This year’s 22nd annual Tour de Cariboo raised more than $60,000 for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“[It] was an event that brought together our community on a beautiful fall weekend at spectacular Gavin Lake,” said Melissa Newberry, executive director with BBBS.
The event, a 75-kilometre road-bike ride from Williams Lake to Gavin Lake held Saturday, is a highlight on many people’s calendars, annually.
“This year we had 73 riders from all over the province participating,” Newberry said. “Some riders like to include the event as part of their training regime, some riders come back to be a part of a community event and others are trying this out for the first time.”
Along the route a dedicated crew of volunteers made sure riders were safe, well fed and enjoying the experience.
“Every year we have supporters at the end of their driveways cheering riders on,” she said, adding celebrations, entertainment and relaxation got underway as soon as riders arrived at Gavin Lake.
BBBS board member Hugh Armstrong said he left Gavin Lake Saturday feeling inspired by the riders and some of the personal triumphs he witnessed.
“From well-trained veteran riders speeding by before I could even get my rest stop table set up, to my two favourites, our second- to last-place first-time rider, who after riding all but the last kilometre, missed the final turn due to being colour blind and still rode in smiling, even though he had a few extra kilometres added to his race,” Armstrong said. “And to our last place finisher who I think is a second-time rider. I heard it was our third-place money maker.
“He could barely walk when he went up front to receive his award and if he rides next year I want an autographed photo.”
The money raised from the Tour de Cariboo goes to support programs that will benefit youth in the community for years to come, and all funds raised are spent locally.
“Thank you to our sponsor, Mount Polley Mine, the riders, the volunteers, Adele and everyone who helped her in the kitchen and to Gavin Lake for making this event a huge success,” Newberry said.
Racer statistics are as follows (top overall is bold):
Age 50+ Women
1.) Ann Carter, Williams Lake (WL) – 3:01:21
2.) Nicole Robert-Mortimer, Bridge Lake – 3:08:55
3.) Cherie Wiebe, WL – 3:11:19
Age 50+ Men
1.) Bob Simpson, Quesnel – 2:28:49
2.) Ivor McMahen, WL – 2:36:08
3.) Scott Gordon, WL – 2:37:23
Under 50 Women
1.) Jamie Dickson, Kamloops – 3:00:03
2.) Nicole Brandson, Quesnel – 3:00:23
3.) Pauline Robinson, WL – 3:04:20
Under 50 Men
1.) Ryan Oliver, WL – 2:20:30
2.) Paul Rohner, WL – 2:33:57
3.) Glen Boudreau, Quesnel – 2:35:38
Top Three Pledge Earners
1.) Tory Kier, WL – $17,000 (Chaunigan Lake Resort two-night stay and Carmens Restaurant gift certificate)
2.) Patsy Kohnke, WL – $2,900 (Pacific Coastal Airline Massey Theatre tickets)
3.) Dean MacDonald, Delta – $2,525 (Fraser River Rafting Teague House Overnight).