This October, fifty women took place in the Chain Reaction Challenge Women’s 300, a 3-day 300km cycling challenge for senior female business leaders to raise funds for Queensland children’s charities.
The event took riders from Byron Bay to Brisbane on a professionally designed and fully supported course for that ‘Pro-Tour’ experience. This is the fifth women’s only event delivered by Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation and the first for the Queensland women’s business community.
All of Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation’s rides raise funds for charities selected by the organising committees in each city. The Women’s 300 Committee has selected Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House, as their major charity partner. Hummingbird House provides respite and end-of-life care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Other minor charity partners benefiting from the funds raised this year include Youth Advocacy Centre, an organisation that provides free legal services, youth support and family support assistance and services to young people under 18 years of age. The ride aims to fundraise in excess of $250,000 for these very worthy causes.
DAY 1 BYRON BAY LOOP 70Km.
The new members to Chain Reaction were introduced to the Pro-Team truck where their bikes were neatly tucked away for the drive down to our starting location in Byron Bay. And unlike the 7 day rides, the shortened format meant we started the day with our first competition jersey presentation. It proved to be a touching moment for all as we gained insight as to why people are riding, their motivation behind it and the escapism that they chase.
Today’s jersey winners were:
White Jersey, for best new/young rider: Lara Anderson
Green Jersey, for quickest to embrace the Chain Reaction experience: Alison Chambers
Black Jersey, for best displaying the spirit of Chain Reaction: Mel Lourens
Goldsky Leaders Yellow Jersey, awarded for highest fundraising so far, over $9,000: Brianna Keenan
The road ahead to start the ride was smooth, curtesy of our bus ride featuring a slight detour to pick up our 48th member of the peloton who just happens to be a bronze and silver medallist at the recent World Championships in Norway. Having Katrin along has inspired the group and many will be drawing on the sheer guts and determination that she showed when riding to those medals.
Upon our arrival into Byron and the lovely Elements of Byron Resort, the reality of what was ahead started to set in and after months of early mornings and cold conditions, it was time to strip off the layers, embrace the heat and form the peloton that will tackle the 2017 CRW Queensland ride.
Day 2 – Byron Bay to Gold Coast, 135kms
Following a night of rain, the ladies awoke to perfect conditions, with just the right amount of cloud cover and a cool breeze, providing a welcome relief from the radiating heat of Day 1, for what will be the toughest day on the bike for the ladies.
The peloton set off led by our two Goldsky jersey winners from the previous night, Emily Pryor and Emma Ross, Ann Fordyce in Black, Elise Nancarrow in Green and Lana Sherri in White.
Clearly, the nerves of day one had settled as the peloton formed perfect formation from Byron, taking in the beautiful surrounds through Mullumbimby, and past Mount Warning. The ladies tackled their first climb of the 1560m of climbing ahead for the day with ease, working together, and providing a caring push when needed.
Day 2 – Gold Coast to Brisbane, 108 km
There was a distinct buzz in the dining room at breakfast today, the riders were clearly still floating on cloud nine after the previous days’ achievements both on and off the bike. It may have also had something to do with our special guest Robbie McEwen (an ambassador of Goldsky, our yellow jersey sponsor) who joined us for dinner the night before to congratulate us on what we as a group had achieved and present the final jersey recipients for CRW300 2017. The recipients of the jerseys would not only get to roll out at the front, but also have the privilege to bring the peloton back into Brisbane on the final day. We had two ladies taking the Green Jersey, Kym Warner and Vicky Papachristos, Jane Gowdie in Black, Sally Duncombe in Yellow and Kath Daly in White.
We rolled out of our fantastic accommodation at The Island, looking sharp and riding as one beautiful group through the back of Surfers Paradise and out to the first quick stop of the day at the Nerang Criterion Track. The Velodrome allowed the riders to have hit and spin their legs in preparation for the 972m of climbing and +100km ahead. It was great to see our mechanic JJ jump on one of the ladies bikes for a quick spin, showing just how fast these bikes can go.
From there it was time to take on the first lumpy section of the ride as we passed the Gold Coast amusement parks. There were some cheap thrills to be had on the downhill, and it was great to see the riders gaining more confidence descending with each hill passed. After a few minor mechanicals the peloton rolled into their second stop for the day for lunch. The riders were feeling surprisingly okay, and the emotion of what had been achieved was starting to settle in with a few tears shed. It was also a moment to stop and thank our wonderful coach Dave for all he had done, with the riders gathering around him to say the one word that sums up the way they feel about our fearless leader – their safety net who motivates, inspires and is just an all-round genuine and great bloke.
CONTACT GOLDSKY ASSET MANAGEMENT ( AUSTRALIA )
Goldsky Asset Management ( Australia ) PTY LTD
Level 29, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.
T16/17 Bells Boulevard, Salt village Kingscliff, NSW, 2487, Australia
Victor Popov, Business Development Manager
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