Entries are now open for the 2010 Alpine Epic multi-stage four-day mountain bike race to be held from Mt Somers to Lake Tekapo on February 24-27, 2010.
Limited at 100 teams for 2010, the event will see two-man teams pit their skills and endurance against rivals over 243km of untamed terrain through high-country stations and alpine passes from South Canterbury and into the Mackenzie Basin.
At the inaugural event last year Team RoadCraftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Marcus Roy, of Invercargill, and Kashi Leuchs, of Dunedin, won four out of the five stages in a total time of 13hrs 27min 47sec.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The isolation is the unique factor in this race. You have this feeling of remoteness with just a couple of sheep tracks as guidance and knowing full well that the only people to venture up here are the musterers and us,Ã¢â‚¬Â Leuchs said after the race in 2009.
The first event of its kind in New Zealand, the Alpine Epic combines raw adventure mountain biking with streamlined logistics. Each night a large marquee is set up to feed the riders and a presentation is held over dinner to acknowledge top-placed riders and share memorable moments from the day. Breakfast is also catered for and riders camp out each night in a tent village.
Described as the toughest mountain bike race in New Zealand the event attracts riders from throughout the world Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in 2009 teams from the UK, Czech Republic, Switzerland and America vied for the title.
Stage Schedule, Distances and more info after the jump…
Alpine Epic event director Nick Ross said it was the feedback from the inaugural event that made the 18 months of planning worthwhile for his team.
“Riders really seemed to understand what we were trying to do in creating a laid-back atmosphere set in the spectacular South Island high country,” he said.
“We are pretty excited about 2010, we are planning on continuing where we left off in 2009, with some awesome remote campsites, challenging and scenic riding, while giving people the chance to hang out and meet riders from all over the country and world.”
Mr Ross also noted that there would be a few “tweaks to the course”, including a completely new last stage which will take in the rolling country above Lake Pukaki.
“We are also working on a few other surprises to keep things entertaining,” he said.
Mt Somers to Rangitata River
Rangitata River to Rangitata Gorge
Rangitata Gorge to Ashwick Flat
Ashwick Flat to Mackenzie Basin
Stage 05: ***New Stage***
Mackenzie Basin to Tekapo