I am the volunteer Ride Director for the Audax Alpine Classic Extreme 250 (Audax ACE 250) and on the Australia Day Weekend we ran our inaugural event - the first event to ride 'The Loop'.
The ACE 250 covers the same Loop as the 3 Peaks but starts and finishes in Bright hence it is a little longer. Consequently the Back-o-Falls is ridden with a few less kms in the legs We had 366 starters and 360 finished.
This success rate has partly been attributed to the better weather in January, to the qualifying process and the ACE 250 FORUM which was established in December 2009. The ACE 250 FORUM sought to 'rattle the cage' by helping riders to get an understanding of the extreme nature of the event given not only the distance and climbing but also the isolation plus to give them some very practical things to think about.
Being an Audax event it was also recognised that some of the support features more popularist events provide would be absent, so riders needed to get their heads around the fact that 'If it breaks - You fix it' and 'If you need it - You carry it'. Also the need for lights for the 4am start and what would be suitable lighting to pass the light check. Some aspects which some consider to be Audacious but which are the very essence of Audax and what sets Audax apart from other riding experiences.
In the interests of openly sharing information and experiences for a safer and more enjoyable riding experience around 'The Loop', please feel free to check out the ACE 250 FORUM as part of your preparation for the 3 Peaks.
It can found at http://audaxaustralia.org.au/forum/view ... da1624853a