Last updated: 28 Feb 2012 15:19:43:470
The Bike Buller MTB Festival presented by Giant is designed to bring together all that is great about mountain biking so we’ve included a range of event styles into the one weekend of riding and racing.
A 50 km race along a mixture of single track and scenic 4WD tracks over spectacular Mount Stirling and the upper reaches of the Howqua Valley and back again.
If you have heard rumours of ‘the best MTB trail in Australia’ then is has probably been based around the Stonefly Single Track that climbs and descends Mt Stirling immediately opposite Mt Buller. Well this phenomenal 12km section of trail forms the basis of stage 1 with either a 50km or 30km race over Mt Stirling and back again with Stonefly as the centre of things, plus a range of flowing single and double tracks through the alpine wilderness, extensive mountain top views, snow gums, fresh air and just damn good riding.
This is an incredibly scenic alpine loop made even sweeter by the inclusion of a chairlift ride back up Mt Buller at the end, saving the legs for the final swoop to the finish.
(New for 2012: If you are not up to the full 50km race then you can do a shorter 30km option that still takes in the summit fo Mt Stirling the Stonefly trail but saves you from doing another climb.)
For many mountain bikers this is the queen stage, the jewel in the crown, the cold beer amongst a slab of warm tinnies… the long awaited BrakeBurner provides an endless flowing downhill course that is simply as good as it gets, check this out:
The BrakeBurner is a 5hr mutli lap enduro conducted down a flowing 6km cross country-downhill course that drops 300 vertical metres during each lap and includes the phenominal new Copperhead flow trail. When you get to the bottom opf each lap, you and your bike jump on the chair lift to do it all again for 5hrs – the most laps wins… only this year there’s an added bonus. When the 5hr time limit draws near you’ll be redirected down the Mt Buller Descent for a rip roaring 12km, 1,100m vertical descent to the very bottom of Mt Buller on one single trail. So just when you thought you’d had enough cross-country downhill action doing laps with the lift, you’re directed down the ultimate (friendly) downhill course for a final blast of the brakes.
Further to that, the 2012 Brakeburner will finish in the middle of the ‘Picnic in the Park’ food, wine and music festival in the parkland at the base of the mountain. So after some of the most epically enjoyable riding you will ever do there’s food, wine/beer and entertainment right at your bike cleats. This event will truly be awesome!
NOTE: This is not a full on downhill race! You do not need 10inches of travel, body armour and a full face helmet – in fact the fastest riders will just be riding their standard cross country / free ride dual suspension bikes (100-140mm travel). The BrakeBurner lap course is held along a flowing a mix of single track / double track and includes a couple of short climbs that come together as a super fun descent that you’d love to do again and again. AND, for 2012 we’ll even get the lift timing right so you won’t have to queue and the lift time won’t be included in your race time.
For those riders who are not keen on the full 5hr BrakeBurner but still want a dose of cross country – downhill action. You can tackle the Mt Buller Super-D Descent as a stand alone event. This will see you starting in groups of 5, at 30 second intervals, from the lofty heights of the Spurs Restaurant and then powering down the 12km long, 1,100 vertical metre descent to the base of the mountain for the ultimate dose of fun. This is a trail that starts off with some roller coaster single track before turning to double track and descending down-down-down the mountain, across 12 bridges over the rover and then into the food, wine and music festival at the finish line at Mirrimbah.
This Mt Buller Super-D Descent received incredible feedback from competitors in 2011 and for those not wanting to ride the full 4hr BrakeBurner still provides you with the biggest descent of your life. You’ll love it.
NOTE: This is not a full on downhill race for big Downhill Bikes! The Mt Buller Super Descent course is equally cross country orientated and races its way down a flowing 4WD track that includes 12 bridges over the magical Delatite River en route to the finish at base of the mountain. In fact we had a number of fun loving kids aged under 15 do it safely last year who loved it.
A 25km race on the single track network established around the Mt. Buller village and neighbouring Corn Hill area with plenty of lung busting climbs, burmed descents, snow gums and stunning mountain views.
