Last year the Hell fire cup should have been named the mud cup. It was unfortunate the organisers experienced a week of unexpected very heavy non stop rain right as the race was to be run. Regardless Duncan and the Hell fire crew fought on to give us a race. Having seen the work required each day to keep us racing as well as seeing the potential of the event, and basically having a blast even with the crazy weather, we pretty much signed on to do the race this year on the day we left last year!
The race is run over 8 stages, a variety of different distances and styles from hot laps to half Marathon, over 4days, with most riding in Pairs teams category however there is also the lone wolf category for those who like to ride alone and do everything.
This year the race looked like this,
Stage 1 – 25km XCO race, pairs must race finish / together.
Stage 2 – 4 x 6.5km hot laps relay style lap on lap off.
Stage 3 – Half Marathon 45km, pairs must race / finish together
Stage 4 – Roll to TTT. TTT 15.5km, pairs must race / finish together. roll home.
Stage 5 – 2 12km lap relay, one lap each.
Stage 6 – Optional night lap stage (doesn’t affect overall race )
Stage 7 & 8 – Hill climb 3km & hot lap 2min sprint, each rider doing both races in separate individual races, times combined for overall result.
The weather was spot on this year, not to cold not to hot, enough Tassie sun to get a nice tan and enough drops of showery rain to make the trails sweet. There were many hard fought battles though out the various categories. We had a great battle with the Torq girls Jenny King and Em Parks ( Some of the nicest ladies around ) in the Elite Female pairs over the four days, with some hard neck to neck racing, both teams experiencing mechanicals (thanks to Avanti plus Hobart for the loan bike to keep us in the race ), good luck, bad luck, the overall race came down to seconds, very close for a race run over so many days and stages. In the end we came out by the skin of our teeth to take the overall elite female pairs win after the four days of hard racing.
In its second year there had been a great deal of work put into making the trails great fun, and no doubt the crew are working on added to these as we speak. Also the event crew had really worked hard to take in feedback from last year’s event when teething problems combined with the bad weather caused some issues. The shower setup had a big overhaul and was fantastic, at one point a group of us having a giggle that we’d have to complain because they were to hot! The Bike wash shed was a luxury and the Wi Fi did a great job to keep people posting their daily exploits to social media, and just in contact with the outside world as the event village is hidden in the trees away from reception. The racing at Hell Fire is great fun, combined with the beautiful natural wilderness of south east Tassie, and just the overall atmosphere of the event, it is without doubt one of our favourite events and we are already looking forward to the next edition. Get down there if you can!
For more Info on the great event head over here – HellFire Cup