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260km Base to Base Cycle Challenge raises over $46,000 for RACQ CareFlight Rescue

Professional cyclists and CareFlight crew completed a gruelling 260-kilometre cycle challenge from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba today, raising more than $46,000 for RACQ CareFlight Rescue.

The riders took off from CareFlight’s Gold Coast office before sunrise this morning at 5am for the 10-hour journey as part of the CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge.

A crowd of family, friends and supporters welcomed the exhausted team as they rode into CareFlight’s Toowoomba hangar at 5pm.

More than 30 cyclists pulled on the CareFlight jersey for the third annual event including internationally renowned champion cyclist Robbie McEwen and Race Director for the Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series Kerry Stubbs.

Professional cyclists were also on board for the challenge including Alex Wohler and Ryan MacAnally.

“The highlight for me was making it to the finish after travelling 260 kilometres and completing the steep climb up Flagstone Creek Road at the Toowoomba Range,” Alex said.

They were joined by 22-year-old former patient, national level cyclist Brenton Jones, who was airlifted by RACQ CareFlight Rescue in 2011 during the Tour of Toowoomba road race after sustaining a life-threatening head injury.

“CareFlight saved my life three years ago, so riding in this annual cycling event is a personal experience that allows me to give back to the not-for-profit service,” Brenton said.

CareFlight Senior Flight Paramedic Brad Solomon, who represented the helicopter service alongside three other staff, said it was a long day in the saddle but very successful.

“It was a long day’s ride, but everyone put in an awesome effort for a worthy cause,” Brad said.

Although blessed with cool and sunny weather, the challenging ride was not for the faint hearted, with riders tackling a head wind the entire journey.

Cyclists navigated Gold Coast streets, travelled past picturesque rural scenery in Beaudesert, crossed rolling hills in the South West and faced the demanding final ascent up the Toowoomba Range.

“Riding up the Toowoomba Range after already cycling 241 kilometres is one of the toughest rides I’ve experienced, with inclines up to 14%,” Ryan said.

“Everyone remained in high spirits despite the challenging terrain and steep climb at the end.”

CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge Event Director Fiona MacAnally said a huge thank you must go to all the riders and support crew.

“In addition to pedalling 260 kilometres, each dedicated participant helped raise vital funds to keep RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters in the air,” Fiona said.

“We also couldn’t do any of this without our generous sponsors.

“I’d like to thank every single person that donated to us or supported us in some way because your donations have certainly made a huge impact to our life-saving service.”

People can still donate by visiting Everyday Hero and donating to one of the riders.