Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott; Olympian and World Cup champion Oenone Wood; mountain runner turned cyclist Paul Crake; and dual Olympian Tracy Gaudrey were among 270 riders who raised over $350,000 over the weekend for Canberra-based charity Hartley Lifecare.
In what is believed to be the biggest fund raising event ever held in Canberra, the ride traveled from the city, Australia's capital, to Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciusko, and back, a 454km round trip. On the way they endured freezing temperatures, rain, and blustery winds. "It was very emotional when they made it back to Canberra," said Jenny Mollett, executive director of Hartley.
The Ability Cycle Challenge ride started from Fyshwick Markets at 6am Friday 25 November 25, which meant that Oenone Wood, who was named Female Road Cyclist of the Year at the Cycling Australia awards on Friday, missed the ceremony to be involved in the fund-raiser. Riders returned, Sunday November 27.
The funds will be used by Hartley to support and provide services to those living in the ACT and surrounding areas with severe or complex disabilities.
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Images by Hartley Lifecare
- Australian health minister Tony Abbott (R) leads a small group in the Hartley Lifecare Ability Cycle Challenge
- Into the mist - the weather made the ride especially challenging
- Fujitsu team riders at a coffee and snack stop.
- Riders from the Hartley Lifecare Ability Cycle Challenge including health minister Tony Abbott, far left.