UCI World Cycling Tour To Kick Off With Amy?s Gran Fondo

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Peloton Cafe || Amy's Gran Fondo

Peloton Cafe || Amy’s Gran Fondo (image copyright Veeral Patel)

Just weeks after the conclusion of the 2014 season in Europe, the 2015 UCI World Cycling Tour series gets underway in Australia with the opening event to be staged this weekend in the most spectacular setting. The fourth edition of the Wiggle Amy?s Gran Fondo will be held this Sunday 14th September with 5,000 participants set to enjoy the unique experience of riding along a fully closed Great Ocean Road in Lorne, Victoria. Amy?s Gran Fondo will once again begin the global UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) series in which the top 25% of finishers in each age group qualifier for the 2015 Amateur World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. Australia?s best amateur riders will be in attendance, and in 2015 the weekend will also feature the inaugural Amy?s Otway Classic, featuring Australia?s top women?s cycling teams as part of Cycling Australia?s Subaru National Road Series. Included in the field of Gran Fondo riders is Bold and the Beautiful star Katherine Kelly Lang, who plays Brooke Logan-Forrester in the world?s most popular daytime drama. A keen cyclist, Lang arrives in Australia on Thursday and is coming to Lorne especially to participate in the event. Defending champion Peta Mullins will also return for the event, fresh from the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Amy?s Gran Fondo is staged by the Amy Gillett Foundation and is held in memory of Australian cycling team member Amy Gillett, who tragically lost her life during a training ride in Germany in 2005 when hit by a car. Amy?s Gran Fondo is a vital event in generating fundraising that allows the Amy Gillett Foundation to continue their mission of safe cycling in Australia. Helping fund research honours students to further AGF?s leading research in bike rider safety, as well as deliver policy based campaigns nationally are just some of the primary objectives. The event also contributes to the global ?Cycling for all? efforts by promoting shared respect between motorists and bike riders in an effort to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders through improved conditions for cycling. All proceeds and fundraising associated with Amy?s Gran Fondo will be directed towards cycling safety research, advocacy and educational campaigns and programs. Amy Gillett Foundation CEO and UCI Vice President Tracey Gaudry said the weekend was the pinnacle event in the Foundation?s annual events calendar and the perfect way to kick off the 2015 UWCT calendar. “The event has all the ingredients from the Amy Gillett Foundations DNA,? Gaudry said. ?Safety first, a distance for everyone, a chance to challenge yourself and qualify for the Amateur World Road Championships, AustCycle bike skill courses and educational programs for school kids across the region, and now in memory of Amy we have included Amy’s Otway Classic for Australian professional and semi-professional women cyclists,” Gaudry added. ?This is a once-a-year opportunity to ride the fully closed Great Ocean Road, and the first opportunity for participants to qualify for the UWCT final in Copenhagen next year.? Riders can choose to enter one of three different rides on offer including a 40km Medio Fondo and the 14km Piccolo Fondo for families. However it is the 110Km Gran Fondo that takes riders from Lorne to Apollo Bay and through the Otway Ranges that has the serious cyclist focussed on a spot at the amateur world championships. Online entries close at midnight on Wednesday 10 September. For more information about the event visit www.amysgranfondo.org.au

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