Newcrest Orange Challenge to put cyclists to the test

HARD YAKKA: Cyclists will pedal up 2200 metres of elevation for the Newcrest Orange Challenge in March. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
HARD YAKKA: Cyclists will pedal up 2200 metres of elevation for the Newcrest Orange Challenge in March. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

The Newcrest Orange Challenge will return next year, putting cyclists to the test as they pedal around Mount Canobolas and through Canowindra before making their way along the Belubula Way to Mandurama and Forrest Reefs.

Set for Sunday, March 5, the challenge will start at Orange Velodrome and visit Cargo, Canowindra, Belubla Way, Mandurama and Forrest Reefs.

The challenge, which has its roots in the Ronde Van De Nob charity ride, is expected to attract 1000 riders and 3000 visitors to the region.

Orange’s Cycling and Triathalon Club president Michael Lockyer said the ride could be a “tough day at the office” and encouraged riders to begin their training.

“It’s not the 170 kilometre distance, it’s the 2200 metres in climbing. But it’s exhilarating ,” Mr Lockyer said.

“At all times, if you look left, you can see Mount Canobolas.

“It’s an unbelievable event, for anyone into cycling, it’s something to look forward to.”

The charity Give Me 5 for Kids will be supported and a family ride and a shorter 70km course will be added which Mr Lockyer said would be popular with riders.

Mr Lockyer said the club had a large number of people using the event as a training exercise for marathons, but plenty took the time to enjoy the challenge as well.

He said the real work for cyclists began after reaching Canowindra, with speeds of up to 80km/h possible.

“With routes that wind their way through the peaks of Canowindra and Mandurama and beautiful produce on show at the food and wine festival and local restaurants, there’s no better way to get a taste of Orange on two wheels,” Bicycle Network general manager Ms Lane said.