Tour de Frances hoping to triple participants

This year's Tour de Frances has the potential to be a bigger and better cycling event as organisers ramp up their preparations.

Thirty riders took the challenge for the first time last year, with more cyclists expected for this year’s edition on June 10.

Event coordinator Jane Fitzgerald said: “This year we hope to double or triple it.

“Hopefully it will be bigger than last year, that’s the plan,” she said. 

The event is aiming to raise funds for the Edenhope Hospital and awareness for their cycling team who have competed in the ‘Murray to Moyne’ for the past 26 years.

“It’s just a way of promoting cycling in our district, promoting awareness for them and and raising money for the hospital,” Mrs Fitzgerald said. 

The 2017 circuit will start at the Border Inn Hotel in Apsley before heading to Bringalbert, Minimay and then ending in Frances. 

Ex-Edenhope local Colleen Henderson, who competed in last year’s Tour De Frances, said it was an enjoyable experience. 

“It was a fun day out really, very social and good bike riding,” Mrs Henderson said. “It was drizzling with rain most of the way but it didn’t dampen enthusiasm.” 

Mrs Henderson saaid she was “spurred on” to participate by the fact it was a fundraiser for the hospital.

Both ladies feel the event is perfect for the riders who only want to do a portion of the circuit.

“If you want to do half the trip there’s no training involved,” Mrs Henderson said.

“It’s an organised ride so there will be a lead vehicle and a tail vehicle so people who don’t want to ride the full 85km can stop at Frances,” Mrs Fitzgerald said.

Mrs Fitzgerald believes its a great opportunity for people to see what the area has to offer.

“It’s a pretty ride from Apsley to Bringalbert to Frances,” she said. 

Mrs Henderson strongly encourages others to take up the challenge.

“Even if people don’t have time to train, that fact that you’ve got the option of catching the bus back home again there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it because it’s so much fun,” she said.

For general enquiries, contact Jane Fitzgerald on 0411 632 936 or jane_bothe@hotmail.com.