MELINDA Cockshutt feels like her Tour de Cure compatriots definitely made a difference in a six-day cycle from Newcastle to Coffs Harbour.
They covered an average of 120 kilometres each day in a route that included a 10-kilometre climb through the Moonbi Range and then a 17-kilometre descent through the Gibraltar Range between Grafton and Glen Innes.
At the end of it all the crew of over 100 raised more than $2.5million for cancer research, but it wasn't before COVID-19 restrictions forced a handful of riders back to Queensland.
Despite the hurdles which have had to be overcome in the last 19 months after the pandemic forced the postponement last year, Cockshutt said the challenges also provided the motivation.
"What kept us going was COVID, cancer and that people were still getting diagnosed so why should we stop because it became a bit harder," she said.
"It's tough for us all, but at least we're healthy and can still do something.
"While we were training for this we had two friends in their 30s diagnosed who have young kids and a family and their treatment had to isolate them because of COVID."
Mrs Cockshutt said it was hard to keep motivated across 19 months when it was originally only meant to be for six.
"Your whole life becomes Tour de Cure, but then you think what happens if we don't have cancer research ... people then don't have mother's and father's," she said.
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