The "Mother of all Rides". Difficult yes, but very rewarding. The ride's difficulty is not just because of the distance climbed but also because of the variations of the Alpine climate. Even though this ride is held at the height of summer, it is not uncommon for conditions at Falls Creek and Mt Buffalo to be freezing while in the valley stifling heat can await your return. This ride attracts cyclists of levels of fitness and experience. While some of cycling's elite have failed, many middle aged and older riders with minimal experience have succeeded. Mental and physical preparation and a "pace yourself" approach is important. Remember it is not a race but the task is to finish within the time limit.
Leaving Bright (300m) in the valley floor you cycle to German Town and start climbing towards Tawonga Gap. Many riders dread Tawonga Gap (885m) more that any other part of the ride. After descending the Gap you turn right and drop into the Mt Beauty checkpoint (this is the only non compulsory checkpoint on the route) however most riders stop for food and water before the long climb to Falls Creek (1560m). You retrace the route, past Mt Beauty, re-climb Tawonga Gap before descending to Bright. Leaving the Bright checkpoint ( Howitt Park) you travel along the valley to Porepunkah before starting the long climb up Mt Buffalo (1330m) Volunteers at the water points will happily fill your bottles, clean your glasses and yell encouragement. Once on the plateua, take your last gasp before climbing the pinch into Dingo Dell. After food, water and a brief rest, leave for a stunning descent and a triumphant return to Bright.
Controls (checkpoints) at Bright, Mt Beauty, Falls Creek, Bright, Dingo Dell (Mt Buffalo) and Bright.
Time allowed:13hours 30 mins.
View the 200km Profile and map
View the Rapha on Vimeo of the ACE250 route
Water Points: Mt Beauty (31km), Little Arthur Fire Trail (49km), Falls Creek (62km), Tawonga Gap (99km), Bright (125km), Eurobin Falls (141km), Waterland (150km), Dingo Dell (162km). See the water map.
Catering: Mt Beauty, Falls Creek, Bright Football Club, Dingo Dell (Mt Buffalo)
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Coverage throughout most of the course, however can be patchy in wooded areas