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Registration open & course info revealed for Alps Epic

Registration for the new Alps Epic in Australia on March 15-19, 2009, is open and beginning to fill. The total number of entries, 250, has been limited to ensure minimal impact on the fragile environment that the course traverses. The event is 10% full, with a sellout expected by the early bird entry deadline of December 1.

Organizers just released course information for the six-stage, five-day event. "The beauty of this format of mountain bike racing is that we have been able design the course around the best mountain bike tracks in the area. This has enabled us to keep the stages relatively short allowing plenty of time to explore this gorgeous part of the country," said Craig Bycroft, course designer. The race will cover 200km with 99% of it on dirt.

Stage four (from Nimmo to Island Bend) has been kept relatively short to allow riders and their support crews time to ride or walk to the top of Australia via a hike up Mount Kosciuszko.

The race is offering a unique category, the relay pair. This category is designed for riders who would like to share the experience of the event with their team mate. This makes it a good category for school teams and also for couples who may be bringing their family along - one rides, the other on family duty. Some of the shorter stages will allow both relay pair riders to complete the stage if they choose.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.