In the three years of Bicycle Network's Peaks Challenge Cradle Mountain we have learnt to expect the unexpected, and the final edition of the ride on the weekend was no different.
With a snow capped Cradle Mountain beckoning, 300 riders saddled up on Sunday to tackle the 235 kilometre route with 4,000 metres of climbing for the last time.
While the snow on the mountain made for a pretty backdrop, it also meant the possibility of icy roads and cold conditions, despite a sunny start under blue skies in Devonport.
There were also a few obstacles to be cleared for the ride, including a large tree that fell on the road and a couple of cows that got lost on their way home from the morning milking.
— Bicycle Network (@bicycle_network) November 4, 2017
— Craig Richards (@richobicycle) November 4, 2017
Everything was under control though, with riders well prepared to tackle the ride and excellent work from volunteers keeping the route clear.
Nick Bladen from Brighton in Melbourne was the first finisher, crossing the line in just 7 hours, 44 minutes and 50 seconds, an amazing effort.
The flow of finishers was steady right through until the 13 hour cut off, with Nick Wright the last rider, also from Brighton, clocking in at 12 hours, 59 minutes and 08 seconds.
This too was a fantastic ride, and those who have been at Peaks Challenge finish lines will tell you that the cheers for those who come across the line at the end are often the loudest.
It was another brilliant Peaks Challenge Cradle Mountain, and we are sad to have to say goodbye.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the event, from the thousands of riders that have put themselves to the ultimate test, hundreds of volunteers who have helped them make it, as well as our local partners Events Tasmania and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife.
That's not it for the Peaks Challenge series however, it's now time to gear up and get ready to go back to where it all began at Peaks Challenge Falls Creek on Sunday 11 March 2018.