CHAMPION local cyclist Robbie Williams, who passed away just over a year ago, will be honoured with a special race.
Williams, 27, the son of well-known local doctor Bruce Williams and his wife Sue, died in Canberra after suffering sudden fatal cardiac arrhythmia during a bunch training ride.
As part of the Gran Fondo Shoalhaven, which features a number of rides throughout the Shoalhaven on the weekend of September 28-29, a special Ride 4 Robbie event will be staged on Sunday, September 29.
Mark Emerton from Elite Energy, whose company is organising the cycling weekend including the tribute ride to Williams, said it would be a fitting tribute to Robbie.
“We hope to make it a staple on the cycling calendar each year,” Mr Emerton said.
The 140km Nowra to Nerriga and return ride is for those who regularly set out for longer weekend adventures. It will also feature a timed 70km event just from Nerriga to Nowra with significant elevation.
“The race will require a high level of fitness, stamina, determination and strength as riders will be faced with long climbs on the way out to Nerriga before returning to Nowra along this scenic but challenging course,” Mr Emerton said.
“Some will do the event as a race, others will just complete at their own pace, similar to the Sydney to Gong ride.
“When entering, people can nominate their estimated average speed-finish time.”
The Williams family, which supports the event, has nominated the
A Metre Matters charity (www.amy gillett.org.au/a-metre-matters) as the beneficiary.
This initiative by The Amy Gillett Foundation is calling for a change to the Australian Road Rules to mandate that drivers allow a minimum of one metre when overtaking bike riders on the road.
The professional team Robbie rode for, Drapac Professional Racing, will enter a team in his memory.
“It is a challenge that will allow riders to enjoy the country roads that head toward Canberra as they climb to Sassafras where glimpses of Jervis Bay coastline can be seen on a clear day on the race back to Shoalhaven Gran Fondo Village at the Nowra Showground,” Mr Emerton said.
The two-day festival of cycling has options for everyone – from the casual weekend family cyclist to those who want an action packed race.
Other events during the Gran Fondo Shoalhaven include a graded criterium around the historic Berry Showground, a Berry Mountain King and Queen of the Mountain hillclimb, an achievable 40km Coastal Cruise ride from Nowra to Greenwell Point with lunch at Greenwell Point and a 10km Family Fun Fondo from Nowra to Terara, which will visit historic Terara with morning tea provided.
You can register for the Ride 4 Robbie or any of the Gran Fondo Shoalhaven rides at www.granfondo-shoalhaven.com.au
MEMORIAL: Bruce and Sue Williams with their daughters Jackie (left) and Libby Walsh at the memorial erected in Robbie’s memory at Canberra.