As it prepares to launch an assault on the 2010 PowerNet Tour of Southland, the Share the Road team will take time out to deliver its potentially life-saving message to Southland students next week.
Legendary Tour of Southland rider Gordon McCauley – a 17-Tour stalwart and two-time winner – will be joined by last year’s runner-up and national road champion Jack Bauer, of Nelson, Olympic cyclist Jeremy Yates, of Hastings, Commonwealth Games medalist Jason Allen, of Christchurch, Tokoroa’s Justin Kerr and cycling stalwart Karl Murray, of Auckland, to contest the prestigious event from November 1-6.
The team’s safety message was one the formidable line-up of international riders could personally relate to.
“Having lost a couple of good mates over the years, it’s a subject that’s quite close to home for me personally so any exposure we can get out there the better,” Allen, who races in the US, said.
McCauley agreed. “Having been knocked off my bike twice by cars, I believe it is the most important message we can be spreading to both cyclists and motorists alike.”
The riders will unite with Road Safety Southland, Sport Southland – which manages the team – and Police Education Officers to deliver a unique education experience to over 3000 Southland students.
Yates, 28, applauded the initiative of Road Safety Southland to use the iconic Tour as a platform to spread the Share the Road message.
“As regular road users, cyclists are faced by its hazards constantly – a clear public message can benefit us all,” he said.
Second to Heath Blackgrove last year, UK-based Bauer, 25, said he relished the opportunity to mix with Southland youngsters.
“Awareness of cycling and cycling safety is always going to be needed. The way Share the Road gets into the schools and to the children is a great hands-on method,” he said.
Sport Southland general manager Brendon McDermott said riders would begin visiting schools on Tuesday.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to not only teach road safety, but also encourage kids into organised sport. Being active is high on our agenda and it would be great to see more people biking or walking to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” McDermott said.