Victorian Country Tour - Day One

Day 1 – From Ballarat to Maryborough - Total riding: 96km, ascent 625m

Last night we all gathered at The Western Hotel for the team briefings and our first community dinner. It was a great night and we had 26 guests to share our stories with over some beautiful food.

At the dinners each night we present our coloured category jerseys. These are treasured by the recipients and really stand out in the pelotons. For amazing performance leading into tour, the initial jerseys were present to:

Pink (inspiration) Paul Egan - Yellow (attitude) David Duff - Green (awareness) Heidi Bramberger

Tour de Cure also present a local cancer project with $5,000 to go towards cancer research, prevention and care. Tonight’s cheque was handed to the Royal Flying Doctor Services. Robert and Steve from the R.F.D.S. spoke about the great work they are doing in the remote rural health services area. The $5,000 will help fund rural womens GP service, mobile dental clinics, eye clinics, diabetes awareness and community health checks.

It was a good night, but bring on tour.....

The alarm goes off at 6:30am and I make my way to breakfast and our 7:30am briefings. I check the list of things that need to be in the car for the day and am all ready for the riders to saddle up for an 8:00am roll-out.

The first school visit for the day was Pleasant Street Primary School. The kids gave us a true "rockstar" welcome as we rolled into the school gates. With Heidi and Steve as their leaders, Team CBA gave the Flipman presentation to 340 students, about how to "Be Fit, Be Healthy & Be happy". This school was amazing and very responsive to the Tour de Cure message.

Clunes is a town out of yesteryear, with beautiful historic buildings throughout. Clunes Primary School sat atop the hill and the original school building was amazing, with a spire and much old world charm. This school has 123 students who are blessed with ambling grounds and a very chilled country school feel. Another delicious lunch was prepared from the depths of the Canadian Kitchen truck. Yum! Tacos! 

After lunch the team rode the final 33km to Maryborough where we did our third school presentation at St Augustine Primary School. The team had heaps of fun with the kids and versed them at a game of soccer. They very kindly donated a big jar full of coins and notes to add to the Tour fundraising total.

The community dinner tonight was hosted by two of our support crew, Jodi and Sally. We were served up a hearty meal from the friendly staff at Peppa’s restaurant.

The category jerseys for tonight were presented to:

Pink (inspiration) - Sean Cunial - Yellow (attitude) - Cory Morris - Green (awareness) - Marg Bailey

I was truly honoured and taken aback to receive the Yellow Jersey at tonights dinner. As a first time support person, I had a pretty "interesting" day in the lead car. I may have had a few hic-ups along the way, but we made it through. I couldnt have lead the team without the rest of our support crew guiding me when needed. So I say a massive thank you to them all. The TdC team are some of the greatest people I have come to know and I am so happy to be part of the family. I definitely have a new appreciation for what the support crew do to make sure a tour runs as smooth as it does. Its one tough gig!!!

The $5,000 cheque was presented to the Maryborough District Health Service. Karen Laing, the Executive Director Of Nursing, spoke about where the funding from Tour de Cure is going. They will use this money to invest in equipment for the new day oncology service.

Its a big day tomorrow with about 170kms of riding and three schools visits along the way. I have Chris Egan joining me in the lead car for the next three days and im really looking forward to getting to know him during out journey.

Photo above: Its a bit different to being on the bike, but this is what I look like as I lead the peloton through the countryside.

The messages from home have been a awesome! Keep them coming and please keep sharing our journey.

Talk to you tomorrow…. Nighty night.