From the start at the Cato Ridge Golf Club riders proceed next to the golf course before the field spitting first hill before a steep dirt road decent. The route lakes a sharp right turn down to the railway track, through a small valley on some great single track before riders make their way to the bridge crossing the N3, and then a fast section of cattle single track before reaching the disused railway tracks and the underpass under the N3 – and then the fun starts.
At this point 15km have been completed with not too much climbing – there is still over 700m of climbing in just 30 kilometres. The toughest climb of the race takes riders from under the N3 up Bartletts Hill and up to the first water table (18km). From there it is mostly downhill with a bit of everything thrown in through Bartletts, Woodcutters and on to the Hammarsdale underpass road crossing: There is cane break riding, a bit of forest single track, some jeep track, district road and even a short section of technical rock hopping before riders reach the Ark and the final water point.
Then, as you struggle up Sunrise Hill you can take heart from the fact that this is the final big climb of the event. Once over the top you are within four kilometers of the finish – as the crow flies. Fortunately you are not a crow, and by mountain bike you still have ten kilometres of fun left. Below the electricity substation you will proceed up the new switchback track and onto Hawkstone Road. The route tehn proceeds down the side of Cliffdale Road over a small river and riders then need to portage a short section called “the stairs” – at the top it is virtually all downhill to the finish on cane break roads and an new section of purpose built single track.
There is a final little climb from under the highway up to the club before riders can enjoy the short ride to the finish line.