It is one of the region’s most difficult and challenging climbs, and its literally just a few minutes ride from the centre of town – Bowral’s legendary Oxley Hill.
Specially renamed for this year’s Bowral Classic, we’re calling it the ‘WTF Oxley KOM’. At just over 1km in length it may not be the longest climb you’ve ridden, but we guarantee the wall that is ‘WTF Oxley’ will stick in your memory (and your legs) for a long time to come.
Why Is This KOM Different?
Unlike many other iconic KOM’s that are half way through a Fondo or out the back of nowhere, this one is so accessible to town it’s not funny. Hell, it’s so close to town you may even want to roll down late in the day and suffer through a few repeats of it just because it’s there!
While it’s super-close to Bowral – so close we are encouraging locals and event supporters to walk to the hill the cheers on the victims … er riders on event day, this KOM will greet Maxi Classic participants 65km into their event.
Just picture it … hundreds of cheering locals, ringing their Bowral Classic cowbells and shouting encouragement as you grit your teeth and search for the energy to post your best time up one of the most epic climbs in the region.
Hot Tips On Oxley Hill
We asked event ambassador and gun local rider Harry Kooros his thoughts on the climb, and the tactics he employs to defend his 13th place on the climb on Strava.
“The infamous Oxley Hill is a deceivingly difficult climb,” he told us. “At only 1.29km it’ll feel 10 times that length. At an average gradient of 11%, you will climb nearly 140 meters in very painful 5-10 minute effort.”
Harry told us many local riders try to avoid the climb because of how tough it is, but he can’t.
As a life-long local and manager of The Fixed Wheel Bowral, Harry lives at the top of Oxley Hill. He rides 6-7 days a week and has to climb the hill to get home.
“The best way to post your quickest time is debatable,” he told us.
“It’s difficult to find a rhythm up this climb which makes it all the more painful. In my opinion you need to start easy…very easy. It may look short but it gets longer the more you keep riding. Each bend you go around you are shown what lays ahead of you next.”
It Ain’t Over When It’s Over
Come event day on October 21, Harry said it’s important to save fuel in the tank for what comes after the climb.
“Remember there is still over 100km of the ride to go once you reach the top so you don’t want to be cooked,” he said. “The numbing in your legs and the blood you are tasting in your mouth will be quickly forgotten as you summit the top and gaze your eyes across the vista of the town of Bowral and head towards the historic village of Berima.”
At the top of the climb on event day there will be a sprint to the Bianchi KOM Arch. Here you may want to take a quick look around, enjoy the spectacular vista, and marvel at one of the most scenic hill climbs in Australia.
Take The Bowral Classic Oxley Hill Challenge & Win!
Join the Bowral Classic Strava Club and ride Bowral’s Oxley Hill anytime between now and 6pm on Saturday October 20.
We will select the best two efforts – one male and one female – and those riders will each receive a Thule voucher valued at $500!
This is open to registered 2018 Bowral Classic riders and the prize will be awarded following Sunday’s Bowral Classic.