Audax Alpine Classic coming to town

CYCLISTS from across the country and beyond will take to the roads around Bright for the annual Audax Alpine Classic this month.

The event will take place from Friday 24 – Sunday 26 January, and all road users are reminded to share the road and drive to conditions.

Alpine Shire Council Manager Economic Development Clayton Neil said a large number of cyclists will be using the roads across the weekend and in the lead up to the event.

“The Audax Alpine Classic is a premier cycling event that attracts riders from around the world and continues to build the Alpine Shire’s reputation as a cycling mecca,” he said.

“Cycle tourism brings more than $16m into the regional economy each year and has a hugely positive impact on the local tourism industry.

“Audax brings thousands of people to the Alpine Shire each year and showcases the natural beauty of the Alpine Shire in a way that keeps people coming back year after year.

“Cyclists will be using the roads around Bright, Mount Beauty, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Buffalo and Tawonga Gap.

“It’s essential for all road users to share the road – riders will be tackling some of the steepest, most winding roads in the Shire, so please drive safely.”

The event also features the family-friendly “Bonjour Bright” at Howitt Park, a weekend of free entertainment featuring French movies, music and children’s performers.

“Bonjour Bright is a fantastic way for families of participants and locals to enjoy a touch of France in the middle of Bright,” Mr Neil said.

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Audax rides are non-competitive long distance bicycle tours, or "randonnees". The challenge is in riding at your own pace to finish within the time limit, rather than racing other participants.

Limited road closures will be place during the event.

“We have a policy to keep road closures to a minimum because we know how it can disrupt other events and day-to-day activities,” Mr Neil said.

“The only road closures will be around the event base at Howitt Park.”

Road closures will be as follows:

6.00pm Friday, 24 to approximately 7am Monday, 27 January:
* Howitt Park car park (below Riverdeck Café) will be closed to general traffic

3.00am to approximately 10pm Sunday, 26 January 2014:
* Howitt Lane will be closed
* Riverside Avenue closed (local traffic excepted)
* Soundshell car park closed to all through traffic

5.00am to approximately 8.30am Sunday, 26 January 2013:
* Barnard Street
**Riders will be leaving the one-way street against the normal traffic flow, onto Gavan Street travelling towards Harrietville.

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