Total riding: 154km, ascent 1,481m
No snoozing time this morning… at 5:00am it was time to get up, get dressed and be ready to roll out at 6am. With a quick bite to eat before we left, we had 33kms to ride before we got to our breakfast destination at Apex Park in Kyogle.
Today was always going to be a special day on tour and it was our last chance to ride as a peloton together. It was a sad feeling to know that we would be leaving the tour “bubble” but we all had had an amazing State of Origin Tour and made friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. The legs were pretty tired but spirits within the group were running on a high knowing that our families were all waiting for us at the finish line.
After breakfast, we had another 67kms to ride to our lunch stop. Little did we know that ahead of us lay some pretty rough roads that were going to be a bit of a challenge to tackle. The un-even surface and multiple pot-holes in the road surface were tricky to negotiate, especially whilst keeping a nice tight formation in a riding group. The clouds overhead were slowly getting darker…luckily we only had a few spots of rain before lunch, nothing major.
Lunch was at Budd Park in Murwillumbah and it was a beautiful spot for a bit to eat. Canadian Kitchens had set their truck up overlooking the spectacular Tweed River. The Sun had decided to come out and we were two-thirds of our way home. We were also making great time on the bike!
With 54kms to go until we hit the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, we saddled up for one final time. The thirteen riders in the State of Origin tour group were second to none. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of riders work so well together, especially on a four day tour as demanding as this. I have to say, its been a pleasure to be part of such a fantastic team.
We were on the home stretch and very much looking forward to seeing our families and loved ones when we rolled across the finish line. The radio call came through group, “Turning right, through the TdC flags”. The finish line flags were out and our family and friends were waiting. As we stepped off the bike and congratulated each other on such an amazing effort, we couldn’t wait to embrace those who had been supporting us from home while we had been away.
The afternoons finale celebration was held at the Kurrawa Surf Club. It was now time to wind down and reflect on the time we have had together and the amazing work that Tour de Cure has done through this tour. It was announced that the State of Origin Country Tour for 2014 had raised over $100,000 and still climbing. What a fantastic effort from the entire tour team!
For the final celebration, there were a few differences in the awards and proceedings. For our category jerseys, we had three overall "jersey of tour” winners. The recipients of these jerseys were a standout over the last four days and in the lead-up to tour.
The final category jerseys of tour were presented to:
Pink (inspiration) Rob Kennaugh - Yellow (attitude) Peter Stevens - Green (awareness) Don Kennaugh
The winner of the team time trial “race” from day two was still a mystery… So it was time to find out the results! Congratulations to Team Lexus on their win. It was a very close contest with Team Huawei only five seconds behind, followed by Team Optus and Team CBA. It was a great little event and lots of fun.
The final award was the “Team of Tour” award. It is worked out through an allocation of points awarded for all the things done both on and off the bike over our four days together. School presentations, jersey winners, overall fundraising, lending a helping hand at any time and many more categories are all taken into account. Drum roll… … … Team CBA!!! Well done and well deserved!!!
It has been and absolute please to be a part of such an amazing tour team. The journey we have taken, the people we have touched, the kids we have made smile and the pain we have endured together, has given us memories that will stay with us forever and more reasons to continue working with Tour de Cure to find a cure for cancer.
Well, thats pretty much it for another tour.
Thanks for following my TdC journey. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you all shortly.