THE Ballarat Cycle Classic has pedalled past the million-dollar mark.
The annual fundraiser, which raises money for the Fiona Elsey Research Institute, breached the $1 million barrier during the week and is approaching $1.1 million.
Prior to this year’s Cycle Classic on February 16, the total amount raised since 2008 was about $876,000. Event manager Nicole Bartlett revealed at a sponsor appreciation function last night that more than $200,000 was raised this year, with the total likely to continue rising into next week with late donations.
More than 1600 participants took part in this year’s Ballarat Cycle Classic.
“Watching the event grow every year is really humbling,” Ms Bartlett said. “The time and effort everyone has contributed to bring this event together is nothing short of amazing. We are so proud of reaching the million-dollar mark, it’s an incredible achievement.
“The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute relies on community support. Our every step towards beating cancer through research is made possible by the generous support of the community.
The largest proportion of the 1600 participants took part in the 100km Classic itself. More than 600 riders took on the 100km, which takes in part of the Australian Road Race Championship course around Mt Buninyong.
Organisers said the 50km and 60km road courses and the mountain bike courses had an increase in popularity this year.
Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute director George Kannourakis said he was overwhelmed by the community support for the cause.
“We are all touched by cancer. Everyone who supported the event did so because they all have a story and they know research is the way we can make a difference,” Professor Kannourakis said.
The final amount will be announced on March 25.