With a few days to go before entries close, the Flight Centre Peppers Hidden Vale Cycle Epic in South-East Queensland, September 3-4 has reached over 800 entries, according to the organisers. The event is the latest beneficiary of the rapid growth in popularity of endurance mountain bike racing in Australia in the last year or so. Events such as the Working Week Series of eight-hour races have also seen record attendances this year, while the 2005 edition of the daddy of Australian endurance events, the Mont 24-Hour, filled up within eight days of entries opening.
"The growth in the Epic has been unprecedented and goes to show it's really struck a chord with local and interstate competitors," event co-manager Peter Creagh said. "We've locals, people from all over Queensland as well as one New Zealand rider who is going to do the entire course on a unicycle."
This year's Epic has expanded to provide events for younger riders and families on the Saturday and co-manager Tod Horton puts the event's growth down to the increased variety of racing on offer. "While the event is anchored by the 100 kilometre race, we've worked hard to expand the Epic to make it enjoyable for everyone involved - from family and friends to support crew and sponsors," he said.
Entries for the Flight Centre Peppers Hidden Vale Cycle Epic close 5PM, Friday 12 August. For more information see www.cycleepic.com.au.