What could be better than riding singletrack in the morning and relaxing on the beach after lunch?
Day four was perhaps the most anticipated stage, taking in most of the trails of the region’s other iconic event and Australia’s oldest single-day MTB race – the Triple R. Named for the rural, rainforest, and reef vistas it takes in, the Triple-R was this year incorporated into the Reef to Reef’s final day, with both events running nearly simultaneously.
Logistics for Reef to Reefers ran smoothly, with buses and truckloads of bikes pulling out of Port Douglas before dawn and driving up the snaking road to Wetherby Station at the top of the range. This day took in some brutal climbs, some fast, loose descents, and of course the jewel in the crown of any trip to Wetherby Station, a ride down the iconic Bump Track.
Once a trail for bullock teams hauling timber down the range to the Port, the dirt road is a magnet for MTBers, with an uninterrupted, steep dive of several hundred metres elevation, and plenty of opportunities to get airbourne. Another icon follows.
After ducking and weaving through suburban backstreets, riders emerged onto Four Mile Beach for the final section of sandy time trial before the finish – another great opportunity for pairs to work together, partners swapping off or sitting in. Reef to Reef passed at high tide this year, with breaking waves spicing up the closing kilometres of the race, alongside mystified dog walkers, beach goers, and sand castles. Once across the finish line, it was straight into the azure ocean for a dip.
Reef to Reef took a few risks in its first year, and they paid off. The pairs racing format has huge potential to add a new element to Australian stage racing, and is set to move to sister events Cape to Cape and Port to Port. Race logistics went off smoothly, and nobody complained about having to spend four or five days in Port Douglas’s tropical paradise in the middle of August.
Why not join in the fun on 8-11 August, 2019?