February 17, 2015
If you are going to Victoria, Australia and only do one bike ride (ridiculous proposition!) while you are there, go and ride the Epic Trail…. It may hurt a little but it is worth it. Oh, and you may as well go while they are hosting the first round of the Australian Enduro Series…why not?!
Graves, Hill, Brosnan, Clementz??? …yep, that is a good enough reason I think.
Some call this the best trail in Australia, and for good reason. The Epic is over 40 km of largely single track. With solid, well thought out climbs, amazing summit views and long flowy descents , this was well worth the 3hr drive from Melbourne.
Our loop was a slight variation of the proper epic trail. We completed the Stonefly up and down, a true classic and then cut across to the Telephone Box Junction (a magical haven found deep in the forest) to finish the ride down to the base of Mt Buller. All in all this made for a slightly longer loop at 51km! But hey, we are athletes…right?
Where do we go? whats happening? beards look ok??
Prime singletrack. We saw a lot of this in the 50km of trails we sessioned.
An absolute gem in the middle of nowhere, gourmet food, coffee and a repair shop!
A full service centre to keep you rolling through the day.
Callum sending a sausage roll down before the 11km climb.
It takes a while to get to this sign, The steep climb out of TBJ is only made worse by the fact you have already done 25km or so to get here, this is the last place you will stop before the fun of the final descent begins.
Or maybe you’ll stop to take a photo.
The beautiful views of Mt Buller and surrounds.
That was our Saturday complete….now for some Sunday Enduro heckling.
An evening stroll down to the main village area..pump track and all.
Some of the guys checking on their seeding times for Sundays event.
Hill, Jones, Clementz out for a final practice.
One or two nice steeds in the lineup. Both Richie Rude and Jared Graves chose to ride the SB5C on race day opting for the shorter travel of the two bikes.
Following some riders up to the start of stage 3 on the Sunday. The pros had already begun the Stage 3 climb at this point. We were driving to a spot to hopefully catch em on the way down.
Mr Sam Hill was the first to descend Stone Fly. Still rocking flats.
The pros came down at their own leisure. Troy Brosnan a few minutes later on. He looked extremely smooth and extremely fast.
A post Stage 3 chat at the main food station.
You could here this guy coming!. Heaving breathing all the way down. Graves looked like he was working harder than everyone else. Extra pedal strokes wherever he could..Thats the kinda thing that pays off in the long run.
Jerome Clementz. Fast and smooth.
Another smooth line from Brosnan. Cornering so precise outta this section.
The start of Stage 5 had a sprint style start which eventually looped onto parts of the DH trail network at Mt Buller. The Pros still looked fresh at this point.
Graves finished the final stage with a flat but basically still crushed everyone by over a minute over all. Quite ridiculous really, but I guess that is what you expect from a world champion.