SOME of Australia’s top cyclists will ride through the south-west today — but any rivalry will be to raise money, not win it.
The cyclists are part of the Amy Gillett Foundation’s Share the Road Tour 2012 to raise awareness and funds to improve road safety for cyclists.
Elite riders on the tour, including five-time Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France rider Bradley McGee, 11-time Tour de France yellow jersey winner Phil Anderson and 2012 World Road titles silver medallist Rachel Neylan, are accompanying 32 other fund-raising riders.
The cyclists will today ride from Port Fairy to Port Campbell as part of the seven-day, 1043-kilometre tour from Adelaide to Melbourne.
The Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) is named after Australian representative cyclist Amy Gillett, who was killed in a collision with a car in Germany in 2005.
Her husband Simon is among those tackling the tour.
AGF fund-raising and marketing manager David Lee said the riders were averaging about 150 kilometres a day and were on track to reach Melbourne by Sunday.
Mr Lee said the tour had already raised about $232,000 towards its goal of $250,000 to help fund cycling safety programs, such as the ‘A Metre Matters’ message that encourages cyclists and motorists to give a metre distance between each other.
He said AGF wanted to create a new resource, Cycle Safe Communities, that local government could download to promote road safety for cyclists.
The tour riders were having a good time and the event had attracted great media coverage, he said.
AGF chief executive officer Tracey Gaudry said an average of 37 cyclists were killed and more than 9000 seriously injured each year in Australia.