The legendary 300 prepare to scramble down the mountain
IT’S 22 kilometres long and a 1200m descent – that’s the good news.
The bad news is it’s on at least two kilometres of snow and a mass start from the summit of Mt McKay that requires a mix of bravado and desperation in the scramble for positions.
Last year 75 riders tackled the McKayos challenge – this year the field is expected to be close to 300.
They have added 4 kilometres to the journey and included the recently finished mountain bike trail to below the Falls Creek resort ticket box on the way to the finish line at the shores of Lake Guy at Bogong Village.
The unique race that mimics the popularity of similar snow, dirt and road races in Europe was won in its first year by former world champion mountain biker Paul van der Ploeg.
Snowmaker Anthony Johnson is another who will again be at the start line for the McKayos on September 24.
“It’s pretty unique going from snow to gravel,” he said.
“For me I guess I have a bit of a hometown advantage because I’m out here for about 12 hours most nights pumping out the snow so I know where the nooks and crannies are even when they’re covered by snow.
“It’s also pretty crazy at the start and for me you have to spin it to win it – I don’t back off all the way down the hill.
“Last year of course we had a former world champion mountain biker in the field and that was fantastic but the race is really for everyone, you certainly don’t have to be an elite mountain biker.”
Johnson said mountain biking had turned Falls Creek into a year-round resort.
“The way it has been designed and put together the trails at Falls Creek have become a real drawcard and the success of this event shows that that is only going to grow,” he said.
“I have the best of both worlds - live at Falls Creek as a snowmaker in the winter and riding the trails through the summer.”
Entry into the McKayos will open on the Facebook event page carrying that name in the near future.
The cost for individual entry is $75 each or you can enter as a team of four that must include one female.