This challenging 25km race continues to get better and better with some stunning new ‘Glenn Jacobs’ single track being incorporated into the 2012 course. Rather than heading down sections of the more full on ABOM downhill as in previous years, racers will blast down the new ‘Copperhead’ super smooth, intermediate level downhill track to the Skating Rink for a real XC hoot. After a short climb back up to the road, the race heads across to Corn Hill for some new and old favourites like Misty Twisty, Silk Lane and the Picnic Table providing some grunting climbs mixed with plenty of fast burmed descents. Race back through the new trails in the One Tree Hill area and you’re into the finish line at the Village Square with your racing legs exhausted..
This is a short but sharp race on some superb, custom built single tracks and the ideal way to get your weekend under way.
The premier format is for riders to compete in Stage 1 (50km), Stage 2 (5hr Brakeburner) and Stage 3 (25km) with the fastest cumulative time and most laps in the Brakeburner for males and females being crowned Bike Buller’s Best and the Champion of the weekend. Alternatively, if you are new to riding, can’t make it for the whole weekend or need to juggle the kids then you can pick and choose to do which ever races you like and just do one or two races.
• Entry to the Picnic in the Park food, wine and music festival in the Mirimbah parkland at the base of the mountain
• Bike Expo with a range of bike industry stands, displays and more.
• Plenty of activities and things for non riders to do – bring the family.
• Range of discounted accommodation on the mountain to suit any budget or style.
• Round out the weekend with a casual BBQ and presentations on Sunday afternoon.
ALL IN ALL, The Bike Buller MTB Festival is designed as a super fun mountain bike event for everyone with a range of awesome races on unforgettable trails, popular new formats and scenic rides through beautiful wilderness. Mix this with a friendly vibe, the chance to catch up with your mates for a beer in the festival and a killer BBQ at the end and you have a MTB event that everyone can be part of.
Here are the course maps for the 2012 races.
Click here for a higher resolution version.
Click here for a high res verison
Here is a description of each stage of the Bike Buller MTB Festival presented by Giant and the associated details on starts, finishes and all else. We have designed the stages to showcase a variety of the riding around Mt Buller and to utilise the new single tracks that have already been built (remembering that there is another 1-2 years worth of trails still on the way). Also be aware that the riding is tough and rocky - funnily enough Mt Buller is not flat so there are some hills and rocky sections in all events and all competitors are advised to do some good training before race weekend.
Stage 1 and 3 will involve ‘mass starts’ with all riders in the same start chute, all starting together. We encourage riders to be sensible about your speed and ability and place yourselves in the start chute accordingly.
Stage 2 (the 5hr Brakeburner) and Stage 2B (the Mt Buller Super D Descent) will involve designated groups of riders setting off at designated time intervals. Further details on each of these starts are provided below.
Courses will be marked with a mixture of small red and large orange arrows pegged into the ground or fixed to trees and fluoro pink surveyor’s tape tied to trees and bushes, plus red/white barrier tape. The latter will be used to “block off” tracks and the tape will be laid down on the ground (to help stop it being broken by animals and trail bikes). You should NEVER ride over or cross over the red/white barrier tape. If you do, you will NOT be riding on the correct course .
All track intersections will be clearly marked and care should be taken to follow the arrows. Track markings on the longer, straight sections where there are no other options or intersections will be far more spread out so take your time at the intersections to make sure you are on the right track. Unless otherwise marked / directed, competitors should follow the most major track at all intersections. If there is no arrow at a minor track junction then continue along the most major track (eg the other track could be just a kangaroo track).
‘Caution’ signs or signs with multiple arrows pointing down indicate that there is a difficult or technical section ahead and that you should definitely slow down and take care ahead. There will also be a number of marshals at strategic locations to help direct you and provide emergency assistance if required.
Courses will be well marked but that is not to say that you cannot get lost – you need to keep your head up and be aware of the course markings around you, otherwise you will get lost.
There are a number of checkpoints along the courses for Stages 1 and 3 through which all riders must pass to confirm you have completed the full and correct loop. Check point marshals will be recording race numbers that we will use to double check results in the case of a protest.
Rapid Ascent reserves the right to change or alter the courses from the descriptions above (due to fire, private landowners or other reasons) and that any changes will be clearly communicated to riders through any of the following means:
- at the event briefing immediately prior to the race
- when riders pass a checkpoint
- all messages will be copied and placed on the official event notice board in the Village Square.
