Another mountain bike stage race has stepped up onto the international calendar. The inaugural Terra Australis - Great Southern Land Mountain Bike Epic will be staged from March 29 to April 4, 2009, in Australia.
The 600km event will start in the Alpine Resort of Falls Creek and finish seven days later on the banks of the Ovens River in Wangaratta. It will travel through the Alpine Villages of Dinner Plain, Bright and Beechworth and will be set against the majestic backdrop of Victoria's High Country.
"The event will set the benchmark in the Asia Pacific region for endurance mountain bike events," predicted Iain Moore, Finish Line Events Director. "The event's timing is ideal as we work with our event partners to capitalise on the rise in popularity of recreational and endurance based Mountain Bike events."
"We have been very conscious of remaining true to the spirit of similar events in Europe, Canada and South Africa, which have set a very high standard and are iconic multi stage mountain bike events. Our ultimate goal is to establish Terra Australis as an international event showcasing the region and its attributes to mountain bikers from around the globe," said Moore.
"We are especially excited to have already gained the support of Tory Thomas and Kerry Ryan as event ambassadors. Tory is a passionate North East Victorian local and a highly credentialed endurance rider having previously claimed the 2005 Australian National Solo 24 Hour Championship, the Australian MTBA 100K Marathon Championship, and in the same year the Australian Cross Country Championship and MTBA National Series Championship .
Ryan is a former World Masters Champion and along with partner Craig Peacock won their 50+ age group category in the 2005 Trans Rockies challenge in Canada.
The event is scheduled just soon after another brand new Australian stage race, the BMC Mountains To Beach from March 1-7, 2009.