Hard-training rider ‘devastated’ after event postponed

TODAY marks what would have been the final day of the Tour de Cure ride which was postponed due to COVID-19, leaving hard-training residents “heartbroken”.

After three months of 3am training sessions, Rob Lee said the ride was on his “bucket list” and he was “devastated” to not be able to complete the 2020 tour.

The Tour de Cure 2020 Signature Tour ride has now been rescheduled to October 8.

As a contractor for Koorelah Farms Mr Lee said the new tour dates fell right in the middle of the busiest harvest period meaning he will not be able to go ahead with the ride.

“For now it’s on the back burner it’s just not a priority, it was devastating. I’ve put in all this hard work,” he said.

“I can’t keep up the training regime even though I’ve got a good base now, I can’t get up at 5 am and do a 50 kilometre bike ride and then go to work.”

“It was three months with a lot of 3 am starts, it was hard but I was up for it, it’s just the disappointment of it all.”

Mr Lee said he symposises with the Tour de Cure organisers on the difficult call, and understands people’s health is the priority.

Mr Lee’s wife suffers from multiple sclerosis, an auto-immune disease which puts her in a high risk category throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I fully understand why they’ve made the decision, everyone’s safety is paramount,” he said.

“I understand completely, especially with my wifes auto-immune disease, it’s too big a risk.”

“It can be fatal having no immune system and something attacking your lungs.”

Bowen resident Naomi Land had been training Mr Lee for the ride and said she was “heartbroken” to not have her training partner by her side, after all the hard work he has put into the training.

Mrs Land will be completing her sixth ride this year and said the hardest thing was to see the effort Mr Lee had put in for the past six months not come to fruition.

“You would not believe how much work he has put it,” she said.

“I feel for him, it is hard to have such a big goal and for him not to be able to see it through.”

“The fundraising, the training, the early starts, it becomes your life. It is just devastating for him.”

An emotional Mrs Land said they both understood why the event had to be postponed, but that didn’t make the blow any softer.

“We both understand why, it’s just heartbreaking for him,” she said.

“As a coach it’s disappointing to see him not able to ride, that’s the reward for the months of hard work and training.

“We understand, they just couldn’t, it wasn’t going to happen.”

The annual Tour de Cure Signature Tour raises funds for cancer research and the fundraising efforts for the new October dates would continue, said Mr Lee.

“Cancer doesn’t stop the coronavirus,” he said.

“So we can’t stop raising money for it.”

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