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 suffering from recent flooding in Queensland, Australia.
All prize money won by individual riders at yesterday's Cancer Council Classic ($12,000 in total) was donated to the Flood Relief Appeal.
Australian riders Simon Gerrans and Michael Rogers of Team Sky 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 Queensland native, Davis.
Fellow Queenslander Robbie McEwen has already joined forces with his new RadioShack team mate Lance Armstrong to generate funds through their Twitter ride last Saturday.
"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's 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.
It's part of a partnership between pro riders and 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.
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