EVENT PROGRAM: Here is the official Event Program for the 2023 Redback MTB Stage Race. This fully explains the event with confirmed schedule, course details, rules and more. All riders should read it before arriving in Alice Springs and we will give you a paper copy at registration. Read it ONLINE HERE.
The trails around Alice Springs include plenty of variety – long, fast, straight-aways ridden at maximum speed to technical switch back climbs that will test your skills. There’s rocky outcrops leading to twisting berm runs, and undulating trails that will have you smiling (and sweating) from ear to ear. The 2023 Redback stages capture all this and plenty more…
Quick Links to Stages
- Stage 1 Westside Trails: A-Line: 36km and B-Line 22km
- Stage 2: ANZAC Hill Climb 300m (A & B-Line)
- Stage 3 Eastside Trails: A-Line: 45km and B-Line: 25km
- Stage 4: Time Trial Race A-Line: 22km and B-Line: 18km
- Stage 5: Night Race A-Line: 22km and B-Line: 18km
- Stage 6 Eastside Trails: A-Line: 52km and B-Line: 24.9km
Enter all 6 stages or pick and choose the stages you want to do… great for riders with less experience, husbands / wives of riders and locals who still need to go to work on Friday and Monday.
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS AND DETAILS
Stage 1: Westside XC Race
When: 18th August, starts at 9:00am
Distance: A-Line 36km, B-Line 22km
Approx A-Line riding time: 1hr55min for winners
Start Line: Scout Hall on Larapinta Dve (near Cnr of Lovegrove Dve)
Finish Line: Old Telegraph Station
Terrain and riding style: A varied ride starting on sandy tracks and then long continuous flowing single track which will be sure to get your legs working for the days to come.
The 2023 Redback starts on the west side of town at the Scout Hall on Larapinta Dve where plenty of work has been done to reshape old trails and carve out new ones – making it the perfect introduction to red centre riding.
The A-Line course will take in The Hell Line in a clockwise direction (rebuilt since earlier years!), Road Train, Humpy, Nturrerte, and a heap of other trails before finishing at the Old Telegraph Station. The B-Line cuts out the Hell Line and follows Tunnel Rats to cross under the railway line to re-join the A-Line course under the Stuart Hwy road bridge.
With almost ‘too much single track’ stage 1 sets the scene for a great weekend of riding to come.
Just remember that this is the first Stage, so your body will be getting used to the riding and terrain… you may feel a little sore, but we promise you that in the following Stages your body will embrace the trails and hard yakka, and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!
Stage 2 – Anzac Hill Climb:
When: 18th August, staggered starts from 4:30pm
Distance: 300m same for both A-Line and B-Line
Course record: Ben Mather 42 sec and Jodie Willet 58 sec.
Location: up the Anzac Hill scenic road in the centre of town!
Terrain and riding style: A pedal to the metal hill climb up a sealed road to a scenic look out at the top.
Stage 2 is an individual time trial hill sprint up the ANZAC Hill scenic look out in the middle of town. Its only 300m from start to finish but when its lined with spectators shouting and screaming their encouragement, and glory of a mountain top finish at the top – this is an all-out blast against the clock to see who can smash it out the fastest.
Despite being short and sharp, this is a popular and very social stage as everyone watches each other sprint up the hill. Concluding at sunset the summit provides some great views over the local area and is great for families and spectators as well.
Stage 3 – Eastside XC Race:
When: 19th August, starts at 9:00am
Distance: A-Line 45km, B-Line 25km
Start / finish location: Opposite Entrance to Mercure Hotel / Old Telegraph Station.
Terrain and riding style: A sweet course starting out on 4WD tracks but soon becoming an almost continual trail of single track through some of the region’s best trails.
One of the highlight stages of The Redback. Stage 3 takes in some of Alice’s best and most popular single track like a greatest hits sound track that you just want to put on repeat.
Diving deep into the Eastside trail network the A-Line course includes many highlight trails like Stimsons (my favourite), Perente, Carl’s, Sink Track, Eagle and many many more. The B-Line takes a couple of short cuts but still includes an incredible array of trails and a real outback journey, including the epic Skyline Tk.
Finishing at the beautiful Old Telegraph Station with it’s extensive grass and ghost gum shady environment next to the Todd River and this is about as good as riding gets.
Stage 4 – Individual Time Trial 22km
When: 20th August. Starts from 9:00am
Distance: 22km for A-Line and 18km for B-Line
Start / finish location: Juicy Rump/Lasserters Hotel.
Terrain and riding style: An individual time trial. The stage heads east along a part flow / part technical track that keeps you on your toes and then heads for home on a fast flying trail across the plains. Superfun.
Stage 4 is another individual time trial – this time along the flowing trails in the Sunset Hill area south east of town. The 22km course follows some of the fastest sections of single track in the Red Centre with plenty of fast straight-aways and high speed corners to keep you on the rivet the whole way. B-line riders short cut on to the 12 hour track before re-joining the A-Line course just before climbing Sunset Hill.
Riders are set off at 30sec intervals in reverse order according to the overall standings after stage 3 so all you have to do is hold off your followers and try and catch the rabbits in front!
Stage 5 – Night Race 22km
When: 20th August, starts at 6:30pm.
Distance: 22km for A-Line and 18km B-Line
Start / finish location: Alice Springs Golf Club.
Note the Golf Club bar and restaurant will be open to serve food and drinks before, during and after racing and will be a great place for a beer and a meal after the race!!
Terrain and riding style: Night race with all riders setting off as a mass start at night using their own lights. Same course as stage 4.
Stage 5 is held shortly after sunset and is one of the (many) highlights from the Redback as it is conducted as a night race through the outback. B-Line riders will start separately approx 20 mins after the A-Line riders to avoid congestion
Starting to the pumping tunes of Thunderstruck shortly after sunset, all riders set off together with your own headlights lighting the way for an incredible night race under the star filled desert night sky.
COURSE MAP: The course is the exact same as the stage 4 individual time trial raced in the morning(apart from slight course change for the first and last 2km) so riders are familiar with the terrain and can be wowed by the experience of racing at night together. This is an absolute blast.
Stage 6 – Cross Country:
When: 21st August, stage starts at 9:00am.
Start/Finish Location: Schwarz Cres on west side of river. Finish at Mercure Hotel
Distance: A-Line 52km, B-Line 25km
Approx. A-Line riding time: 2hrs 15min+ for the winner
NOTE: the overall male winner of Stage 6 will win the Tavis Johannsen Memorial Trophy that has been struck in his memory.
Terrain and riding style: A varied ride with flowing sections of single track and 4WD tracks.
Saving the best to last, stage 6 is commonly the race favourite as it takes in ‘the best of the best’ trails around Alice Springs to finish on a high note.
The locals continue to turn out more and more quality single track with recent productions being simply masterful, all of which are included in the A-Line course to make it the jewel of the Redback crown. The B-Line course is almost as good having taken a couple of short cuts to drop the distance.
So tune up your bike, fill up your water bottle and then get ready to empty the tank on some of the sweetest trails for a final race blitz of pure fun. Enjoy.
“The final stage of The Redback was held across arguably one of the most amazing courses in all of Australia. A big call, I know, but I’m making it ??.” James Downing