High Country Heroics

Sam Richards — 11 July 2019
Two adventurous women emerge as victors in newly established adventure competitions in the Victorian High Country.

Melbourne cyclist Melissa Ireland has taken the honours in the Ride High Country 7 Peaks 2019 season, while Fiona O’Callaghan has won the inaugural Ride High Country photo competition.

Ireland snagged herself a trip to two for Europe, through her participation in the 7 Peaks cycling challenge, which runs from October to April and encourages riders to tackle one or many of the seven Victorian Alpine Resort Road climbs.

Her prize is a two week itinerary for two cyclists around iconic Pyrenees road climbs and the Tour de France’s journey through the heart of the French countryside, and is courtesy of Wide Open Tours and Ride High Country.

Ireland’s Hotham ride was the lucky winner from over 6,500 officially documented rides. Riders were awarded one entry for every one of the 7 Peaks climbed, but upon completing the seven, they snagged an extra 10 entries. To complete all seven, riders had to pedal over 165km and climb 7,000m.

Meanwhile, O’Callaghan has won the photography prize, with her image ‘Living the Dream’ (see gallery). The image emerged victorious from the 200 plus submissions, because of the way it captured both tranquillity and motion, two of the High Country’s greatest cycling assets.

Now, she will become a Ride High Country Ambassador for the 2019-2020 cycling season, plus her award-winning image and name with feature on a billboard in Melbourne CBD.

O’Callaghan was herself taking part in the 7 Peaks Challenge, and she took the image on her seventh ride, from Omeo to Dinner Plain.     


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