- If you withdraw from a stage for any reason whatsoever then you MUST advise a marshal or member of the race management ASAP. This is really important as otherwise you will be assumed missing and a search commenced.
- Normal road rules apply for all stages - traffic is not stopped during the race so take care and give way where appropriate.
- All distances are approximate and may be + / - 2km at times
- It is up to you to get yourself to the start of each stage for the advertised start time. We will not be conducting a roll call and will not be waiting for riders to arrive.
When: Saturday March 10th, stage starts at 10:00am
Start / finish: Mass start from the Village Square. Finish at Village Square
Stage presentations: 1:00pm at the Village Square as part of final presentation BBQ on Monday
Terrain and riding style: Generally flowing single track and 4WD track with 2 solid but ridable climbs over Mt Stirling, a few fun descents and a final chairlift ride back to Mt Buller
Hydration / nutrition locations: Water points at approx. 15 km and 35km point at Razorback Hut at the top of the Stonefly Trail. (Approx 15km pt for 30km riders)
Spectator locations: Recommended locations will be the Village Square for the start, across at Telephone Box Junction on Mt Stirling or the Spurs Restaurant on Mt Buller to see them coming up the chairlift.
30km and 50km race options:
Stage 1 includes the option for a 50km course or a shorter 30km course (that takes a shortcut). When you entered the event online you told us if you were doing either the 30km or 50km. If you change your mind (which is OK) then please tell us at the registration tent before you start which race you will complete. All riders, doing either the 30km or the 50km event, will start together in the one mass start and then the 30km riders will take a shortcut as explained in the description below.
Start and course description: Racing commences with a mass start in the village square. Riders then complete a loop in the village streets going along Delatite Lane, Goal Post Rd, Stirling Rd and The Avenue to turn left onto the Village Family Track. Riders then turn left and go over one tree hill and then down the Gang Gangs single track to the Corn Hill Road. Continue on Corn Hill Road for a fast descent on a rough 2WD road to Howqua Gap. From here you turn onto the Stone Fly single track to climb up through the snow gums and past a scenic waterfall to Bluff Spur Hut (water point) and then further uphill to the Mt Stirling Summit (and some spectacular views).
After crossing the Mt Stirling summit all riders commence down the 4WD track on the other side, turning left to ride past GGS hut and into the snow gums. Approximately 300m after GGS hut the 30km riders will keep left and ride around the West Summit Trail and back to the top of the Stonefly trail (refer below for continuation) whilst the 50km riders keep right and descend down the ski trails to Kings Saddle. 50km riders pass through King Saddle and then onto more ski trails, past The Razorback cattleman’s huts and down Hut Trail to Telephone Box Junction (water point). Turn left and ride back up to Bluff Spur Hut (water point) on a solid but gradual climb and then turn onto the Stone Fly single track (where the 30km riders rejoin the trail having missed the last 20km) for the 4km rollercoaster descent of your life back to Howqua Gap. Turn right onto the 2WD Circuit Road for a few kilometres and then turn left onto the River Spur trail for a fun and fast double track descent crossing the headwaters of the Delatite River to then join the Mt Buller sealed summit road.
Turn left and ride up the Mt Buller Road for 2.8km and then right to descend to the mid station of the Horsehill Chairlift. Get on the chairlift with your bike (yes, you read it correctly, get on the chairlift and enjoy a free lift up for ~15mins!) to Spurs Restaurant and then descend on the Abom / Village Link trail to the finish line at the Village Square.
Hazards: The descent from the Mt Stirling Summit to King Saddle can have a few water bars and surprises on it, so keep your eyes peeled. Otherwise take care when riding on the Mt Buller Road as it is still open to traffic. Normal road rules apply.
The Chairlift: The rules and guidelines for use of the chairlift listed for Stage 2 below will also apply for Stage 1.
