Loxton cyclists scale new heights

Loxton cyclists Kent Spangenberg, Paul Rudiger and Richard James completed the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek in Victoria earlier this month. The challenge is 235km and consists of over 4km of climbing. PHOTO: Stephanie Thompson

THREE Loxton cyclists pushed themselves to their absolute limits earlier this month, finishing a prestigious cycling event in Victoria.
Paul Rudiger, Richard James and Kent Spangenberg took part in the 235km Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, which is known as one of the toughest single-day cycling events in the world.
All participating riders are given 13 hours to complete the course and Mr Spangenberg said the three Loxton cyclists were able to successfully finish the event.
“When we set out, all we really wanted to do was survive,” he said.
“Paul rode it in just over 10 hours, I rode it in just over 11 hours and Richard rode it in just under 12 hours.”
Known as the ‘three peaks’, the route includes Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek.
The final climb up the back of Falls Creek is known as ‘the beast’, with the first 8km averaging 10 per cent gradient.
“That’s where a lot of people get into trouble and don’t finish,” Mr Spangenberg said.
The three men underwent extensive preparations for the event, including a three-day training camp, which included “valuable” nutrition and hydration advice.
“We would all say that that training camp was really significant in the final preparation for us to be able to achieve the challenge,” Mr Spangenberg said.
“We also did a lot of travelling in order to ride significant hills, so places like the Adelaide Hills.
“It was a huge lead-up to it, but a real sense of satisfaction and fulfilment to actually achieve it.”
Mr Spangenberg said about eight Loxton locals meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with the small group riding together for about 18 years.

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