Audax Alpine Classic
|Audax Alpine Classic|
Climbing Mount Buffalo in 2008
|Region||North East Victoria|
The Audax Alpine Classic (AAC) is an Australian bicycle event run every Australia Day weekend (late January) in Bright, Victoria and is organised by Audax Australia volunteers. Arguably the most difficult single day cycle event in Australia with the 200 km version covering four steep climbs. All distances start at Howitt Park in Bright and are on open roads.
- Alpine Classic Ultimate (320km) First run in 2015, this event starts with the 72 km out-and-back ride to Mt Buffalo summit (see below) then takes the 250 km ACE250 route (see next item).
- Alpine Classic Extreme (250km) First run in 2010 after surfacing of the Bogong High Plains Road beyond Falls Creek was completed in 2009. The route commences in Bright and travels through Harrietville, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Omeo, Anglers Rest, Falls Creek, Mt Beauty and over the Tawonga Gap back to Bright. It is very similar to the SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge, other than the starting location.
- Audax Alpine Classic (200km) The most popular distance that has the four ascents of Tawonga Gap, Falls Creek, Tawonga Gap and Mount Buffalo. The route commences in Bright and travels through Germantown, Tawonga, Mount Beauty, and Falls Creek, before returning to Bright along the same route. The route the continues to Porepunkah then Mount Buffalo and once again returns to Bright.
- Audax Alpine Classic "Sunrise over Buffalo" (200km) Introduced in 2014, a variation on the traditional 200 km route, this route commences in Bright and heads first to Porepunkah then Mount Buffalo and back to Bright, then through Germantown, Tawonga, Mount Beauty, and Falls Creek, before returning to Bright along the same route. Like the Alpine Classic Extreme 250, this ride starts at 4am, hence the reference to sunrise.
- Audax Alpine Classic (140km) From Bright travels through Germantown and Tawonga to Mount Beauty before returning to Bright. The route continues to Porepunkah then Mount Buffalo and once again returns to Bright. The 140 uses the same route as the 200 km but does not ascend Falls Creek.
- Audax Alpine Classic (130km) The route commences in Bright and travels through Germantown, Tawonga, Mount Beauty, and Falls Creek, before returning to Bright along the same route. The 130 uses the same route as the 200 km but does not continue to Mount Buffalo.
- Audax Alpine Classic (72km) The route commences in Bright and travels to Mount Buffalo through Porepunkah before returning to Bright.
- Audax Alpine Classic (60km The route commences in Bright and travels to Mount Beauty through the Tawonga Gap before returning to Bright.
The first AAC was run on Australia day 1986 over a 200 km circuit with just six riders.
The 2003 Eastern Victorian alpine bushfires prevented the ride proceeding. This was due to the uncertainty of if the fire would flare up, the road surface and the residual smoke. A significant number of rider refunds were redirected to the Bright Country Fire Authority.
The hot year where the temperature was around 42 degrees but with the reflected heat off the road surface played havoc with all riders. Only 31% finished the 200 km and as a result the rules were changed to protect riders in extreme heat.
In excess of 2000 riders battled the hills in relatively easy conditions.
Another year with ideal riding conditions and over 2000 riders. Barcode readers were first introduced to improve processing of rider times. A post ride function called "Bonjour Bright" commenced.
A very hot year with temperatures nearing the maximum permissible for the event to continue.
A bushfire near Harrietville a week before the event caused the event organisers to re-route all events to Mt Buffalo. The 140 km event became two ascents of Buffalo, the 200 km became three ascents, and the ACE250 became three extended ascents (to Cresta). In the words of the organisers, "The roads around Falls Creek will be used by emergency services vehicles on the weekend. Sending a large number of riders onto those roads would not be safe or responsible." By the time the event took place, the bushfire threat eased, and the risk of the fire spreading towards Falls Creek had not eventuated. However, the decision could not be reversed, infuriating some riders.
Introduction of a new ride option, "Sunrise over Buffalo".
The 2008 was calculated to have an approximate net benefit to host community of $814,176.44 and is one of the largest annual events in the north-east of Victoria.
- Hanslip, Michael (July 2008), "Training for the Alpine Classic, episode three", Bicycling Australia (152), pp. 128–131
- Annear, Peter (1986), Alpine Classic - The Original Alpine Classic Story, Audax Australia, retrieved 2008-06-09
- Tonkin, Alan (Winter 2009), "Announcing the Alpine Classic Extreme", Checkpoint (40), p. 5
- https://www.alpineclassic.com.au/images/stories/faq%20fires%20etc.pdf[permanent dead link]
- Lamont, Matthew; Axelsen, Megan; Faulks, Pam (June 2008), Outcomes of the 2008 Audax Alpine Classic participant (PDF), Southern Cross University; University of Queensland; University of Canberra, p. 29, archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-21