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Start location: Lorne
Length: 10.110.1 km
10,100 metres
6.276 miles
km (6.3 mi)
Average gradient: 44 %%
Elevation gain: 420420 m
1,377.953 ft
m (1378 ft)
Maximum elevation: 427427 m
1,400.919 ft
m (1401 ft)
Category: 2
Road surface: Sealed
Strava segment: Link

This climb is none other than Cadel Evans' favourite training climb, a convenient warmup (for a professional cyclist) away from his summer home in Barwon Heads. It combines beautiful rainforest scenery with a consistent gradient, perfect for a gentle toddle or an on-the-rivet training effort for Evans wannabees.

Climb location[edit]

The climb starts in Lorne, a holiday resort town on Victoria's south-western Surf Coast. It is 140 km from Melbourne via the stunning Great Ocean Road. The drive can often take well over two hours due to the twisting road and the heavy traffic.

Start of the climb[edit]

The Strava segment starts at the intersection between Deans Marsh Road and Minapre Street, a couple of hundred metres north-east of the roundabout intersection with the Great Ocean Road.

End of the climb[edit]

The climb ends at the intersection with Benwerrin-Mount Sabine Road, which is the crest of the hill. The finish is signposted with the climb's altitude.

At a glance[edit]

  • A fairly gentle climb with some minor variations in gradient.
  • Short false flats at around 4 and 6.5 kilometres.
  • Winds through the rainforest.

Description of the climb[edit]


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History of the climb[edit]

As noted in the introduction, this is the favourite summer training climb of Australia's greatest-ever cyclist. Sadly, Cadel keeps his cards close to his chest, so it's unlikely we'll know his best times up this climb until he retires.

The Benwerrin summit, approached from the other direction, is the finish of Amy's Gran Fondo, a timed mass-participation event run by the Amy Gillett Foundation that is both a race and a fun ride day. Riders descend this route back to Lorne under closed-road conditions after finishing the timed section of the Gran Fondo.

Adjoining climbs/nearby climbs[edit]

The Erskine Falls climb also starts in Lorne. Skenes Creek Road is the other major climb off the Great Ocean Road.

There are a number of other short but extremely steep walls in Lorne, including Bay Street and Francis Street.

Alternate start or finish points[edit]

Some consider the start of the climb to be the intersection with the Great Ocean Road; the roundabout is extremely heavily trafficked so it is strongly recommended to take care through it and start any serious effort once through this dangerous point.

The descent[edit]

Despite copious warning signs erected for the Gran Fondo, this is not a particularly technical nor high-speed descent - though that is not carte blanche to disengage one's brain! There are several well-signposted tight corners, particularly in the lower reaches. On normal days the car traffic on Deans Marsh Road can be quite heavy, including tourists not paying attention. Crossing double white lines - never a good idea - is a particularly bad one here, and riders need to remain vigilant.


Lorne has extensive facilities for tourists, including a wide variety of accommodation.

Traffic on the Great Ocean Road is extremely heavy during the weekends. While the Climbing Cyclist himself, Matt de Neef, didn't report any serious problems on a recent visit, others find it less than ideal.

External Links[edit]

Facts about "Benwerrin"RDF feed
Average gradient4 % +
Cat2 +
Elevation gain420 m (1,377.953 ft) +
Length10.1 km (10,100 metres, 6.276 miles) +
Maximum elevation427 m (1,400.919 ft) +
Start coordinates-38° 31' 59.9268", 143° 58' 37.2576"Latitude: -38.533313
Longitude: 143.977016
Start locationLorne +
SurfaceSealed +