Fleche Opperman

What is the Oppy?

The Fleche Opperman All-Day Trial is often referred to the as the Oppy.

What is a Flèche?

The word flèche is French, meaning "arrow". In the cycling context it evokes the image of teams converging on a destination as arrows might on a target in an archery competition. Cycling teams start all over each region and converge on a single destination. More details of The Oppy


How many cyclists do we need? 

That depends, but at a minimum 3, the maximum depends on the types of bikes used. The rules require 3 to 5 bikes per team. Some of the bikes may be tandems or other bikes which carry more than one cyclist. For the team to be succesful 3 bikes must complete the entire distance.

We have 5 bikes, can we take turns and keep just the required 3 on the road?

No, to be successful the cyclist needs to have ridden the entire distance. If 5 bikes start, but two take time in a support vehicle off the bike and then rejoin the team, only the three cyclists who rode the entire distance are successful in completing the Oppy.

If a rider pulls out can the team still finish? 

Three bikes must complete the entire course for the team to successfully complete the Oppy. The riders who pull out are considered DNF - Did Not Finish. So a team of three riders who start must all ride the entire distance for the team to finish sucessfully. If one rider pulls out but the the other two riders finish the team is not recorded as having successfully completed the Oppy. If the team had 4 riders and one pulled out, but the other 3 riders finished, then it would be a successful Oppy.

Does the team need to ride together?

It's a team event, the only team event in the Audax Australia ride calendar, so the point is to ride as a team. 

Checkpoints & Brevet Cards

What are Brevet Cards?

A brevet card is a piece of cardboard which has the name and details of the cyclists on it. It also has a section which contains the distances to each checkpoint, and place for the cyclist to collect a signature or stamp to prove that they visited each of the checkpoints. The brevet card is proof the cyclist rode the course.

What are Checkpoints?

The checkpoints are locations along the route, nominated by the team, which the cyclists must prove they reached. Each cyclist carries a Brevet Card which must be validated at each Checkpoint. The validation is a signature or stamp from a business, member of the public or member of the support team. The checkpoints should be located such that they prove the team followed the course.

Where should Checkpoints be located?

They must be located to prove the team rode the whole distance, so ideally at the extremity of courses and where this is no "short cut" between checkpoints. If you have a support team they may only provide support at checkpoints so consider where you will want to eat, drink, stop for rest etc. Consider how fast you think you will ride. It's quite typical to have a checkpoint every 60-80km, but you may need more frequent to prove your course.

We have a support team with a vehicle, can they carry our brevet cards?

No, each team member must carry their own brevet card for the entire ride. We recommend keeping the card in a water proof (and sweat proof) bag.

Do we need to stop at each Checkpoint?

Yes, you must stop and have your brevet cards validated. The stop can be very short, but each cyclist's card needs to be validated having the time of arrival and a signature or stamp recorded on it.

What is the Checkpoint close time?

Teams must reach each checkpoint within a designated time period, before the checkpoint closes. The close time is calculated at 15 kmh, so a checkpoint at 75km must be reached within 5 hours of the start time.

Support & Support Team

May we have a support team?

Yes, you can have a team providing support to the cyclists, however the support can only be provided at nominated checkpoints. A support team cannot provide any form of assistance outside of the nominated checkpoints. 

Are we required to have a support team?

No, many successful Oppy teams self-support by choosing a route which takes advantage of local businesses, bakeries, cafes and 24 hour service stations/food outlets.

Can the support team render mechanical assistance? 

Yes, at a nominated checkpoint your support team can work on your bike, change a wheel, fix punctures or offer mechnical assistance. If you are not at a checkpoint your support team may not render mechanical assistance.

What constitutes support?

Support can be provision of food or water, providing items of clothing to a cyclist, providing parts/tubes/wheels, taking items of clothing or material from a cyclist (for example taking a rain jacket from a cyclist when it's no longer needed), performing mechanical repairs to the bike, providing a battery, driving behind or in front of the team to provide light, providing moral support.

What support can a support team provide between checkpoints?

Under normal circumstances if the support team provides any support to the cyclists at any point other than the nominated checkpoints the cyclist and/or team may be disqualified.

Can we use feed / musette bags?

Yes, musette or feed bags are fine, provided that they are only provided at nominated checkpoints, and that the riders stop and have their brevet cards validated at the checkpoint. A feed bag may not be passed from a moving vehicle to a rider.

Support Vehicle

May we have a vehicle providing support?

Yes, but you may only receive support from your support team at your nominated checkpoints. Between checkpoints cyclists are to be self-sufficient and may not receive support from the vehicle. Receiving support from your support team at any point other than the nominated checkpoints is grounds for disqualification.

May we have a follow vehicle?

No, follow vehicles are not permitted. A vehicle immediately following or in-front of the team provides support, and support from your team outside the nominated checkpoints is not permitted. It is ok for a support vehicle to stop along the route and take some photos of the team, it's not ok for the vehicle to drive the whole route 300m behind the team.

Can a support vehicle follow the team through one particular part of the course where there may be more traffic, or is more remote?

Talk to your regional ride organiser, but in general no. You determine the route so if you're not comfortable riding the route without a car following you then choose a different route.

Can the support vehicle provide food / water bottles / feed bags / other items as it's passing the team? 

No, support can only be provided by the support team at nominated checkpoints. The team must stop at checkpoints to get brevet cards validated so there's no reason to pass items from a moving vehicle to or from the team.