HUNDREDS of riders made the most of the sunshine at the 2015 Ballarat Cycle Classic.
About 1800 people participated in the eighth-annual event on Sunday, with registrations up by 200 people.
Families packed the shores of Lake Wendouree shortly after 8am to farewell the cyclists at the start/finish line at Windmill Drive.
There were various categories, including the MTB Fat Tyre Challenge, Lake Relay and the Mount Buninyong 50km, 60km, 85km and 100km events.
The Celebration Lap of the Lake was added as a new category this year.
Event ambassador Paul Taylor said about 150 people participated in the new category, which was held in commemoration of his late wife Donna.
“I wanted (the lap) to be a celebration of all, not just one person,” he said. “The ride is not just about the victims of cancer but their family and friends. It’s good for them to talk, walk and cry if they want to.”
Proceeds raised from the day are donated to the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.
Institute director Professor George Kannourakis said the event raised an average of $200,000 a year. The official fundraising total for the 2015 Ballarat Cycle Classic will be released at a later date.
More than $1 million has been raised since the event began in 2008.
“There’s people coming from Melbourne and Geelong and all parts of Victoria,” Professor Kannourakis said. “This is the biggest fundraising event for the institute.”
He said more people were staying in Ballarat with their families over the weekend to attend the cycle classic.
Jamie Smail was watching his wife Rebecca and children Hamish, Callum and Flynn participate in the Lap of the Lake on Sunday morning.
“I knew Fiona Elsey when she was a kid, so I guess there’s a bit of a connection,” he said.
“We all participated a couple of years ago.
The ride is about recognising the needs of other people and sharing the love.”
Lachlan Jew, 8, was waiting to ride his bright yellow bike in the Lake Relay event.
“I like riding because it’s fun,” he said.
See photos from the finish line photos from the Ballarat Cycle Classic.