The 136km Gran Fondo departs from Wharf Street, Port Douglas, in front of the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina. Riders will turn right into Macrossan Street, the main street of Port Douglas, then making another right turn once they meet the magnificent Four Mile Beach. The course then takes the riders out of Port Douglas through the corridor of palm trees lining Port Douglas Road where the course meets Great Barrier Reef Drive, which will be fully closed to traffic in both directions.
A short diversion around the quiet country backroads of Mowbray takes the riders past sugar cane fields this region is famous for, crossing over creeks and rivers before arriving back onto Great Barrier Reef Drive.
The ride down to Palm Cove is undulating as it hugs the side of the east coast of Queensland. An Aid Station will be located at the 31km mark at the top of Rex Lookout, which has one of the most spectacular views along the course. Feel free to stop, refill your bidons, grab a snack and take some quick photos.
But remember, you must keep a minimum average speed of 22kmph to reach the final turn by cut-off or you will be directed to complete the 100km course instead.
Take care on the descent down from Rex Lookout as the corners tighten more than you might expect. The undulations continue all the way down to Palm Cove, where you’ll find another Aid Station at the 50.7km mark, under the palm trees right beside the pristine sandy beaches of Palm Cove.
On the way back up to Port Douglas, there is another Aid Station at the 70.2km mark, outside the entrance to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures (a must-see experience while you are in Tropical North Queensland!), just prior to the climb back up to Rex Lookout.
You can then challenge yourself on the KOM/QOM climb up to Rex Lookout. The fastest man and woman to conquer the 1km climb with an average gradient of 4.6% will each receive a Bryton Rider 750 bike computer!
To ensure you have plenty of fluids we will have another Aid Station at the entrance of Thala Beach Nature Reserve (amazing accommodation in the rainforest, with some rooms also overlooking the ocean!) at the 80.9km mark. You’ll also pass this Aid Station at the 99.2km and 116.9km marks on the course.
The course will take you back around through Mowbray, but once you reach Great Barrier Reef Drive again, you will turn right back towards Rex Lookout, while the 100km and 48km riders will be turning left towards Port Douglas. You must reach this right turn at the 91.9km mark before 11:20am, otherwise this option will be closed, and riders will be directed to turn left and head in to complete the 100km course.
Riders will then ride back down Great Barrier Reef Drive, climb up to Rex Lookout and make a U-turn at the top and head back towards Port Douglas. The finish will be a welcome sight for many as riders roll across the finish line in front of the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina. You will be directed to ride around the back of the Marina where we’ll have plenty of cold water ready to cool you down. The best news is that Hemingway’s Brewery is right there at the finish line!