Bike enthusiasts, volunteers and spectators flocked from far and wide on Sunday to show their support for one of New South Wales’ newest one-day bike rides, the Bicycle Newcrest Orange Challenge. The challenge saw bike riders from across Australia descend upon the rolling hills of the Central West, tackling over 170 kilometres of circuit which began and ended in Orange and wound its way through Cargo, Canowindra, Mandurama, Cudal and Mount Canobolas.
Riders had a strict eight hour deadline to finish the race, which was a huge test of endurance thanks to endless hills and tough ascents. The event saw over 1500 riders take part and lots of volunteers who provided on road support, traffic management and marshalling. With the event hailed as such a success, Newcrest have now committed to run the ride with funding for three years and the event has been designated flagship status by Destination NSW through to 2018.
“New South Wales has been crying out for bike riding events of this calibre and we promise to deliver the world-class event experience that riders in New South Wales have been waiting for” said Craig Richards, CEO of Bicycle Network, who organised the event. Chief Operating Organiser of Bicycle Network, Darren Allan, said the event would grow each year; “Many riders are repeat visitors and half of those who attend will return and bring someone with them” he said.
As the event pedalled through Canowindra the local CWA were on hand to feed the hungry riders. Despite the difficulty, we’re sure when the cyclists crossed the finish line, pulled on a Bicycle Network t shirt and tucked into some delicious local food and wine, the feeling of euphoria was well worth the aching muscles. Congratulations to all those that took part.