Rain, hail or shine, team Launceston will be hitting the road for this year’s Tour de Cure fundraising ride.
Cyclists Pete McCarron and Angelique Sanders, along with their support person Kathy Padgett, will be representing Northern Tasmania during the ride in far North Queensland at the end of the month.
It will be the second Tour de Cure ride for Mr McCarron, the fourth tour for Mrs Sanders and second year being involved in a support role for Ms Padgett.
Mr McCarron’s first ride was last year when the tour came to Tasmania.
“Cancer has affected everybody in some way, shape or form, family member or a personal infliction with the disease, and it’s such a good cause to get in and do something about it,” he said.
“My own mother has had two bouts of breast cancer, and my wife Kim's father passed away with bone cancer. I, too, have had skin cancers removed so a cure for any of these would be amazing.”
Mrs Sanders has been involved over the past five years and in 2014, she was the only Tasmanian to ride in the Sydney to Hobart tour, travelling 1576 kilometres.
While raising money is not a new challenge for her, the cause is now closer to home.
“A lot of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 12 months … we just want to help raise funds to find a cure,” Mrs Sanders said.
Training for the ride started more than six months ago, with Mr McCarron and Mrs Sanders preparing to cycle 1100 kilometres.
“We’re not professional cyclists, we’re just amateur cyclists that like cycling, but I’ve been riding for a couple of years and it’s just a matter of lifting up the intensity to do these long distances,” Mr McCarron said.
While Mrs Sanders and Mr McCarron are on their bikes, Ms Padgett will be on catering duties.
“We’ll be up at four o’clock every morning preparing a nice, hot, cooked breakfast for the riders before they leave,” she said.
“When they start riding, it’s our job then to get to the next location in time to have their hot lunch ready for them when they arrive, so it’s a very busy time. I found last year the only time I sat down was between locations and when I went to bed.
“But it’s exciting and it’s something I’m really looking forward to be involved with again this year.”
The tour will run from April 27 until May 5.
Riders will travel from Mackay to Cape Tribulation before finishing up in Cairns.
Describing the feeling of crossing the finish line, both Mr McCarron and Mrs Sanders said it was “emotional”.
“Just emotional amongst the riders that have been there and done it and the support staff that are there, because we all form this huge bond while we’re away,” Mr McCarron said.
“But family and friends will be there, it’ll just be fantastic. It’s a celebration when you cross that line.”
To be part of the tour as a rider, Mr McCarron and Mrs Sanders had to raise a minimum of $12,000.
While Mr McCarron has managed to reach his target, raising nearly $30,000, the team is hoping to receive more donations for Mrs Sanders ahead of the ride.
“We’re going to get behind Ange in the next couple of weeks and get her over the line, hopefully before the tour, which will be great,” Mr McCarron said.
As of Thursday, Ange was sitting at $6282.
To donate, visit Mrs Sanders’ profile at tourdecure.com.au
This year Tour de Cure aims to raise $7 million for cancer research and more than $6 million has already been donated nationally.