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260km Base to Base Cycle Challenge raises $65,000 for CareFlight

CYCLING legend Robbie McEwen led the pack in today’s 260km CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge, helping to raise a massive $65,000 for RACQ CareFlight Rescue.

A team of 30 passionate cyclists saddled up for the fourth annual fundraising event, riding from the Gold Coast to CareFlight’s Toowoomba Hangar today in a spirited 11-hour trek.

The Challenge began at CareFlight’s Gold Coast Fundraising office at 5am and ended when the exhausted team rode into CareFlight’s Toowoomba hangar to a waiting crowd of family, friends and supporters at 4pm.

Three-time Tour De France Green Jersey winner, Robbie McEwen, pulled on the CareFlight jersey for the third year saying today’s ride was a long but successful day in the saddle.

“Everyone remained in high spirits throughout the ride, encouraging one another through the challenging terrain,” he said.

“Riding up the Toowoomba Range after already cycling 241 kilometres is no easy feat with inclines up to 18% for nearly four-kilometres straight.

“CareFlight is so important to cyclists, so it’s a service we’re really happy to support.”

Mr McEwen was joined by Paralympic silver medallist Bryce Lindores, Giant Charter Mason cyclist Ryan MacAnally and CareFlight crew and past patients.

The 11-hour trek was thirsty work with the group collectively consuming more than 200 litres of water and electrolytes and burning 8,000 calories each.

The ride was blessed with favourable weather after recent heavy rain. Starting on the Gold Coast, the team trekked through the Scenic Rim and South West, finishing with the demanding final ascent up the Toowoomba Range – through towns the CareFlight helicopter regularly flies to.

CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge Event Director Fiona MacAnally said a huge thank you must go to the all 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’re thrilled to have raised $65,000 today.

“The level of participation from such elite and high-profile riders demonstrates how whole-heartedly the cycling community embraced this event over the past four years.

“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 CareFlight’s life-saving rescue service.”

Since the inaugural event in 2012, the CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge has raised well over $230,000 all up towards CareFlight’s lifesaving community helicopter rescue service.

People can still donate by visiting www.careflight.org.au/b2b