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A sea of ochre floods the Mutual Community Challenge Tour

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Riders round the first bend

Riders round the first bend (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Spectators cheer on the field

Spectators cheer on the field (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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One of the Tour Down Under artworks

One of the Tour Down Under artworks (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A corrugated iron cyclist decorates

A corrugated iron cyclist decorates (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The police join

The police join (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A team from New South Wales,

A team from New South Wales, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Showing true team spirit

Showing true team spirit (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A couple of riders keen

A couple of riders keen (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders looked relaxed

Riders looked relaxed (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Smiles all round.

Smiles all round. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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With such an early start

With such an early start (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Taking it all in

Taking it all in (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Local Adelaide resident,

Local Adelaide resident, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Say Cheese - riders pose

Say Cheese - riders pose (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A perfect location to start

A perfect location to start (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Definitely worth

Definitely worth (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A tightly packed field

A tightly packed field (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The lead riders make their way

The lead riders make their way (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The race gets the thumbs up

The race gets the thumbs up (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Good hydration the secret

Good hydration the secret (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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With over 3,000 riders,

With over 3,000 riders, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Strike a pose

Strike a pose (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Sun smart

Sun smart (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A lot of determination

A lot of determination (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Spectators watched on

Spectators watched on (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Not missing any of the action,

Not missing any of the action, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders dig deep

Riders dig deep (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The constant field of orange

The constant field of orange (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The huge field

The huge field (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders were still

Riders were still (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Is that really water,

Is that really water, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders make their way

Riders make their way (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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There were a lot of cheer squads

There were a lot of cheer squads (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders took advantage

Riders took advantage (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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One of the spectacular historic buildings

One of the spectacular historic buildings (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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With such a long journey,

With such a long journey, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders recover

Riders recover (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Look Mum - no hands!!

Look Mum - no hands!! (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A rider recovers

A rider recovers (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Go Torpedo!!!!

Go Torpedo!!!! (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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After over 100kms,

After over 100kms, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Tandem riders

Tandem riders (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Climbing the last hill

Climbing the last hill (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Pats on the back all round

Pats on the back all round (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Everyone had a unique way

Everyone had a unique way (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Powering to the finish line.

Powering to the finish line. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riding out of the saddle

Riding out of the saddle (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Impressive!

Impressive! (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A very proud dad

A very proud dad (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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There were bikes

There were bikes (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Just finishing

Just finishing (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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The agony and relief

The agony and relief (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A true credit

A true credit (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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All in a day's work

All in a day's work (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Many riders celebrated

Many riders celebrated (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Although not the event jersey,

Although not the event jersey, (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Look Mum - no feet!!

Look Mum - no feet!! (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Celebrating the finish.

Celebrating the finish. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Determination..

Determination.. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A kodak moment..

A kodak moment.. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Almost a flying finish.

Almost a flying finish. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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What a support crew.

What a support crew. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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A Tungkillo resident

A Tungkillo resident (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Riders cool down

Riders cool down (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Well wishes

Well wishes (Image credit: Rachel Burke)
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Cheering on the riders.

Cheering on the riders. (Image credit: Rachel Burke)

Tales from the peloton, January 26, 2008

A record number of amateur cyclists tested their stamina and fitness this week on the same route as the professionals rode in Stage 4 Four of the Tour Down Under as 3,403 cyclists registered for the 2008 Mutual Community Challenge Tour; hundreds more than the previous record of 2,525.

"I am delighted that we have marked our first ever UCI ProTour race, and the Tour's 10th birthday, with record participation from recreational cyclists," Premier Rann says. "It helps to cement our State's reputation as the cycling capital of Australia."

Premier Rann predicted "a sea of lycra as cyclists head off from Mannum and Woodside on one of two rides – 134km or 73.5km." And he was right, as you can see from the gallery of images collected by Cyclingnews' Rachel Burke.

Among the throngs of riders who all ended their long day in Strathalbyn were a couple of local MPs taking part – Leon Bignell, the Member for Mawson, and Rory McEwen, the Member for Mount Gambier.

Tour Down Under: Mutual Community Challenge Tour, January 26, 2008