CYCLE Classic Ballarat has started preparations to return bigger, brighter and more action-packed than ever before. The homegrown event will mark its 10th edition next February.
Renewed planning comes fresh after Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute announced the Classic had tallied more than $1.4 million since its first ride in 2008. This includes $157,409 raised in this year’s event. in which more than 1,900 cyclists chalked up 153,000 kilometres on the road, velodrome and on mountain trails.
FECRI fundraising and communications manager David McMahon said key sponsors cover almost all costs, allowing all money raised in the event to contribute to fighting cancer through research.
“Ballarat should be proud for another very successful year. There has been great support from many locals and visitors to the region in the much-needed work we do here,” Mr McMahon said. “Given the event was just in its ninth edition, to get over the $1.4 million mark in the time we have is fantastic – and people know the money all stays here in Ballarat.”
The inaugural Cycle Classic started with 700 participants in a road ride and has grown to more host more than 2,000 participants, riding or walking, in a two-day carnival that also features entertainment and family activities.
This year, riders and lake walkers consumed more than 1,200 sausages, 2,500 bananas, 70 kilograms of lollies, 25kg of fruitcake and 600 litres of water to power through their varying courses.
The Classic’s focus in on participation rather than competition but allows road riders a chance to experience part of the national road championship course and climb in Buninyong. Costumed superheroes joined in a celebration walk around the lake.
Cycling doyen Phil Liggett promoting the Classic and FECRI during this year’s Cycling Australia Road National Championships by sporting a trademark Classic jersey on his daily rides. AFL personality Danny Frawley, who grew up in Bungaree, and Olympic gold medallist Scott McGrory were also event ambassadors out riding.
FECRI, inspired by Ballarat teenager Fiona Elsey who died from cancer in 1991, explores more effective ways to diagnose and treat cancer, like immunology, by unlock the riddles of cancer. The institute, under research director George Kannourakis, has been attracting international attention for its work.
Cycle Classic helps fund the institute’s five key research projects: ovarian cancer, immunology, chemosensitivity lung testing trials, cell disease and chronic lymphoid leukemia.
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