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April 06, 2011

Smooth ride for charity cycling event

Robyn Purcell, Hiliary Hamilton and Carol Duncan finalise team registration in Swan Hill.

A legion of cyclists descended on Port Fairy on Sunday as a south-west tradition pedalled into its 25th year.
More than 1200 riders took part in the weekend’s Murray to Moyne cycle relay, which covered 520 kilometres in less than 26 hours before reaching its seaside destination.

Organisers have estimated $1.25 million was raised for health-related charities by the 112 teams that participated in this year’s the event.

Murray to Moyne event director Alecia Dodson said the cycle relay ran smoothly, despite earlier concerns about the condition of roads in the Mallee and Wimmera because of flood damage.

She said only a few participants fell off their bikes, with no major injuries reported.

“It’s always a great event. Many of the people who get involved feel a real sense of achievement once they reach Port Fairy,” Ms Dodson said.

“We were in contact with VicRoads in the months and weeks leading up to this weekend and they were very helpful in letting us know the conditions of certain roads and which was the best way to travel in light of the flood damage.”

The ride kicked off on Saturday morning at three starting points along the Murray River — Echuca, Swan Hill and Mildura.

Riders reached Hamilton by late Saturday night and then after a rest period set off to their final destination of Port Fairy yesterday morning.

Ms Dodson said winding the clocks back for the end of daylight savings enabled participants an extra hour of sleep .

She said Frank Carlus, from the state government’s Better Health Channel website, received the Graham Woodrup Medal, which is presented to the participant who best typifies the spirit of the ride.

The ride was founded by the late Mr Woodrup and his wife Hester in 1987 and has raised more than $15 million for health charities.

Ms Dodson has indicate that this year will be her last as Murray to Moyne event director after a decade in the role. She said the event had swelled to 1600 participants several years ago but was now at a manageable level.

Murray to Moyne Website

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