Joshua Smallwood, Ollie Ludbrook and Tayla Ludbrook with Whitsunday Tour de Cure team Shona Russell and Janelle 'Woody' Eastwood' (centre).
Joshua Smallwood, Ollie Ludbrook and Tayla Ludbrook with Whitsunday Tour de Cure team Shona Russell and Janelle 'Woody' Eastwood' (centre). Sharon Smallwood

Airlie gears up for Tour de Cure

BAD weather for training and even a near-brush with a cyclone haven't stopped Shona Russell and Janelle 'Woody' Eastwood from gearing up for the Tour de Cure.

This week these two Whitsunday women have been putting the final preparations in place for not only their own participation in the 1110km charity ride but also its visits to Proserpine and Airlie Beach.

When the Tour arrives in the Whitsundays on the weekend of April 28-29, Shona and Woody will be rolling out the welcome mat and they're inviting the whole community to join them for the ride.

Drop-off boxes filled with colourful materials are about to hit the region's schools and local children are encouraged to get decorating their bikes for a starring role on national TV.

Channel 7's Sunrise crew, including well-known personalities Mark Beretta and James Tobin, will be filming at every turn of the wheel, shining a light on the Whitsundays and its contribution towards finding a cure for cancer.

Since joining the Tour in 2015, Shona, Woody, and by extension the Whitsunday community, have collectively raised about $40,000 per year.

This year that cheque will be presented during a live broadcast from the Port of Airlie.

Better still, at a dinner hosted by the Whitsunday Airport in Flametree on Saturday, April 28, the Tour de Cure will be giving $10,000 back to a community-based cancer project in the Whitsundays.

For Woody and Shona, who will have ridden about 200km that day, there is nothing quite as emotional as bringing their efforts home.

"I don't know anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form so it's pretty raw,” Shona said.

"But this is about being part of a huge team to fight it and that's our message to the community.”

"Kids can wrap their bikes, they can tie bows on them, they can make streamers, they can do whatever they like - we'd just love as many locals as possible to come down, cheer us on, get their faces on TV and send the whole peloton off on their fundraising adventure through North Queensland,” Woody said.

Live Sunrise weather crosses, sponsored by Tourism and Events Queensland, will take place between 6am and 9am on Sunday, April 29, at the Port of Airlie.

The Tour will depart for Bowen from there at about 9.15am.

Tickets for the community dinner on Saturday, April 28, cost $30.

ON TOUR

  • WHAT: Tour de Cure /Sunrise
  • WHERE: Port of Airlie
  • WHEN: Sunday, April 29, 6-9am
  • TO DONATE: BSB 084501, Ac 242447470
  • MORE INFO: Facebook.com/ woodyandshona

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