SCODY 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE: No free rides here as thousands cycle 235km

SO how did you spend yesterday: relaxing in the sun, or cycling almost 240 kilometres of one of the most gruelling trails in Australia?

More than 1800 cyclists chose the latter at Falls Creek for the fifth annual SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge.

The event was at capacity, with a record 1850 cyclists riding the 235-kilometre trek, while another 350 were on the waiting list, hoping to get a chance to ride.

Riders set out at sunrise, climbing 4000 vertical metres in all as they reached the three peaks of Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls.

South Australia’s Stephen Cunningham and Victoria’s Alex Davey crossed the finish line together about 2.45pm after more than seven hours in the saddle.

The pair came in first and second last year.

Falls Creek Resort Management spokeswoman Jo Prothero said about 58 per cent of riders were from interstate, giving the region a much-welcome boost, particularly during the summer.

“For us, this weekend has been like a busy weekend in winter,” she said.

“Most riders usually bring their families too, so people stay the whole weekend.”

Ms Prothero said the event had been growing in popularity each year since it first began.

“The elevation is what gives it its toughness,” she said.

“It’s one of the toughest rides in Australia and has been voted one of the top-10 best rides in the world.”

This year also saw a record number of female entrants, with more than 200 women taking part.

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