11 September 2013 - Early rising; fog; flat tyres; potholes; swooping magpies; wasps; assorted hills; police escorts and too much snack food. These hazards did not deter the 21 Team Aureconquer cyclists from safely completing the 220 kilometre 2013 Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer (RTCC) in Brisbane over the weekend of 17 and 18 August.
Some 1200 riders raised a total of AUD 4.3 million for cancer research at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. Fundraising over AUD 63 500, Team Aureconquer (21 riders and 15 crew members) placed fourth on the team fundraising list, receiving a rousing cheer from all assembled at the Saturday night camp ceremony.
Danni Roberts tore up the course to be the first female (and 18th overall) to complete the 110 kilometre Day 1 course and still had the time and enthusiasm to return to the Aurecon sponsored pit stop to cheer on slower riders.
The riders found times when they had to dig deep into their reserves to meet the challenge of finishing, but all put in strong efforts - riding the course at speeds commensurate with their abilities.
The moving speech at the opening ceremony, by a young engineering graduate diagnosed with incurable blood cancer, gave us all the incentive we needed to keep going when we felt tired. Our suffering was nothing compared to that of the many cancer sufferers/survivors (their bikes adorned with yellow flags to show their bravery) we rode with and for.
Resources and Manufacturing Unit Manager, Peter McIntyre, himself a pit stop crew member, said: "The riders and crew have done Aurecon proud. We have demonstrated how Aurecon can contribute to betterment of our community and the world. In addition we have achieved extensive exposure for our brand, particularly with key client Rio Tinto."