Get ready to race – this is your complete guide to five of Tropical North Queensland’s best and most spectacular mountain biking events.
A tropical climate ideal for year-round riding. Hundreds of kilometres of trails catering to every different mountain-biking possibility through stunning rainforest, coast and rural landscapes. Multiple mountain bike clubs, each hosting their own cross-country (XC), enduro or downhill (DH) events, some of them world-renowned. It’s easy to see why Tropical North Queensland is such a mecca for mountain bikers and why the world’s best mountain bike racers come from far and wide to take on its unique challenges. If you’re thinking of joining them, here are five events to add to your racing schedule.
Reef to Reef
WA has Cape to Cape, NSW has Port to Port and now Tropical North Queensland has its own sister event to these legendary Australian multi-stage mountain bike races. Reef to Reef, the latest member of this triple crown of Australian multi-stage mountain bike racing follows the tried-and-true recipe of its siblings, serving up four days of racing over varied terrain from Cairns to Port Douglas, finishing on Port Douglas’ stunning Four Mile Beach. Just like its interstate equivalents, racing is only the start of the fun, with beer, food and all kinds of fantastic local hospitality awaiting tired finishers each day at the lively event villages.
Triple-R stands for Rural, Rainforest and Reef, the previous name of this event and a faithful descriptor of the landscapes covered in this classic race – classic because it’s Australia’s first and oldest point-to-point mountain bike event, entering its 29th consecutive year in 2019. The Triple-R is two races in one, a 55km loop for serious racers and a shorter 35km loop, and includes a thrilling descent of the infamous Bump Track before a sprint finish on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. It coincides with the final stage of Reef to Reef to make the biggest annual mountain bike party in Tropical North Queensland.
The Crocodile Trophy is not only the world’s oldest mountain bike stage race but widely considered one of the toughest, too. This testing event attracts more than 100 riders each year from around the globe looking to tackle its challenging course from Cairns to Port Douglas – the 2019 route includes 600km of riding and 13,000m of climbing over eight gruelling days, with riders taking on everything from singletrack and farm trails to outback river crossings before finishing up on the hard-packed sand of Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
Coastal 6 Hour
The Cairns MTB Club’s day/night event, Coastal 6 Hour, includes four hours of daylight racing and two hours of night racing on the famous Smithfield Mountain Bike Park’s very best trails. Grab some mates, form a team and get ready to ride. And, once the sun goes down, get a bit rowdy because this event is as much a race as it is a party.
Ona Mission Multisport Adventure
This Mission Beach staple includes running, ocean-kayaking and mountain bike legs to really test competitors’ mettles. Enter Ona Mission Multisport Adventure as a team and let some friends look after the paddling and running while you bite into the mountain bike section and experience Mission Beach’s wonderful scenery. Or opt to take the short or long course on your own.