This Saturday, August 4, the Ride for Life charity event will once again be held in Sydney's Centennial Park. The Australian equivalent of the American event, Ride for the Roses that was organised in conjunction with Lance Armstrong, has the same aim of increasing awareness as well as to raise funds for cancer research.
Last year's event, on a rain soaked day, raised close to AUS$75,000, and this year organiser Phil Bates is hoping to eclipse the $100,000 mark. "The idea is to generate more support from the corporate world, we have the best location in Australia for a bike race, and we have been building on the success of the event each year for the past four years," he explained to Cyclingnews at the Parliament House during the event launch.
The event has the support of Australian Olympian and gold medallist, Steve Wooldridge. "I lost my mother to ovarian cancer just seven months before the Commonwealth games in 2002, so it is something that has touched me in a big way." Wooldridge himself was also struck down with testicular cancer in 2004, a year in which he competed in the Olympic Games; he sees the event as major boost for the awareness of cancer and also cycling.
"The charity benefits and so does cycling, it is great to be involved and I can't see why the event can't continue indefinitely," continued Wooldridge during his speech at the charity lunch to launch the event.
Although he won't be riding the event himself he will be there to watch the women's event, the Jan race, named in memory of his mother.
The event takes place this Saturday August 1 in Centennial Park, kicking off with the open men and under 19 criterium. It includes an event for women as well as a corporate race and races for the kids. There will be food and trade tents lining the circuit, which has been designed with the family in mind. For more information please visit the official website.