SCENES of Airlie Beach were beamed to the nation last Thursday thanks to Channel 7's "Sunrise" coverage of the "Tour de Cure". The cycling extravaganza consisting of 75 riders pedalling 1600km from Brisbane-Mission Beach in only 11 days, aims to raise $2 million to fund cancer research, support and prevention projects. Tour de Cure riders and television crews called into the Cannonvale State School as part of their cancer awareness message during the ride through town.
Corporate events and fundraising manager Emma Jones said the response from the Whitsundays had been "amazing" with the Airlie Beach Hotel and Best Western Colonial Palms both rolling out a warm Whitsunday welcome mat.
"They've just made everything so easy for us and accommodated us no end," she said.
V8 Supercar drivers James Courtney and Jonathon Webb flew their push bikes up to Proserpine from the Gold Coast so they could join in the leg from Airlie Beach-Townsville last week. The drivers, who cycle together as part of their training program at home, said they were keen to be involved in the event on many levels.
"For us it's a good thing to support this full-stop, but for the motor sport community particularly it's pretty relevant with one of our drivers [Jason Richards] passing away from cancer last year," Webb said.
Sunrise sports presenter Mark Beretta said Cannonvale resident Wendy Downes had donated $500 to the Tour de Cure on behalf of the Whitsunday Triathalon Club.
"There's a triathalon here on August 26 and she's put it to Koshie, Mel and myself that we've got to come back for that," he said.