Don't miss the 2018 Newcrest Orange Challenge – Bike Magazine Australia

Have you ever dreamt of taking part in a European one-day classic?

Well now you can do something similar (without having to endure a 22-hour flight) in the 2018 Newcrest Orange Challenge which will take place on Sunday March 4.

There are three different distances to choose from to suit various levels of experience and fitness: 70km, 100km and 170km.

All of them take place on quiet country roads punctuated with sharp, tough climbs on some challenging road surfaces that will put all your training to the test.

The 70km route features 770m of climbing – starting from Orange and finishing in Canowindra. A good level of fitness will be required to deal with the long false flats and punchy ascents and to beat the cut-off time at the halfway point.

The entry price of $99 includes transport back to the finish-line festival site at Orange where you can kick back, relax and soak up the atmosphere.

The 100km route goes in the opposite direction – starting in Canowindra and heading through Mandurama before finishing in Orange – with 1,430m of climbing required. Entry is $129 and includes transportation from Orange to the start-line if required.

The longest challenge is the 170km ride, costing $189, which runs in a loop from Orange, out to Canowindra and back again. There will be cut-off points along the route, meaning you’ll have to keep an average pace of 19km/h to complete the challenge.

For those who have never visited, Orange is a hidden gem, tucked between the rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, open roads and picturesque open plains of the NSW Central West tablelands.

The town is around a four hour drive (250km) west of Sydney and is accessible via plane with Rex Airlines.