ULTRA BIKEPACKING RACE UPDATE
• 2022 Terra Australis 6,250k
* 2022 Trans Am 6,750k
• 2022 Tour Divide 4250k
Next up on the calendar for Australian ultra cyclists is the epic Terra Australis a 6,250 route from the tip at Cape York in Queensland down to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria.
Just one more season to prep and train through for the 2022 Terra Australis starting September 1. A few more riders joining the start list and currently combing through the course notes.
I recently had a catch up over coffee with the Sydney based riders. L to R: Taylor Herron, Meredith Quinlan, self and Craig Johnston. Discussion topics [mostly in order of interest]..... Crocodiles, water, sand, food choices, sleep options.
Recent sign-on Meredith Quinlan needs no introduction amongst the ultra bikepacking community having been a regular in recent years and first woman home in the 2018 Monaro Cloudride, 2020 Prologue and competing the 2019 Race to the Rock. Taylor Heron from Geelong Vic is a rookie bike packer racer but has been touring and living off the bike in between border lockdowns for the past two years… Taylor’s just finished up a work stint in Sydney and riding up to the start, …..comes with an inbuilt fitness program.
Kippling Walker [Brisbane] has been on the start list since day one of Rego’s opening had a brief hit out on last months BrisDivide. Unfortunately the event was a complete flooded washout within 24 hours. Nonetheless Kipling said he learnt a lot and is wiser for the experience. David Waugh [Armidale] has been in touch and fully committed.
More recently Wichard Van Oosterbosch, “62 years young, living in New Zealand” has been briefed and encouraged by 2018 winner Steve Halligan has signed on for the start on September 1. Wichard says he’s done 6,000 and 7,000k touring rides on his MTB in New Zealand and Europe so has some decent k’s in his legs.
Riders start list here …
If you’re keen on a hard-core adventure and some nice sunrises get in touch with an EOI … contacts on this website
2022 TransAm 6,920k
Now into day 6, the last [pre Covid] winner Kaig Pauli is again showing the way with a slim 50 mile margin over Brits Ben Davies and Ed Tapp. In spite of the historical inspiration from Australian past winners Jesse Carlsson and Abdullah Zeinab no Australian riders in this years field.
2022 Tour Divide 4,250k
Saturday morning 11 June EST for Australian dot watchers. Some confusion with start times following Parks Canada mandating 20 minute wave starts for only 15-20 riders. With 180+ riders there will be some unorganised chaos amongst the backmarkers juggling for a start before mid-day who may have had ambitions of getting a feed at Elkford [175k] on the first night.
Australia has it’s lowest representation in a decade with Canberra’s Josh Brearley [rig above] a regular in the 500k Cloudride Prologue, Sean Di Lizio from Brisbane and Wendy Stevenson Sydney, a two time finisher and back for her 3rd Tour Divide. Tassie rider Daniel Moss is riding under the Aussie flag though an “Iowa farm kid’… before embarking on a life of adventure.... read his blog if you're bored with your current day job.
Past TD racers and frontrunners Sofiane Sihli and Josh Ibbett look the obvious favourites for line honours with RAAM placed Brian Toone a wildcard. Well in the mix will be Belgium’s Ben Steurbaut and Manu Cattrysse and USA riders Tim Tait and Nate Ginzton. Kiwi Geof Blance back for his 4th/5th [?] looks a lock for the SS. Fellow Kiwi Nathan Mawkes a Cloudride DNF in 2014 is back for his 4th TD after a top ten finish in 2019.
In the women’s division Kate Stempke and Ashley Carelock both USA look to be on the pace and will give Belgium favourite Zoe Chauderlot a decent run for her money.
As always Bikepacking.com has their excelent comprehensive coverage of TD bikes …Part 1. Flat Bar and Part 2. Drop Bar.