Track work for cause

IN THE LOOP: Cyclists Sam Edwards, Hugo Toliday, Grace Mayne and Bree Higgins preparing for a 24-hour endurance event. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
IN THE LOOP: Cyclists Sam Edwards, Hugo Toliday, Grace Mayne and Bree Higgins preparing for a 24-hour endurance event. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

ENDURANCE in the name of research is Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club’s new mission.

A 24-hour track event in February will test mental and physical toughness in a bid to raise money for Ballarat’s Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute. Riders will compete in teams, riding shirts, for the fundraising initiative Ride24Research.

BSCC's Dan Cronin said the club was hoping to lure entries from across the state and interstate as interest in the event spread. Mr Cronin, co-owner of The Western Hotel, has pieced together a five-rider female team with experience in 24-hour cycling events.

“The hardest part is the mental game - going around in a circle for 24 hours just does your head in,” Mr Cronin said. “We'll probably just look at hour stints on the bikes. It's not for speed, it's all for the cancer research centre. We're not out there trying to set records or anything like that.”

Mr Cronin said any sideline support could make a huge difference.

The event is part of the Ballarat Cycle Classic in February, in which all entry fees are donated to FECRI. The Cycle Classic features road and mountain bike events.

BSCC rider Hugo Tolliday, aged 20, said adding the 24-hour endurance event was good promotion for Ballarat track cycling.

“It's starting to grow a bit more and thought this would bring a bit more attention,” Mr Tolliday said. “We knew that a few people wanted to do a 24-hour ride and it's a bit difficult on the road. (Track is) nice and safe and you don't need to worry about drivers...Luckily it's team work, we get time off and time to recover.”

Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, led by research director George Kannourakis, is exploring and aiming to improve cancer treatments. FECRI specialises in immunology, which focuses on unlocking immune system response and individualising patient treatments.

The Ride24Research starts 7pm on Friday, February 19 at Marty Busch Reserve velodrome. Register and details, visit fecri.org.au or email bscctrack@hotmail.com.

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