The Newcrest Orange Challenge is an annual one-day cycling event that takes place on the car-free country roads in the regional city of Orange each year.
But because the event takes place in a serene location doesn’t mean that this is an easy ride! There are plenty of sharp, tough climbs on the roads of Orange.
Three different circuits are available to provide different experiences. There are 70km, 100km and 170km options. The 70km ride is known as ‘The Taster’ and has an elevation 770 metres along the way. The 100km ‘Tonne’ has 1,430 metres of climbing, while the aptly named ‘Brute’ circuit of 170km features 2,200 metres of hill work. This challenging course has hills that seem never-ending and many of the road surfaces are challenging as well. There are no shortcuts or easier backroads that you can take. You’ll need to make sure you do plenty of training beforehand to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience.
Orange is a well-known wine-growing area with a thriving wine industry. You’ll cycle past numerous vineyards and wineries and after your ride you’ll be able to sample some that the area is well known for – Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, Riesling Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs.
Orange is about a 3 hour and 45-minute drive west from the Sydney CBD on the Great Western Highway. Bus services are also available to get you there. You can catch a train to Lithgow station on the Blue Mountains line and then take a bus to Orange. Orange also has its own regional airport if you need to get there quickly or are travelling from further away.