Triple Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn is among nearly 100 cyclists on their way to Melbourne as part of a 285 kilometre one-day journey for charity.
Mr Ginn, who arrived by train from Melbourne just yesterday, was geared up and ready to go from Liebig Street at 5.45am this morning. He said he was "just keen to help".
"Shane Wilson - the event organiser - joined us at the end of a ride about six months ago," he said.
"I met him then and he reached out knowing I had ridden from Melbourne to Warrnambool numerous times. He asked me if I wanted to do it as part of a charity event and I love supporting local initiatives.
"Just knowing this helps raise funds to support local schools and work on skills for mental health for young kids, I was just keen to help."
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Despite earning gold in the 1996, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, Mr Ginn said today was just about mateship.
"I'll just enjoy the ride," he said.
"It's going to be long and hard, but I think everyone is just looking for a bit of mateship. You look after each other in your groups and when you get back you get to have a bit of a celebration having done it all.
"It's just a really nice thing to be able to leave a place like Warrnambool and arrive in a city like Melbourne and just know you've covered 280 kilometres - it's pretty extraordinary."
Warrnambool mayor Richard Ziegeler was present to wish the group good luck and thank them for their efforts.
"Thanks very much for what you're doing for the community - it's just wonderful and the fact you're doing it for mental health and young people, we're so fortunate to have such a community-minded group in our town," he said.
"I wish you a safe ride and have fun."
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