The Simpson Desert Bike Challenge offers many unique challenges - physical, mental and logistical. The race takes place mostly in South Australia, crossing the border into Queensland in the final 20km on Day Five.
From Purni Bore the race follows the Rig Road for the first six stages before coming out on to the Birdsville Track early on Day Four. The usual route then turns off the main Birdsville Track and follows the old Inside Track to Birdsville. The race consists of nine timed stages over five days and covers around 590 km. The morning stage of around 80 km gets underway at 6am. There is a break between morning and afternoon stages with the afternoon stage of around 50 km starting at 2pm. On Day Five the race ends around midday, with the final morning stage finishing outside the Birdsville Pub just over the border into Queensland.
It's been called "Satan's Velodrome" and for many competitors it has certainly been hell. And yet they return, again and again, from throughout Australia and around the world, for those five days of the year when this unique location plays host to this extraordinary cycling event.