When: Sunday March 11th, stage starts from 9:00pm
The start location: Riders will start from Spurs Restaurant - at the top of the Horsehill Chairlift and finish at Mirimbah
The Start Explanation: Competitors start in designated groups of 3 riders commencing at 30 second intervals. All start groups will be pre allocated and publicised before the event in the rider kit you receive beforehand and posted on the event notice board in the Village Square. Competitors are asked to get to the start area at least 20 minutes before your allocated start time so we can get riders into groups and keep things to schedule. We will not delay any starts waiting for riders who are late. Your time starts from your scheduled start time whether you are there or not.
The finish: located at Mirimbah at the base of the mountain – where the Mt Buller pay station is located at the base of the mountain. This is also the Picnic in the Park festival and you will be finishing in the middle of it – so bring some money for a beer afterwards! There will be a shuttle bus and trucks to bring you and your bike back up to the top.
Event format: Once you have set off in your start group you follow the marked course down to the mid station of the lift, up the lift and then back around to complete a lap (approximately 7.5km long). After you have done as many laps as you can within 4hrs 15 minutes of your start time, your lap-cut-off-time elapses and you must turn away from the lap course and continue down the 12km Mt Buller Super D course to the bottom of the mountain. Your time waiting at the bottom and going up the chairlift is not included in your specific lap time (but is included in your overall 4hrs 15mins of ride time).
All stage 2 riders will have a sticker on the back of your number plate (that we posted to you as part of your rider kit) that lists your start time and your lap-cut-off-time. This cut off time will be your start time + 4hrs 15mins so you know when you must turn down the Super D course at the signed turn off. The sticker is designed to remind you when your lap-cut-off-time is so we encourage you to REMEMBER YOUR START AND CUT OFF TIME or even unpeel the sticker and put it on your handlebars so you can see it whilst riding.
A big clock with the time of day will be set up at the start line at the top of the lift so when you get to that clock and it is after your lap-cut-off-time on your sticker you must NOT DO ANOTHER COMPLETE LAP but turn down the Super D course when you reach Corn Hill Road (Please do not try to squeeze in another lap after your cut off - we have timing mats what will see it is after your cut off so it won’t be recorded anyway).
If you do not want to do 4hrs 15mins of laps you can only turn down the Mt Buller Super D after 11:00am (approx 2 hours after you start)
If you want to have a rest between laps we encourage you to do so at the top or bottom of the lift as this is not included in your lap time and there will be a water point here
Course description: From the staging area in front of the Spurs Restaurant all riders gather in their groups and get ready to go. Once under way, riders head straight into the top of the new Copperhead trail as it winds its way down the mountain before turning right to emerge on the sealed Summit Rd for a short and sharp climb up to the top of Athletes Walk. Continue across the Bourke St ski run in front of the Ski School building, down the sealed Breathtaker Rd and onto the Village Family Trail below the lodges. Turn left for a single track climb over One Tree Hill and then down the (newly extended) Gang Gangs single track to the skills park at Corn Hill Road. (NOTE: Corn Hill Road is the location of the Mt Buller Super D turn off so you must turn right on your final descent to head down to Mirrimbah after your cut off time). To complete the rest of your lap before your cut off you must turn left and descend Corn Hill Rd, cross Mt Buller Rd and onto the lower section of Copperhead and finish your descent to the chairlift mid-station. Riders then put themselves and their bikes on the chairlift for the ~12minute ride up to Spurs Restaurant. Estimated fastest descent ride time: 22mins.
REMEMBER: when you go past the timing clock at the top of the lift after your cut off time you MUST TURN RIGHT at Corn Hill Road and continue to the bottom of the mountain on the Super D course. (Read the stage 2B description for an explanation of this course).
The chairlift: Your time waiting at the bottom (if there is a queue) and on the chairlift is NOT included in your lap time but is included in your 4hrs 15mins ride time. Each chair on the chairlift can only carry 2 people and 2 bikes at a time and will be filled on a first come first served basis. We will endeavor to put competitors on the chair before the general public (a-la ski school priority lane) but riders must also respect other users. Anyone trying to jump the queue will be disqualified. If you do not know how to ride a chairlift with a bike then please ask for instruction at the race briefing.
Terrain and riding style: Overall the course drops 300m vertical metres in 7.5km over a mixture of single track, 2WD, 4WD tracks and roads. Whilst the course does generally go downhill, there are also some uphill sections. The course is ideally suited to an all mountain / cross country style full suspension bike, a downhill bike is not needed and in fact would be slower. Full face helmets are NOT required.
