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Locals encouraged to cheer on cyclists in the ride that saves lives

Cycling fans and the local community are encouraged to line the streets on Sunday, May 4 to cheer on a peloton of 50 cyclists as they ride 260 kilometres in a single day for the CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge.

Professional cyclists, athletes, RACQ CareFlight Rescue crew and former patients will all rub shoulders united in a common goal.

Internationally renowned champion cyclist Robbie McEwen and Race Director for the Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series Kerry Stubbs will cycle from the Gold Coast to CareFlight’s helicopter hangar in Toowoomba in a massive nine-hour journey to help raise funds and awareness for the helicopter rescue service.

“The cycle challenge is all about raising money for a worthy cause and I’m excited to be back on board for a second consecutive year,” Mr McEwen said.

Four determined CareFlight crew, including Senior Paramedic Brad Solomon, will also pull on the CareFlight jersey for the third annual event.

“RACQ CareFlight Rescue relies on the community to keep our service operating, so we wanted to create a unique fundraising event that would be challenging and fun at the same time,” Mr Solomon said.

They will be joined by professional cyclist Alex Wohler, Gold Coast elite national rider Ryan MacAnally and national level cyclist with the Huon Genesys Cycling team Brenton Jones.

Twenty-two-year-old Brenton was airlifted by RACQ CareFlight Rescue in 2011 after sustaining a life-threatening head injury during the Tour of Toowoomba road race.

CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge Event Coordinator Fiona MacAnally said that the riders will need plenty of encouragement from the public to get through the epic journey.

“We hope local residents will come out to line the streets, make signs or posters and cheer the riders on,” she said.

The 2014 course stretches along the beautiful but challenging scenic route between the Gold Coast and Toowoomba, travelling through many of the regional towns that CareFlight’s helicopters regularly fly to, including Nerang, Beaudesert, Rosewood and Gatton.

“Riding 260 kilometres is a huge undertaking – even for elite level cyclists – so riding up the Toowoomba Range at the end is going to be a demanding challenge that will test even the fittest cyclist’s endurance,” Ms MacAnally added.

The cyclists will depart CareFlight’s Varsity Lakes office on the Gold Coast at 5am, passing through Gold Coast suburbs and South West towns at approximately the following times and locations, before arriving at the CareFlight Toowoomba Hangar at approximately 4.30pm.

  • Varsity Lakes: Lake Street, University Drive – 5am
  • Robina: Cottesloe Drive, Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina Parkway – 5.05am
  • Mermaid Waters: Markeri Street – 5.10am
  • Carrara: Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nielsens Road – 5.15am
  • Highland Park: Alexander Drive – 5.25am
  • Nerang: McLaren Road, Beaudesert-Nerang Road – 5.35am
  • Canungra: Pine Street, Beaudesert-Nerang Road – 6am
  • Beaudesert: Brooklands Drive, Albert Street, William Street, Bromelton Street, Beaudesert-Boonah Road – 7am
  • Rosewood: Ipswich-Rosewood Road, School Street, John Street – 10.30am
  • Gatton: Davey Road, Lake Apex Drive, Western Drive – 1pm
  • Toowoomba: Spring Street, Herries Street, Victoria Street, Russell Street, Taylor Street, McDougall Street – 4pm - 4.30pm

Supporters can view the full route online.

The 2014 CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge is hoping to raise $100,000 for RACQ CareFlight Rescue.

Support the ride by visiting Everyday Hero and donating to one of the cyclists.