Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sealy Noosa Smiddy Challenge- 630km's/10,000 Vertical Metres/4 Days

Inaugural Noosa Smiddy Challenge is upon us
Tomorrow is Anzac Day and the inaugural Sealy Posturepedic Noosa Smiddy Challenge commences with a dawn service at Greenslopes Hospital. Twenty one Smiddy riders and six Smiddy road crew members will attend this important service of remembrance. The riders will then embark on a 170 kilometre epic journey to the beautiful seaside town of Noosa. The idea behind this ride is, as per usual, to raise awareness and as much money as possible for research into Melanoma, Prostate, Breast and Ovarian cancers. Smiling for Smiddy’s beneficiary is the Mater Foundation and the funds are distributed to the Mater Research.

How tough is this event? Well let me tell you!
This Smiddy event differs to our past tours in the sense that we will not stay in a different town each night. The first day, we ride to Noosa, and then spend the next three days and nights residing in Noosa and riding 160km loops from, and back to Noosa. In total our gutsy riders will endure 630 kilometres of cycling, which will include in excess of 10,000 metres of climbing in just four days. Or looking at it from another perspective, they will ascend the equivalent of sea level to another thousand metres above the height of Mt Everest. It is a huge challenge for the 18 male and three female riders, but one that I know they will achieve thanks to the support of their love ones and their many supporters who have donated generously to this great cause.

A salute to the riders
So without further ado I would like to introduce you to our next batch of Smiddy hero’s that will be flying the flag for cancer research over the next four days. Girls first of course with Lisa Allen, Annalie Houston and Jodie Spottiswood. The males are Erik Anderson, Anthony De Domenico, Rodney Enkelman, Rowan Foster, Anthony Hawkins, rider and mechanic in Toby Hood, Jim Houston, (Father of Annalie) Shane Isbester, Kurt Kratzmann, Jos Lablache, Vass Malanos, Andreas Schibler, Nic Woollett and some dodgy guy named Sharky. We also have five day riders in David Lynch, Andrew Denford, Angus Blackwood, Annie Anderson and our guest celebrity rider in Phil Anderson. A huge thank you to all these guys and girls who have given up their valuable time to help Smiling for Smiddy and the Mater Foundation towards our goal of raising $1 million dollars this calendar year for research.

Where would we be without these amazing volunteers?

I can assure you without the likes of Mike and Peter Dyer, Chris Geeves, Kevin Enchelmaier, Wendy McQueen, Sammy-Jo So, Toby Hood and Jessica Ebelt, this event would not be possible. Each Smiddy event we are gifted to know such wonderful human beings who give up their valuable time to help our events run like clockwork. On behalf of Smiling for Smiddy and the Mater Foundation we are indeed indebted to you all. I know the next four days are going to bring riders and road crew together like the tightest of family bonds. Thank you, thank you and thank you for your sacrifices over the next four days!

Who is Phil Anderson?
My love interest in cycling began in the eighties, back then an Australian cyclist by the name of Phil Anderson was my hero and he was showing the Europeans that it was possible for an Aussie to mix it up with the best cyclists in the world. Phil Anderson, OAM, is arguably Australia's greatest cyclist. He is a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, a winner of key Spring Classics and he has held the coveted Tour De France yellow jersey 11 times, rising to number one in the world along the way. Phil was the very first non-European rider to wear the yellow Jersey. He pioneered cycling in Australia at a time when cycling was mainly focused on Europe and European riders. Anderson went to the world's greatest cycling race, the Tour de France, and finished in the top 5 and won two stages. This quickly shot Anderson to stardom and he was affectionately nicknamed "Skippy". Phil joined the Smiddy peloton for the first four days of the Challenge ride up to Townsville with us in 2009. We are very lucky to have Phil as our guest rider for the Noosa Smiddy Challenge. As well as riding with us on the Saturday and Sunday he will be speaking at a special function for 70 riders on Saturday night at the RACV Resort at Noosa.

Over the next four days I look forward to bringing you all the news of the highs and lows on this brand new Smiddy journey. So until tomorrow, thanks for following our journey and if you have any messages you would like to send to the riders and crew just email them to me at and I will read them out each night.



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