There are not many fat bike races in the world that involve complicated logistics, dedicated support crews, 3000miles of driving, and a whopping 300 miles of multi-day, one-way stage racing. But if this type of event takes your fancy, then welcome to the Australian Simpson Desert Bike Challenge.
The daily routine starts with a 430am wake call, followed by the support crew departing camp an hour later. Fresh legs on Stage 1, aptly named “Dune Resurrection” dictate the pace over the 40miles. By stage2, the afternoon heat started spreading the race field with the riders jostling for a position that could match their fatigues legs.
Aching bodies emerge from tents, swags, 4×4 rooftop tents as riders and support crew start the day. Kettles are boiled and breakfast consumed take place before support crew depart for the lunch time stop and riders sign in.
The stage was characterized by big sand dunes, 39Deg C heat, but the pace was slower as riders reserved energy for the afternoon stage involving more sand dunes
The start of the 5th stage stage involved a relatively smooth out and back course which ran parallel to the dunes. It gave the weary a chance to ease the pace whilst allowing the front leaders to stretch the field.
Stage 6, an afternoon stage, started with big dunes and finished at one of Australia’s state borders, named Poeppels Corner.
An epic day of salt pans, sand dunes, heat and strong winds. The total distance for the day was 134km with the front leaders averaging 20km/h.
Tired bodies and tired minds challenged the riders on this stage.
The Simpson Desert is known for two big sand dunes, named Big Red and Little Red. The morning stage, stage 9, involved the riders racing across the dune crests from one dune to the next. It was pure fatbike territory as riders enjoyed the adrenalin buzz of dune riding.
The last stage of the Simpson Desert bike challenge 2015 was a neutral stage as the riders opted to roll to the finish line. The hum of 20 fatbikes reached the finish line as the riders rolled onto the sealed road and across the line.