 49km
Event Expo:A massive bike, food and entertainment expo at Forrest Football Ground
Entries:Now open at www.otwayodyssey.com.au
KEY MEDIA CONTACT:For more information, images or athlete interviews please contact:Ali Deane
Marketing and Communications Manager, Rapid Ascent
T. 03 5261 5511
E. ali [at] rapidascent [dot] com [dot] au