Robbie McEwen joins elite cyclists and celebrities to launch ‘CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge’

The event was staged at Metricon Stadium with a networking breakfast hosted by Hot Tomato’s Luke Bradnam.

Sixty high-profile and celebrity guests including corporate CEO’s, Gold Coast Suns players, National Road Series (NRS) riders and former CareFlight patients celebrated the launch of one of CareFlight’s most popular new events.

The CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge will be held on Monday May 13 and will see more than 30 well known riders cycle 250km from CareFlight’s Toowoomba Hangar to Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast in a gruelling nine hour journey to raise funds for CareFlight.

As well as the elite riders, the high-profile event has also attracted the attention of corporate CEO’s including Gold Coast Sun’s CEO Travis Auld, CEO of Mantra Group Bob East and Southport Sharks’ CEO Dean Bowtell, who will all pull on CareFlight jerseys for the ride.

In another major coup, Kerry Stubbs the Race Director for the Gatorade Queensland Triathlon Series has come on board as Challenge Race Director.

RACQ CareFlight’s Executive Fundraising Manager, Leanne Angel, said she’s thrilled that so many renowned cyclists and high profile identities have signed up for the 2013 event.

“It’s shaping up to be one CareFlight’s major annual fundraisers with each participant committing to raise a minimum of $1,000.”

Last year’s inaugural CareFlight Base to Base Cycle Challenge saw more than $20,000 collected, a figure that has already been eclipsed this year, six weeks out from the ride.

“We plan on raising even more in the exciting lead-up weeks,” Leanne Angel said.

“The ride travels through many regional towns where our helicopter regularly flies, so we encourage residents of the towns along the route to come out and cheer the riders along on the day.”

This year’s event is set to be bigger and better with not only triple the participants, but a reversed route that now starts in Toowoomba and ends  at the Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium.

“The distance itself is already a massive undertaking – even for elite level cyclists – so eliminating that extra challenge of the Toowoomba Range at the end opens up the field for more riders to join in.

“Riding into the Gold Coast at the tail end of the journey will be a much flatter and less demanding ride,” she said.

Cyclists will receive a hero’s welcome at Metricon Stadium with a family fun afternoon.

There will be a jumping castle, Gold Coast Suns autograph signings, Auskick games and a flying visit by the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter.

“The family fun afternoon will be a great finish to what is set to be an incredible ride,” Ms Angel said.

“CareFlight has saved more than 17,000 lives in the past 30 years but we rely on the community for much of our funding.

“Events like this are vital to our organisation. Please donate to support the incredible effort of these cyclists, and help keep CareFlight’s iconic choppers flying.”