Rules, Cut-offs and Safety


Race Rules

Rapid Asent has sole discretion to alter or amend the race format or the rules in order to increase the safety of participants or for any other reason deemed appropriate.

The following race rules apply to all competitors in the 100km Otway Odyssey, 50km Shorty, and 30km Rookie races:

  • Competitors must start and finish the full course on a non-motorised bicycle.
  • Competitors must ride the complete course as marked and directed, passing through all checkpoints on your course. Taking shortcuts or using any unfair means of obtaining an advantage over other competitors will result in disqualification. It is the rider’s responsibility to ensure that the correct course is followed
  • All competitors must wear a certified bike helmet at ALL times.
  • Individual competitors must use only one bike frame for the entire ride, although wheel changes are permissible in the designated support area inside the Forrest Festival.
  • If female competitors in the MTB 100km race wish to be eligible for cash prize money (including the Queen of the Mountain and Timed Descent) they MUST start in the elite womens field start. Competitors wishing to race in this category must notify Rapid Ascent at registration.
  • In order to win either the King or Queen of the Mountain or Timed Descent, a rider must also complete the entire distance of the race entered .
  • All competitors must carry the listed compulsory equipment for the entire race.
  • MTB races only: Failure to carry the required First Aid Kit will result in a 20 minute time penalty (does not apply to 10km event)
  • Riders who withdraw at any time after the start must advise a marshal of their withdrawal immediately.
  • Race numbers must be displayed on the handlebars at all times and cannot be modified or cut down in size in any way.
  • Riders may accept mechanical assistance on the course only by other registered racers, designated race officials and the specified race mechanic as long as it does not result in assisted forward progression. Outside assistance from anyone else may only be provided on the playing surface of the Forrest Football Ground (MTB races only) or in the designated time out zones (GOGG riders only).
  • One competitor cannot provide assistance in forward progression (pushing / pulling / towing) or food or drinks to another competitor in another category except in emergency circumstances.
  • For the Otway Odyssey 100km race, cut-off times at two key points will be strictly enforced as listed below.
  • Pedal assisted e-bikes may be used provided they do not have a power output greater than 250watts or a powered speed faster than 25km/hr. Spot checks will be completed of e-bike output and any ‘chipped’ or adjusted bikes will be disqualified. E-bikes will have their own category and will not be eligible for age group or overall prizes or prize money.
  • Australian Road Rules apply at all times on all roads, tracks and trails.
  • Only registered riders, marshals or officials may ride on the course.
  • Failure to abide by these rules may result in a time penalty or disqualification.
  • Rapid Ascent has sole discretion to alter or amend the race format or the rules in order to increase the safety of participants or for any other reason deemed appropriate.
  • All protests must be lodged with the Race Director within 15 minutes of the official results being posted. A judging panel of three (including the race director) will adjudicate on all protests and other contentious matters, and their decision will be final.
  • If the race is cancelled or called off after it has started, it is each rider’s responsibility to get themselves back to either the Start or Finish areas as soon as you have been notified of the cancellation.

Cut off times

100km MTB race – cut-off times at two key points will be strictly enforced as follows:

  • Riders cannot depart Forrest Footy Oval and head into the final Thompsons/Newcombs Spur Loop (the 75km point) after 2:30pm.
  • Riders must pass through the Thompsons Tk/Newcombs Spur track cross over point (79km point) BEFORE 3.00pm. If this cut off is NOT achieved riders will be “short coursed” and return to the finish line from this point

NO cut-off times apply for the 50km and 30km events.

Elite Women’s Category of the 100km Otway Odyssey

In an attempt to stamp out pacing by male riders and create a fair race between all elite women, we will be starting the Elite Women in the 100km Otway Odyssey 30 minutes ahead of the main field. This start is ONLY FOR WOMEN WANTING TO BE IN CONTENTION FOR OVERALL PRIZE MONEY in the open women category. Riders hoping to win either the Queen of the Mountain Climb and/or the Timed Descent must also start in this elite women’s start. 

If you are a female rider in the 100km event who is not of an elite level and is not in the hunt for prize money or hoping to win the Queen of the Mountain Climb and/or the Timed Descent, then you must start with the main field – otherwise you will block the way and cause congestion for the elite males on the single track when they catch you.

If a female rider starts in the main field and finishes in a time that gives them a place and thus prize money, this prize money will not be awarded as prize money and recognition will only be awarded to those that started in the Elite Women’s only start. Competitors wishing to race in this category must notify Rapid Ascent at registration. To be eligible for Queen of the Mountain and the Timed Descent prize money, riders must complete the whole course. 



If you have a serious crash or injury whilst out on the course we suggest the following procedures:

  • if you are able and without incurring further injury, move off the actual line of travel so you are out of the way of other riders and cannot cause further injury to yourself or others
  • stay on the course / track at all times – do not try and find your own way to a road by cutting ‘cross country’
  • seek assistance from other riders as they come past – tell them to relay a message forward to the next marshal and checkpoint confirming your location and suspected injuries
  • stay calm, use your First Aid Kit. Help will be on its way as soon as possible
  • We will have a ‘Grim Sweeper’ following the last riders along the course.


Please note that Rapid Ascent reserves the right to change or alter the course from the description outlined (due to fire, rain, private landowners or other reasons) and that any changes will be clearly communicated to riders through any of the following means:

  • SMS sent to competitors’ phones
  • during registration via announcements on the PA and notice posted on the race notice board on Saturday evening at Forrest
  • when riders are assembled at the start line or
  • when riders pass a checkpoint.
  • Please see the Emergency Plans and Procedures section below for more emergency plan information.


Rapid Ascent are in constant communication with DELWP, Parks Victoria (PV) and the CFA about the prospect of a fire in the region of the event. We have made a commitment not to compromise the safety of any competitors, any CFA, PV or DELWP personnel dispatched to attend a fire, any private land owners or the wilderness and surrounding areas as a result of the Otway Odyssey Festival.

As a result, there is a chance that the course could change on the day or the event could be postponed to the Sunday or the event could be cancelled. The event will only be cancelled if there are extreme fire weather conditions in the area over the entire weekend and it is determined that the fire danger is too great to permit cyclists to go through the course. Declaration of a Total Fire Ban on race day DOES NOT mean the event will be automatically cancelled or postponed.

Declaration of a ‘Code Red’ or ‘Extreme’ fire danger rating for the South West fire district on race day will mean the event will be cancelled or postponed and Rapid Ascent’s refund policy for the Otway Odyssey will be enacted as detailed on the event website.

Declaration of a ‘Severe’ fire danger rating for the South West fire district on event day will result in discussions with land managers. Riders will be advised of the outcome as detailed below. The event MAY still continue on the Saturday or the following day OR it may be cancelled.

Any change of course, evacuation or event cancellation will be communicated to competitors as soon and as safely as possible, through any of the following means:

  • SMS sent to competitors mobile phones
  • at the event registration area on Saturday afternoon at Forrest
  • when riders are assembled at the start line
  • when riders pass a checkpoint
  • directional arrows stating “Fire – proceed direct to Finish”
  • all messages will be copied and placed on the official event notice board in front of the registration area at the Forrest Festival and on this event website.

Once again, these changes would be a last resort, but we respect rider safety, the landowners, residents, flora and fauna of this beautiful part of the world in extreme circumstances.