|February 25, 2017 – February 26, 2017 (about 24 hours from today)|
|Forrest VIC 3236, Australia [large map] -38.5167, 143.717|
|Mountain Bike, MTB, cycling, race, mountain bike event, mountain bike marathon, Bike Race, offroad, gravel grind, riding, gravel grind race|
The Otway Odyssey presented by Focus is one of Australia’s most respected off-road cycling events thanks to the quality of the courses with lung busting hills, blitzing descents and an electrifying race atmosphere that welcomes any rider – mountain bikers, roadies and gravel grinders.
For 10 years, riders have travelled to the famous Otway rainforest of Forrest in south-western Victoria to take on the region’s iconic single track, but in 2017 even more riders can be part of the action with the addition of the Great Otway Gravel Grind (The GOGG) 49km and 97km races to the schedule of events.
The action gets underway on Saturday 25th February with the principle mountain bike races; the 100km Odyssey, the 50km Shorty and the 30km Rookie, all starting and finishing amidst a huge bike expo and food festival at the Forrest Football Ground. The GOGG races and the kids 10km Pioneer MTB will be held on Sunday 26th February.
A Gravel Grind is an event held on unsealed 2WD roads and the Otway Ranges around Forrest are infused with these, making for some superb riding on traffic free roads through the wilderness. The GOGG is achievable for all styles of rider on either road bikes, cyclocross, mountain or hybrid bikes.
A unique feature of The GOGG races will be time-out sections where riders can stop for a coffee or visit a café during their race. Many will also stop and wait for their friends, adding to the social aspects of the event especially for the long course riders where the time-out zone will be in the coastal townships of Kennett River and Wye River on the spectacular Great Ocean Road.
The Otway Odyssey always attracts the best riders from across Australia who come not only to chase the titles but also to get their hands on the prizemoney which includes over $7,000 in cash across the MTB races and $3,700 up for grabs in The GOGG.
The Otway Odyssey MTB Marathons have grown to become the pre-eminent mountain bike races in Australia and on the bucket list for many cyclists. The courses are well known for their tough climbs and technical trails, but also for the friendliness on course and the race atmosphere around the Forrest Football Ground expo area.
An extensive event expo with sponsors stands, food, drinks, entertainment and activities at the Start / Finish makes this a weekend when all riders come together to celebrate off-road riding and gravel grinding in the best of company. So mark it in your diary, get on your bike and we’ll see you at Forrest over 25th and 26th February, 2017.
Odyssey 100km – summary below
Shorty 50km – summary below
Rookie 30km – summary below
Pioneer 10km – summary below
Grommets ride – summary below
NEW Great Otway Gravel Grind – 97km – summary below
NEW Great Otway Gravel Grind – 49km – summary below
Finish: Forrest Football Ground, Forrest, amidst a massive bike, food and entertainment expo
Entries: Open in late September (stay tuned!)
100KM OTWAY ODYSSEY
The pinnacle MTB race will start and finish in Forrest and include all the best single track this MTB Mecca has to offer.
The 100km race is the big race of the weekend. In 2017 this premier race will use the exact same course as was used in 2016 that starts and finishes in Forrest in a heroic bike journey that includes all the best trails the region has to offer.
The 100km Otway Odyssey is equally renowned for three things:
as one of the toughest marathons in Australia as it includes a number of lung busting hills as you climb to the very top of the Otway Ranges and
for the quantity and quality of the single track included along its length, and
for the spirit and atmosphere at the Forrest Football ground which competitors pass through on 3 occasions during the race
The course continues to receive high praise for the quality and quantity of single track and the ease of race logistics for riders and competitors alike. With kilometre after kilometre of Forrest’s renowned flowing single track mixed with a solid mix of climbing and descending, the course keeps riders honest and adds up to a very rewarding day in the saddle.
Starts and finishes in Forrest and races over some of the best trails Forrest in the area – a great hitout.
The 50km race is fast becoming known as one of the most popular mid-distance races in Australia with a capacity field of 800 riders conquering this spectacular course. The 50km Shorty is designed to be enjoyable and achievable for riders of all abilities as it includes an incredible mix of single track, bite sized hills and superb race atmosphere in a half distance challenge.
After receiving rave reviews in 2015 and 2016 we will re-use the same course for 2017 that will see 50km riders enjoy plenty of Forrest’s most popular single tracks and gives Shorty riders the same wow-factor riding as the 100km Odyssey.
The 30km Rookie is designed for novice mountain bikers or capable junior riders who are looking for a race to match their skills and help them set up to bigger challenges.
After its debut in 2016, The Rookie is back! This is a 30km race that’s designed for MTB newcomers and capable young riders who want to get into the sport but are not ready to commit to a full 50km. This event utilises much of the popular Forrest single track but cuts out the big hills and is designed to be more accessible for those who may be doing one of their first mountain bike race.
A fun event designed for young mountain bikers, to give them a taste of the action.
The Otway Pioneer is designed for kids and junior riders and will provide you with a taste of the thrills and spills of this fantastic sport. The course includes a steady mix of 4WD tracks, swooping single track, rainforest, roads and country scenery. It’s a loop that gives kids the chance to develop their riding skills and non riders the chance to have a bit of fun.
In 2017 the Otway Pioneer will again include a category for handcycles that allows riders who have suffered some loss of function in their lower limbs due to disability or impairment to participate in a mainstream MTB race. The hand cyclists had a terrific time in 2014 and 2015 and will be back for more rewarding riding in 2016.
A fun ride and activities at the Forrest Footy Ground (Event Expo area) for little kids on pedal bikes and balance bikes – best for kids aged 3-8yrs.
We love seeing kids on bikes and want to encourage them to enjoy the sport and have fun on their bikes – so we’re including a NEW ride event for kids aged 3-8yrs so they can be part of the fun. The Grommets Ride will include a range of activities for kids like bike limbo, slow races, ride the plank and more and is based around fun and not competition.
GOGG BIG RING – 97KM
This new race will start and finish at the Forrest Football ground and then take riders on an incredible journey on 2WD dirt roads through the mighty Otway Ranges to the coast and back again. These smooth dirt roads make for some magical riding through a timeless landscape with tall trees, massive tree ferns and a great sense of journey as you power through the hills. As is the case with all Odyssey events, the course will include plenty of climbing with some sizable ascents spread across the course to keep your lungs working.
This is an event that’s designed for all riders on all types of bikes, ridden most comfortably on a gravel grinder or cyclo-cross bike it can easily be achieved on a road bike (the thicker your tyres the better) as well as mountain bikes and hybrids. You do not need any specific mountain biking skills to complete the course as the entire thing is on easily ridden dirt roads but you will need to pack your thunder thighs because there are a few climbs that will keep you honest along the way.
Sure to become a riding classic, make sure you sign up for the inaugural race.
GOGG SMALL RING – 49KM
An shorter version of the 97km GOGG Big Ring, the 49km race will include a similar mix of smooth rolling dirt roads through the Otway rainforest that opens up this off-road cycling paradise to those who might normally stick to the asphalt. The roads are basically traffic free and the vistas along the way provide the wow-factor riding you don’t get when sticking to the main roads.
Ideal for those who may be new to cycling, not as fit as they’d like to be or who like to sleep in, the 49km Small Ring is also designed for riders on all styles of bikes ranging from gravel grinder or cyclo-cross bikes to road bikes (the thicker your tyres the better) as well as mountain bikes and hybrids. No special bike skills are required although a solid set of legs or a can-do attitude will help you conquer the hills and feel on top of the world when you reach the top.
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