Tour de OROC: riders train as final preparations made

Back in the books: The jersey for the 2017 Tour de OROC will feature more than 110 sponsors, reclaiming a Guiness world record set during the initial ride in 2013. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING
Back in the books: The jersey for the 2017 Tour de OROC will feature more than 110 sponsors, reclaiming a Guiness world record set during the initial ride in 2013. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

Mild days and tailwinds are on the wishlists of 17 cyclists who are about to ride 1000 kilometres to Dubbo.

The 2017 Tour de OROC will start on Monday at Mudgee, taking participants on a route across the Orana region.

The 17 - who have backgrounds ranging from “serious racer to cycling enthusiast” - are in the final stages of training before pushing the pedals along the journey.

Plenty of energy has already gone into planning the biennial tour, a fundraiser for Macquarie Homestay at Dubbo.

Initially a lot of work was put into securing sponsors and riders, and gaining support from the towns along the route, Tour de OROC committee chairman Mathew Dickerson said.

Now it was down to the final planning and making sure the event ran as smoothly has possible.

The 17 riders registered for the entire trip will be joined by a number of day riders and special guests throughout the six-day endurance test.

Dubbo’s dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Megan Dunn is set to ride in the opening day and international cycling commentator Matt Keenan will participate on the final leg.

Riders were from places around the region including Dubbo, Kinchela, Canowinda, Walgett, Two Mile Flat and Griffith, Mr Dickerson reported.

“Riders have backgrounds ranging from serious racer to cycling enthusiast,” he said.

“It will again be a tough ride for all riders to complete.

“In previous years only four to six riders have been able to pedal every kilometre of the journey.

“Many eyes will be on the weather now as we look for mild days with tailwinds – knowing full well we won’t get that every day.

“The two biggest days are over 200km each day so they are the tough ones if we have a head wind with scorching temperatures.”

Organisers have set a goal of $100,000 for this year’s tour, which would take the total raised in three rides to more than $400,000.

Riders and sponsors played an important role in the fundraising, with sponsors paying between $250 and $7000 for a place on the jersey.

The towns along the way also made a contribution, and were busy planning various activities for the visit.

These ranged from traditional welcome ceremonies to fundraisers at local pubs, Mr Dickerson said.

“Teachers are planning activities with school kids riding into town with us and riders from each community are joining us for parts of the journey,” he said.

Macquarie Homestay’s aim is to provide short-term accommodation for patients and their families or carers who have travelled from the region to use the services of the Dubbo Hospital.