Cycling club puts in for tsunami victims

One of Australia's most prominent cycling clubs, Carnegie Caulfield in Melbourne, Victoria, used the first race of 2005 as an opportunity to race for something more important than prize money.

Mal Sawford from the CCCC said, "In response to the tsunami tragedy in South East Asia, and at the suggestion of members, the entire entry pool from the day's racing was donated to the Red Cross Australia's Asia Quake and Tsunami Appeal."

He said that 148 riders raced, all donating their $5 entry to the appeal, with many choosing to contribute a little extra. Including contributions from spectators and officials, the total raised was $900, but this was then boosted to the AUS$1000 mark when Robert Crowe, a 1992 Barcelona Olympian, kicked in a further $100, even though he couldn't attend the races.

Sawford said, "Despite the fact there were no prizes on offer, racing was thrilling to watch with every rider still desperate to record a win on this special day. Former Australian champion Robert Tighello (Richmond Cyclery) came up trumps in the elite men's race, while Kirsty Bortolin (The Freedom Machine) sprinted to a win in the premier women's event.

The CCCC regularly attracts many leading visiting professionals to Melbourne, keen for a hit-out in a quality Criterium.

Also, organisers of the Devonport round of the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals, held a minute's silence during the events to remember those lost in the incomprehensible tragedy (now estimated to be 150,000), and then groups of school-children circulated in the crowd collecting money for charities.

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