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Cycling has enjoyed a massive rise to prominence as a competitive sport and social pastime over the last few years, but it’s never far from the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as well.
High-profile drugs controversies have been dogging the sport for a decade and more but the Australian cycling legend, Phil Anderson, believes the authorities will win.
“Cycling is the most highly-tested sport for drugs so the powers are doing everything they can to combat this problem,” he said.
“There will always be those who try to cheat, those who try to get away with it, but the authorities do their best and will get on top of it.”
When you’re a cycling legend it’s hard to let go and, even now, Phil will cycle 60- or 70-kilometres just for fun.
The former world number one, and the first non-European to wear the coveted yellow jersey on the Tour de France, goes out on his bike two or three times a week even though he retired seventeen years ago.
“I like to keep fit and really enjoy riding the bike as a social thing, ride with a few friends, stop and have a coffee.
“Occasionally, in the bigger groups that I ride with, there might be one or two who fancy riding hard and think it’s a challenge to outpace me but that’s not for me now.
“I prefer to go out together, enjoy the ride and the company, and come back together.”
Phil will be in Toowoomba shortly as the FKG Tour of Toowoomba (June 17 – 19) is the only National Road Series to be staged in Queensland, and he’s guest of honour.
This event features the Endeavour Challenge Community Ride on June 19th whereby amateur cyclists can compete on one of three challenging courses with all money raised going to Endeavour Foundation, and also ride alongside the former world number one.
“I’m really looking forward to this one,” Phil said.
“I’ve been up there hiking but I haven’t cycled around Toowoomba. More importantly, if I can raise awareness of Endeavour Foundation with my presence all the better because this is a truly worthy cause.”
Phil’s status as a legend is assured but he watches the developments in the sport which he graced.
“There’s a lot of young talent out there and it’s amazing what they can do,” he said.
“There’s more money now, and the methods of training have advanced considerably – there were only heart-rate monitors in my day but now there are so many great training tools, and the carbon-fibre bikes are 25% lighter – but I reckon I would still be competitive if I was cycling now.”
Phil is also keen to stay in good shape.
“My diet is probably healthier now than when I was riding because food was fuel then, but now I have to be more careful about what I eat.
“I’ve seen a few of them blow out over the years!”
Meanwhile, Endeavour Foundation is holding a silent auction for a fantastic collectors’ item which any sports fan – or any collector - will cherish.
Phil Anderson, has signed a replica yellow jersey, just like those he used to wear in his Tour de France heyday, and this has been mounted and framed for auction on behalf of Endeavour Foundation.
This stunning piece of memorabilia marks the 30th anniversary of Phil’s historic achievement when he became the first non-European to wear the prestigious leader’s yellow jersey on Le Tour.
Phil is a giant among cyclists. As a 19 year-old he won gold in the road race at the 1978 Commonwealth Games which led him to join the professional circuit. He was a top ten finisher for five consecutive years in the Tour de France from 1981-85, and won many events during his spectacular career.
If you would like to bid for this amazing item, visit www.endeavour.com.au
Bids must be for more than the set reserve of $500.00.
Remote bidders have until midnight on Thursday, 16th June 2011 to submit their bid.
Alternatively, those who have booked a seat at our fabulous sports dinner in Toowoomba on Saturday 18th June, at which Phil Anderson is the guest speaker, will have a second opportunity to place a final bid.
The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the dinner.
All proceeds will go to Endeavour Foundation to support people with a disability to lead a normal life as part of the everyday community.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to own this incredible piece of sporting memorabilia. Start bidding now!!
Note: Endeavour Foundation is holding the annual Endeavour Challenge Community Ride on Sunday June 19th in Toowoomba. Entrants can ride alongside Phil Anderson. This unique opportunity to cycle with a legend is open only to those who sign-up to take part.