AMY’S Ride is coming back to Buninyong, the former home of the much-loved rider and one of four locations around the world where her ashes are scattered.
The area was one of Amy Gillett’s favourite training bases and the course where she almost stole a famous victory in the 2004 National Road Championships after going out alone for 110 kilometres only to be caught with five kilometres to go.
Ms Gillett’s husband and director of the ride, Simon Gillett said the homecoming would be emotional.
“There’s a bit of added meaning with some of Amy’s ashes scattered up on the hill, so there’s quite a bit of an association up there,” he said.
“It’s extra special because we lived there and she trained there a lot.”
Some of Ms Gillett’s ashes have also been scattered at Lake Como in Italy, along the Great Ocean Road and in Adelaide. She died in Germany in 2005 when a driver crashed into a group of riders who were training.
“Amy was an incredibly vibrant and friendly person, she was a fierce competitor, a really fierce trainer and earned respect really quickly within the cycling community because of that,” Mr Gillett said. “She was always talking to people and always had a smile on her face, that’s how people would remember her.”
About 1000 cyclists are expected to take on one of the three courses on Sunday, which are 20km, 70km and 100km in length.
Though entry numbers are down on previous rides in Adelaide and Geelong, Mr Gillett said it was promising considering the late date and location change.
“For a change of venue and time of year, as a first up it’s not a bad effort,” he said.
“It was a decision forced on us by time-tabling with major cycling events.”
By holding the event tomorrow it links Amy’s Ride with the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, which means some resource sharing and some added costs.
But Mr Gillett said it was a great opportunity to tie the two together.
Online registration has already closed with more than 600 entrants booked in and another 200 plus expected to register on the day.
Proceeds from the ride will go towards the Amy Gillett Foundation’s Cycle Safe Communities program.