Stage 1

Stage 1 Course MapPokolbin, Hunter Valley

Distance:

45km

Total Climbing:

1034m

Start / Finish:

Audrey Wilkinson Winery

Start Time:

All riders roll out at 8.00am

Course Map:

Download Stage 1 Course Map

Move over Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley has claimed the Stage 1 start line.

Once again we have a stonkingly good start line at the amazing Audrey Wilkinson winery. Don’t forget you’re here to ride, not just enjoy the stunning view over the Hunter Valley. The event begins under hovering hot-air balloons with a mass start as all riders rollout toward the Pokolbin mountains.

Feeling a touch of Déjà vu? If you’ve ridden Port to Port MTB before you’ll recognise parts of past Stage 2 that have claimed a place in this year’s Stage 1.

Stage 1After a controlled rollout, riders will be let loose to hit the first climb of Port to Port. It’s a challenging hit up Pokolbin Mountain Rd that will have the legs burning for the first couple of kilometres and well warmed up for further climbing ahead.  As you hit the saddle at the top of the first climb there’s stunning views back over the valley. Then it’s head down and back to chewing the bar as the course hits Broken Back Rd and roughly 10km of solid climbing.

At the top of Pokolbin there awaits a labyrinth of single trail which forms a new loop section for approximately 15km winding across the crest above Deep Creek and Baldy Creek.  The course then swings back on itself around the 30km mark presenting a sweet descent bringing riders back down Broken Back Trail toward Foxy Gully and the Watagans Track.

It’s a technical, fast and rocky descent toward the finish line. Negotiate the short section back tracking through Fleming Gully to complete the first stage where you can kick back with a vino (or icy cold one) and get into some great grub.

As you cross the Finish Line at Audrey Wilkinson you’ll be graded into a wave start category for the following stages.

Sitting at around 45km in distance with 1034m gained, the first stage is highlighted by the opening climb which is rated Cat 2 – 11km in overall length and an average grade of 3.5%