Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team faces most challenging training yet

Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team faces most challenging training yet

The team preparing for the Tour de Rock bike ride across Vancouver Island this fall had their most difficult training day Sunday.

They climbed Mount Washington.

The difficult grade made for a lot of sweat in today’s heat — but all the riders found they had the inspiration needed to finish the climb.

The 19 riders of this year’s Tour de Rock team have been training for months, but Sunday was their biggest test yet.

“Yeah, this will be the worst that we see,” said Troy Mann, a team rider this year from Nanaimo. “There’s nothing like it on the tour, so if we can get through this we can get through anything.”

“I’m a little nervous,” said Hannah Lepine, who’s the media rider from CHEK News. “My stomach was starting to turn on the way here and now it’s really going.”

It’s also the first time some have been on a ride with the entire team. The riders were told they can stop if needed, but they were not allowed to walk their bikes.

“It’s also quite significant in the whole cancer journey thing, because with cancer there’s no option to give up. To be successful you have to keep going, and that’s just like the kids going through treatment,” said Andy Dunstan, a Tour de Rock trainer.

On Sunday, the team started together, but they were allowed to ride up at their own speed. This fall will mark the 26th Cops for Cancer tour of Vancouver Island. Since 1998, it’s raised $28 million for kids with cancer.

Each of the riders have been touched personally by cancer, giving extra motivation on days like Sunday.

“My maternal grandmother, she passed away from breast cancer,” said Ajinkya Chodankar, a B.C. paramedic and Courtenay firefighter and team member. “It kind of forced my mother to grow up fast.”

“So I had an auntie Rose who had brain cancer and breast cancer as well, and she ended up passing from that, so I hold her pretty dear to my heart when I’m out there,” said Troy Mann, a Nanaimo RCMP officer and member of the team.

Some riders were pushing for speed on Sunday, while for others were digging deep.

“It’s tough. I know most of it’s in my head. I know that. Just pushing through,” said Shauna Bainbridge, a Saanich police officer and team member.

But keeping the kids with cancer in mind, all made it up the mountain, hoping their fundraising will help kids with cancer make it up theirs.

The link to donate funds can be found here.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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