Hydration / nutrition locations: There will be a water point set up along with a large computer screen showing lap times at the bottom of the lift that you can access on each lap.
Spectator locations: Recommended locations will be at top of the lift to see them setting off, along the Village Family Trail where you will see riders come past each lap or near the Gang Gangs single track where they ride through the snow gums. The far end of The Avenue is another good location.
Stage presentations: 4:00pm on the main stage in the Picnic in the Park festival at Mirimbah.
To win Stage 2 – Brake Burner:
The winner will be the rider who completes the most laps of the 7.5km lap course in the least amount of time plus your time for the Mt Buller Super D from the start at Spurs Restaurant all the way to the bottom at Mirimbah. Riders with more laps completed will be ranked above riders with less laps completed. So for example, if John does 5 laps at 28 mins each and a descent of 51 mins = total 191 mins. Sam does 5 laps all at 27mins and a descent of 53 mins = total 188mins. And Jason does 3 laps at 35mins but a descent of 49mins = total 154 mins… then final placings would be 1st: Sam, 2nd: John 3rd: Jason. This means that assuming you have the same number of laps as your mate, the winner will be determined by your ride time and not the time spent waiting for the lift (if there is a wait).
Stage 2 time for your cumulative 3 race result: For those riders competing in all three races over the weekend, we will calculate your Brake Burner time by adding together your fastest 3 lap times from the Brake Burner (excluding lift time) plus your time to descend the Mt Buller Super D from the start at Spurs Restaurant all the way to the bottom at Mirimbah. This time will be added to your cumulative time for Stage 1 and Stage 3. Your fastest three laps can be completed at any point during the 4hr15mins.
Hazards: Take care when starting as a group, and be careful descending rougher sections of single track and 4WD tracks as these are fast but rough.
When: Sunday March 11th, stage starts from 12:00pm
The start: Competitors start in designated groups of 3 riders commencing at 30 second intervals from Spurs Restaurant at the top of Horsehill Chairlift (the same start location as the Stage 2 riders). All start groups will be pre allocated and publicised before the event in the rider kit you receive beforehand and posted on the event notice board in the Village Square. Competitors are asked to get to the start area at least 20 minutes before your allocated start time so we can get riders into groups and keep things to schedule. We will not delay any starts waiting for riders who are late. Your time starts from your scheduled start time whether you are there or not.
The finish: located at Mirimbah at the base of the mountain – where the Mt Buller pay station is located. This is also the Picnic in the Park festival and you will be finishing in the middle of it – so bring some money for a beer afterwards! There will be a shuttle bus and trucks to bring you and your bike back up to the top.
Stage presentations: 4:00pm on the main stage in the Picnic in the Park festival at Mirimbah.
Terrain and riding style: Overall the course drops 1,076 vertical metres over approx. 12km over a mixture of single track, 2WD and 4WD tracks. Whilst the course does generally go downhill, there are also a couple of short uphill sections. The course is ideally suited to an all mountain / cross country style full suspension bikes. A downhill bike is not needed and in fact would be slower. Full face helmets are NOT required. There are approximately 10 narrow bridges over the river in the lower section of the ride which require caution.
Hydration / nutrition locations: No water points – riders must take all their own hydration / nutrition or have a drink from the river!
Spectator locations: Recommended locations will be at the start to see them setting off, beside the Village Square on the village trail, or near the Gang Gangs single track where they ride through the snow gums. The far end of The Avenue is another good location. You should also go to the finish line at Mirimbah in the Picnic in the Park festival and watch their smiles as they have probably just completed the biggest descent of their lives!
