Each year, the Northern Combine holds a Championship event. The winners (a list of whom we are working on compiling) form a recognisable list of Melbourne's top cyclists.
We utilise the Hell of the West course for the this event. Being warmly welcomed into the Balliang community by the local CFA (for whom we also run a fund raiser), the course is laid out to be anybody's game - climbers, sprinters, all rounders. Essentially to win you need to work your tail off. The big climb (at over 1k with sections well exceeding 20% you need at least a 39x28 gearing for this) happens with 40k left to go, so even if you get over quickly, the pack is still chasing you. Don't forget Granite Hill with 14k left or the 3k dirt section leading into the finish, finally with a 500m flat finishing straight. It is anybody's game.
How it works
The event is run based on normal grades (A, B, C, D, E). There is a podium for each grade. In addition to that, the Combine Champions are crowned from age and gender groups, so U19, Elite, Masters 123 and Masters 456. The highest placed person from each of those categories is designated as the Combine Champ. This generally means that to win, you need to finish A Grade but it is possible, especially for U19 and M456 that podiums come from B Grade finishers.