Fleche Opperman

The Fleche Opperman All Day Trial (or "The Oppy") is a 24-hour team time trial held annually by Audax Australia. Teams of three to five bicycles team must ride at least 360km and finish at a designated location in each state... and if you're not up for 24 hours of riding, try the Petit Oppy (180 km in 14 hours). Uniquely teams choose their own routes to the designated finishing place More details below.

There are some important changes in 2019.

Southern states will start on Saturday 23rd of March while Far North Queensland's rides will run on 18th May. Please check the online calendar or contact the regional coordinator for the start time in each region.

Audax Club Parisien (ACP) rules state that ”The dates of the Flèche should be at Easter. For regions that have a lot of snow at this time, the event can be postponed until the end of May”. ACP have allowed a second Fleche date for FNQ because the usual “close to Easter” date is still in their wet season! 

Quick thinkers will realise that this gives two oppoertunities to complete an Oppy in Australia this year. This means that, where as in the past some Audax Awards requiring a Fleche (eg. Audax Australia Woodrup 5000 Award) were limited by the single Fleche available per season you could achieve two Woodrup 5000 Awards with all rides in the one season? Or better still, a Woodrup 5000 plus an ACP Randonneur 5000 (requires a PBP) with all rides in the one season? Now that would be something. Note that you can still take up the more leisurely four consecutive seasons to complete these awards.

The actual distance counts

Previously only the nominal Oppy distances of 360 kms for a Fleche or 180 kms for a Petite Fleche counted towards Audax Australia distance awards. So for example a 361 km Fleche effectively had the same awards value as the 770 km (then world record) set by the Endorphins team in 1993. However from this season the actual Oppy distance ridden can now be counted towards single season and multi season cumulative distance awards. Now you can claim the reward for your extra Fleche effort (in line with ACP policy).

Ride Organiser Vouchers

With the introduction of a national Ride Organiser Vouchers system, the National Committee lifted the restriction on voucher use for signature rides. So now you can use a Ride Organiser Voucher to reduce (or eliminate) your individual Oppy entry fee. For background, refer:
https://www.audax.org.au/public/61-news/412-ride-organiser-vouchers

How does it work?

The Oppy is a unique time trial in which teams ride a route of their own choosing to a designated finishing point. The only restriction on route selection is that teams should ride a tour, not repeat circuits.

Having formed a team your captain should book first, completing the team details in the online entry system. Each individual member must then also enter online, through the Audax Portal

OK, but how do I ride a successful Oppy?

Follow our seven-step plan:

  1. Gather your best riding buddies and sell them on the idea of riding the Oppy this year.
  2. Work out a route. You can't cover the same road twice in the same direction and you must ride at least 360km to reach one of the designated finish locations within 24 hours. Otherwise, it's up to you.
  3. Email your local organiser (see below) to enter your team. Also submit your route map.
  4. If you're bringing a support crew, work out where you'll meet them for food, water and support.
  5. Ride it. Take breaks, eat meals, and even sleep if you have spare time.
  6. Keep riding. You must ride a minimum distance of 25km in the last two hours of the event, this means you can't just bowl over 360km and finish in the middle of the night.
  7. Finish. Eat breakfast, and tell everyone who'll listen how good you are.

Please familiarise yourself with the Audax Australia Rules, especially items 49 to 72 which relate specifically to the Oppys) and Safety Recommendations. The Rules were reviewed and ammended significantly in 2018 and amongst the changes the previous lighting rules have been integrated into the section "Bicycles and Equipment". The bottom line is that your responsibility  to ensure your bicycle must comply with the relevant road rules. Obviously, on a ride like the Oppy which involves a significant amount of night riding you would be well adivised to consider the Safety Recommendations as a minimum standard, plan to see and be seen under all likely conditions.. If your one light fails you must stop. Riding without lights could lead to disqualification.

After you enter, everyone in your team will be provided with a brevet card, which you have stamped/signed at controls along the way (roughly every 50-80km) as a record of your progress.

Contact your local ride organiser (below) to enquire or enter a team.

More information

Contact your local ride organiser (below) to enquire or enter a team.

Finishing locations

Official finishing points are located in all mainland states and the ACT. In 2018, the official finishing locations will be:

Australia Capital Territory
Canberra: Peter Heal  (Online Rego)
New South Wales
Bowral: Katherine Bryant & Ian Garrity  (Rego)
Queensland
St Lucia: Mark Riley  (Rego)
Townsville: Peter Robertson   (Rego)
Port Douglas: Gayle Sticher  (Rego)
South Australia
Adelaide: David Fairweather  (Rego)
Tasmania
Hadspen: Rowan Burns/Charlene Barach  (Rego)
Victoria
Rochester,   Peter Mathews (Online Rego)
Western Australia
Fremantle: Tony Gillespie  (Rego)

For more details, contact the local ride coordinators listed above.

Petit Oppy

Not up for a whole 24 hours of riding?

The Oppy's 'little brother', the Petit Oppy, is available in most regions and runs on the same date as the Oppy.

The Petit Oppy requires participants to cover a minimum of 180km in 14 hours of riding. See the Fleche Opperman Ride Rules for more information.

The Oppy Record

The record for the Fleche Opperman All Day Trial was set in 1993 at 770km

Read the report of that record-breaking ride here: "The Endorphins". It's time someone had another crack at this. Several teams have come very close in the last few years but the goal is still tantalizingly out there.

Consecutive Oppy Record

Audax legend Kevin Ware is fronting up for an amazing 24th consecutive Oppy this year.