Start and course description: From the staging area riders head down the top 2/3rd of the Stage 2 course: down the new Copperhead trail as it winds its way down the mountain before turning right to emerge on the sealed Stirling Rd for a short and sharp climb up to the top of Athletes Walk. Continue across the Bourke St ski run in front of the Ski School building, down the sealed Breathtaker Rd and onto the Village Family Trail below the lodges. Turn left for a single track climb over One Tree Hill and then down the (newly extended) Gang Gangs single track down to the skills park at Corn Hill Road. The Stage 2 lap riders turn left and return to the lift but the Mt Buller Super D Descent crosses Corn Hill Rd, does a short single track climb to the Picnic Table and then turns left onto the Delatite River Trail which is followed all the way to the bottom. The top section is a slightly rough 4WD track that zig zags down the mountain (take care on the corners) whilst the lower section is on a slightly flatter double track that crosses the Delatite River approx 10 times on narrow bridges made of logs. Keep following this all the way to the bottom.
Transport: We have organised buses to carry stage 2 and 2B riders and trucks to ferry your bikes back up to the Village Square from the Super D finish at Mirimbah. Buses and trucks will depart from the Pay Station on the Mt Buller Rd adjacent the Picnic in the Park so please help us load your bikes onto the truck before getting onto the buses. Whilst all care will be taken to look after your bike on the truck, we bear no responsibility for any damage (if you are particularly precious about your bike then you can transport it on your own car). Buses will start departing once they are full from 2:30pm. The truck will depart when it is full and will be unloaded in the Bus parking area behind the Village Square (please help!) with the first half due to be delivered at around 3:30pm and the second trip delivered at about 5:00pm
Hazards: Take care when starting as a group and then be careful descending the 4WD tracks as these are fast but rough. Care should also be taken when riding the bridges over the river as they are quite narrow and at times 4m above the ground – walk if you are unsure.
When: Monday March 12th stage starts at 9:00am
Start / finish: Mass start from the Village Square. Finishes at Village Square
Stage presentations: 1:00pm at the Village Square as part of final presentation BBQ
Terrain and riding style: Generally flowing trails with a few killer climbs, a couple of technical descents combined with 4WD tracks. Approx 70% single track
Hydration / nutrition locations: No water points – riders must take all their own hydration / nutrition
Spectator locations: Recommended locations are the Village Square for the start / finish or the new skills park on Corn Hill Road
Start and course description: Racing commences with a mass start in the village square. The peloton rides around a loop of the village streets that include Delatite Lane, Goal Post Rd and Stirling Rd , coming back past the Village Square before starting up the summit road to then turn off to Spurs Restaurant. From Spurs, riders will turn onto the new Copperhead trail and ride it all the way to the bottom at the lift station (watch your speed and take care). From the bottom of Copperhead it is a steady climb past the Horsehill car park along Corn Hill road then it’s onto the new single track loop around Corn Hill where riders will enjoy fast flowing descents with plenty of bermed corners as well as two challenging switchback climbs over the Corn Hill Summit including ‘The Medusa’ and its 11 switchback climb near the top. Popping back out on the Corn Hill Road and a quick loop of the Skills Park, it’s then back to the Mt Buller village on the new single track that cuts below the sewage plant and into the finish at the Village Square. Weekend done!
Hazards: Take care descending the Copperhead as it has a loose surface and it’s easy to go too fast. Take caution crossing the Mt Buller Summit Road as this may have traffic on it.
When: Saturday March 10th, stage starts at 4:00pm.
Start / finish: Mass start from the Village Square. Finishes at Village Square.
Stage presentations: 1:00pm at the Village Square as part of final presentation BBQ on Monday.
Terrain and riding style: We have a largely NEW COURSE for 2012 that consists of two 5km loops with a mix of village streets, 4WD tracks and single track forming a fun but challenging loop around the township.
Hydration / nutrition locations: no water points – riders must take all their own hydration / nutrition.
Spectator locations: Recommended locations are the Village Square for the start, mid race and finish or on the Southside Trail to see riders coming down a steady downhill gradient.
Start and course description: The course consists of two 5km loops. Racing commences with a mass start in the village square, with riders going up The Avenue and then turning left to the Village Family Trail. Turn left to ride over One Tree Hill and then turn right onto the Village Family Trail and follow it past the Sewage Tanks and back towards the village. (There is a short section of two way traffic here so remember to keep left). Back in the village, riders cut between the lodges and back onto The Avenue where they started and complete a second lap (or go through to the finish if you have had enough!).
Hazards: Take care on the Village Family Track descent as it can get pretty fast if you don’t squeeze your brakes