In March 2016, in a multi-story carpark in the heart of Melbourne, hundreds of cyclists and cycling fans gathered for a night of entertainment and some good, hard bike racing. The event pitted riders of all shapes and sizes against one another and the clock, as they battled their way up the spiralling ramps of that Flinders Lane carpark.
On Saturday January 21, the evening before the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, the carpark climb comes to Adelaide.
As Andrew Gooding from event organiser VTWO explains, the success of last year’s debut event in Melbourne (see video below) paved the way for the expansion into South Australia.
“We did one in Melbourne early in 2016. Literally overnight we had messages from all over the world asking us to do one there,” Gooding said. “We had a guy in Glasgow, a guy in Singapore, we had people from Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra … and it just made sense that we do another one in Australia.
“Adelaide’s the obvious place for it, particularly during the Tour Down Under.”
The event is being backed by South Australian tourism and is an official event on the Tour Down Under events calendar. The organisers are expecting 2,000 spectators to attend — including a handful of TDU pros — to watch riders battle their way from ground level to the sixth story — a total of 12 challenging ramps.
“We start on the street and you ride about 50 metres and then you turn left into the carpark and the ramp starts straight from the footpath,” Gooding said. “Big smooth bends, really wide ramps — so nice and safe and also plenty of room for spectators.
“It’s going to be a party.”
Contributing to the party atmosphere will be a DJ and two bars; one bar on the first bend and one at the top, both stocked by Dutch brewing company A Bloc which is using the event as its Australian launch.
As for the racing, the field will be limited to 120 and will comprise four categories: men’s road, women’s road, men’s fixed-gear and women’s fixed-gear.
“It’s a really good meeting of the tribes,” Gooding said. “It’s a really interesting vibe seeing trackies and messengers and couriers and roadies; hairy-legged people and shaved-legged people all in the same place. It’s pretty cool.”
Riders will be set off in pairs, racing against each and the clock. The slowest 60 will get “a second crack at it, just for fun”, while the fastest 60 will go through to a second, final round. The fastest time in that round, again raced two-up, will decide each category.
The event details are as follows:
Date: Saturday January 21, 2017
Time: Racing starts 6:30pm
Location: Rundle Place Carpark, 90-100 Grenfell St, Adelaide
Distance from TDU event village: 850 metres
Entries are now open — follow the link below to secure your spot. But get in quick — last year’s event in Melbourne sold out in less than 24 hours! UPDATE: Entries for the road bike categories are now sold-out. Tickets for the fixed-gear categories remain.