DAY 3 - Lake Macquarie
DESCRIPTION OF THE 2017 COURSE
Start: Cooranbong Park, Freemans Drive, Cooranbong
Finish: Cooranbong Park
Start Time: 8:00am
Considered to be the Queen Stage of the Port to Port MTB, Stage 3 provides riders with an experience of some of the best singletrail the Newcastle region has to offer. Utilising the national level MTB venue of Awaba MTB Park, riders will be treated to a full loop of the epic trails before heading out in to the Watagans State Forest.
Starting and finishing in the quaint surrounds of Cooranbong Park, the stage will again start with a 5km neutral tarmac rollout along Freemans Drive. The controlled start gives riders a chance to spin out the previous days lactic acid and get prepped for the battle to the singletrack of Awaba MTB Park. All eyes will be on the lead vehicle waiting for it to race ahead and the pace to be ramped up as riders sprint for position down a 3km road descent towards the entry to Awaba Mountain Bike Park.
Once a couple of punchy fire road climbs have been navigated the course enters the phenomenal Awaba trails where for the next 12km riders will be lost in a single trail wonderland. Be sure to have your orange lenses in your glasses for today’s stage as the natural contour of the Awaba MTB Park takes riders from high to low valleys and bright to dark light as it offers endless amounts of flow throughout the 12kms.
Savour every moment of Awaba as you would savour every mouthful of food at an expensive restaurant as after leaving the singletrack the stage’s main climb up Mount Faulk looms. A 5km behemoth up in to the Watagans State Forest, Mount Faulk has proved to be decisive in the race for the lead over the past few years as well as taking you up in to some of the most spectacular forest you have seen. If you can, be sure to look at the views off the ridgeline at the top!
Fire road and access trail will transport riders at high pace through the rolling ridgeline before entering in to some beautifully maintained moto trail, claimed to be some of the best natural trail you can ride in a multi-day stage race! Be sure to take on a fair amount of nutrition during Stage 3 as it is relentless and nobody has time for a hunger flat when the final descent of the day is on your mind, The Dogs Descent.
The Dogs Descent will give rider’s legs a rest, and instead brake pads will be in the firing line as the speeds pick up with the only question being how fast you are prepared to go down the fire roads as the multiple waterbars are waiting to launch riders in to orbit. Some Alp d’Huez style hairpin turns add extra entertainment to this 10km descent, before riders then enjoy sections of new singletrack before coming out at Martinsville Road.
Remember those moments you savoured before the Mount Faulk climb? It is time to bring them back to the forefront as a 3km flat tarmac time trial now separates you from the finish line. After conquering the tarmac a quick blast down the Holy Trail will spit riders out into Cooranbong Park to conclude the stage.
STAGE HIGHLIGHT: The singletrack of AWABA, one of the best mountain bike trails in Australia!
On Saturday 27th May some changes to road conditions will occur between the hours of 7.30am – 1.00pm
Please avoid Freemans Drive along the Cooranbong Park stretch toward Awaba MTB Park from 7.30am – 8.30am. The road will be closed for a short period of time, riders will be travelling along this area and ask that you are safe and aware of riders. From 8.00am to 2.00pm road closures will be in place at the intersection of Cut Rock Rd and Burnt Bridge Rd, and Plank Hill Rd heading north at the intersection with Burnt Bridge Rd - Users will be directed easterly along Plank Hill Rd to the intersection with Prickly Ridge Rd to reach accessible use areas.