Challenge for next ride director

THE next ride director of the Western Tiers Cycle Challenge will have a lot to live up to after John O'May retired from the role following a successful ninth annual event yesterday.

Just under 400 people participated in yesterday's charity ride, leaving Prospect Park at 7.30am to cycle distances between 24 and 170 kilometres.

The ride raised about $14,000 for Launceston's New Horizons Club and the Youngtown Rotary Club.

Mr O'May founded the ride in 2006 after completing the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, also a fund-raiser, in New Zealand the previous year.

``I'm lucky that I'm retired so I can put a lot of effort in, but it's time to pass on the baton,'' the 72-year-old said.

He said he was thrilled with how successful the event had been, raising more than $100,000 in its nine years.

Funds had been used by the New Horizons Club to support its sport and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Mr O'May said entries were down for the challenge this year due to other events in the North.

``But I'm very, very happy with how it went,'' he said.

``There were a couple of falls but nothing major.''

Mr O'May thanked all the ride's supporters and sponsors.

``We couldn't have done it without the help of the Rotary clubs of Youngtown, Deloraine and Westbury.''

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