Port Macquarie contingent to set off on Tour de Cure in March

Strong team: Port Macquarie's Tour de Cure contingent will head from Newcastle to Noosa in March.
Strong team: Port Macquarie's Tour de Cure contingent will head from Newcastle to Noosa in March.

PORT Macquarie sport's dynamic duo Mel Cockshutt and Bennett Powell have put the call out to the community to help them contribute to funding cancer research.

The pair rode to cure cancer in Cairns for the Tour de Cure two years ago and are back for another crack next March, riding from Newcastle to Noosa this time.

It will be a challenging nine-day ride where they are expected to cover an average of 140 kilometres each day.

They will be joined by a number of Hastings locals including Powell's mum Trish, along with Lyn Stewart, Greg Laws, Mitchell Johnson and Judy Ferries.

Cockshutt's daughter Alani overcame Acute Myeloid Leukaemia at the age of four and will take her place in the support crew alongside Sue Colby and Glenn Parry.

"We've got a beautiful group this time," Cockshutt said.

"We've got Bennett, we've got his mum who decided at 50 and never ridden a bike before that she wanted to start training last year for this.

$100,000 in a regional town will be a big ask, so we're going to ask people to dig deep and help us out.

Greg Laws

"We've got Greg in his 60s - an Ironman legend - and we've got Judy who has hardly ridden a bike.

"Then we've got Lyn who's an Ironman athlete and a CEO of a company."

But it's not just about cycling with the 150-strong group visiting communities along the way and spreading the "Be Active, Be Healthy and Be Fit" message.

"Because it's so big I feel we can make a difference and riding that far is challenging," Cockshutt said.

"It's such a great experience; Tour de Cure are up to about $10million now that they have raised for cancer research so they're making a difference."

Last time Cockshutt and Powell took part, their group gave away $10,000 in every town they visited.

It's getting on your bike every day for nine days that is the challenge.

Mel Cockshutt

"That was pretty special," Cockshutt said.

"It's getting on your bike every day for nine days that is the challenge."

Laws admitted it was different to what he was used to and now it was about putting in the hard work through training.

"We're all fairly bike fit, but we have to stage ourselves over the next six months into minimal rides in terms of kilometres for each week," he said.

"That will crank up into October and come early January we'll be doing 60 per cent of the daily ride each day."

The first fundraising event for the group as they aim to raise $100,000 between themselves will be at Long Point Vineyard on Saturday.

"$100,000 in a regional town will be a big ask, so we're going to ask people to dig deep and help us out," Laws said.

To donate, click here.

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