Bicycle Network: The route (4765)
At 235km long and with over 4,000 vertical metres of climbing, Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is one of the toughest single-day recreational cycling events in the world and certainly in Australia.
The first of the peaks to climb, Tawonga Gap is the smallest, but should still not be underestimated. After the descent of Falls Creek this is the first serious effort required in Peaks Challenge Falls Creek. The climb has a few tight hairpins but generally is a consistent gradient and effort required.
Consider the amount of effort you expel, with an eye on your riding time with two peaks still to come.
"Tawonga is just a speed hump compared to a Grand Tour climb. That said, I managed to use every single cog in my 26T cassette to get over Tawonga Gap comfortably." - Cycling Tips
With its "formidable length and unforgettable moon-like summit", the second peak to conquer, Mt. Hotham is among Victoria’s most iconic cycling climbs. The best way to pace yourself for the climb of Mt Hotham is to mentally divide into thirds – steep, false flat, steep. Taken as a whole, it's a long tough climb, eased a little by a relatively gentle middle-third, and punctuated by a few very steep sections. The first of these, the Meg, is a 300 metre stretch with a gradient of 11.8%. The second steep section, CRB Hill, is a 700 metre stretch with gradients in excess of 10%. And finally, you confront the Diamantina, the last and arguably toughest section of the climb (1.4km at 9%).
Push through the pain and you are rewarded with views of Hotham Heights and the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Entry.
"You will feel every one of the 30km from Harrietville to Hotham village." - Simon Gerrans
The final climb in Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is the Falls Creek climb from the Omeo side. With the road only being sealed in 2009, from the Omeo Highway to the edge of Falls Creek at Windy Corner, this climb is still a relative unknown to many cyclists. However, those that have tackled the climb will not forget it quickly.
With the first 8 kilometres averaging around 10% gradient, it has been known to push many a cyclist to their limit.
"It hits you like a sucker punch in the face. The first 10km has nearly a 10% gradient and I swear people were walking past me quicker than I was riding." - Cycling Tips