Robbie McEwen (centre) riding in his new Radio Shack team outfit during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.
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Tour Down Under riders touched by Aussie devastation
The 133 riders competing in the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under have come together to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal, as sporting rivalry is pushed aside and all nationalities contribute to help those Aussies suffering the devastation.
Confirmed with the last four international teams to arrive in Adelaide yesterday, all prize money won by individual riders at the Cancer Council Classic, (€12,000 in total) on Sunday 16 January 2011 wil be donated to the Flood Relief Appeal.
Australian riders, Simon Gerrans and Michael Rogers, Sky Pro Cycling and Astana's Allan Davis have banded together to ensure every rider competing is happy to be on board.
"We cannot sit back and do nothing, it is not the Aussie spirit, this is our way of helping," said native Queenslander, Allan Davis.
Fellow Queenslander Robbie McEwen, who landed in Adelaide today, has already joined forces with his new RadioShack teamate Lance Armstrong to generate funds through their Twitter ride that will start from Wrigley Reserve, Glenelg at 10.00am tomorrow, Saturday 15 January 2011.
"People have been hard hit by this crisis and whatever small role we can play to help we will but we urge everyone to make a donation to the official Premier's Flood Relief Appeal," said McEwen.
"It is important to all of us to feel like we can help make a difference as we see what is unfolding in our own country. Cyclists are a compassionate group and happy to chip in," said Simon Gerrans.
In addition to the prize money donation, all 19 teams will donate a signed team jersey by every competing rider for auction on eBay.
"Cycling fans have an opportunity to bid for a once in a life time piece of sporting memorabilia," said Davis.
Today's announcement by the professional cyclists is a partnership with Cancer Council SA, the Santos Tour Down Under's official charity partner.
"Cancer doesn't stop for the floods, but the Cancer Council can," says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.
"That's why we're dedicating a day of collections by Ride for a Reason volunteers during IG Markets Stage 2 of Santos Tour Down Under from Tailem Bend to Mannum via Murray Bridge in support of flood victims.
Victims of the disaster will be remembered with a minute's silence prior to the start of IG Markets Stage 2 on Wednesday 19 January 2011.
Cancer Council SA will have a substantial presence on course throughout all other Tour stages collecting donations to fund local cancer research, which will be matched by Santos and Mutual Community.
To bid for a signed team jersey visit www.ebay.com.au from Sunday 16 January 2011 or to donate direct to the Flood Relief Appeal visit http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html
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