Tour de Transplant leader Phil Anderson OAM is one of Australia's cycling heroes. He won gold in the 1978 Commonwealth Games, turned pro and joined the intensely competitive professional European road circuit with a career spanning 16 years and culminating with another Commonwealth gold in 1994, the year of his retirement.
"Three years ago I was approached by the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust (Victoria) with a request to support the inaugural HLTTV Tour de Transplant. Having had a long association with the Alfred Hospital the opportunity to continue the relationship via HLTTV and their Second Chance program was an obvious step. The rest as they say is history.
The 2014 edition of the Tour de Transplant raised more than $250,000 towards HLTTV’s Second Chance Accommodation Program. The Tour was a staggering success with riders hitting physical, financial and emotional targets that would be difficult to better.
Supporting this Program is a fantastic initiative and I’m proud to be leading the second Tour de Transplant cycling challenge in 2016 with planning for the 2018 edition already underway.
Currently demand for support accommodation is outstripping supply and the cost of maintaining the program is continuing to grow. Our goal remains to raise sufficient funds to increase the availability of support accommodation for more transplant recipients and to allow their families to stay together during this difficult post-operative period.
I will ensure that any 2016 Tour de Transplant participants work very hard on their quest to ride a shorter but perhaps equally challenging Tour de Transplant mark II that celebrates one of the oldest and hardest day cycling classics in Australia.
The Melbourne to Warrnambool is one of the world’s longest bike races, the oldest race in Australia and the second longest running one day classic in the world. The first race was held in 1895 with only 24 starters and 7 finishers straight down what is now known as the Princes Highway. Of the 90 races held over the history of the race, on 32 occasions the race was run in the reverse direction. Of course we will be riding the route over 5 days, along the Great Ocean Road with challenging inland detours such as the “Hell of the South” through the Otway Ranges and a loop around Lorne that has come to be known as the “Amy Gillett Gran Fondo”.
I want this to be an enjoyable and memorable experience and invite you all to get involved in the HLTTV Warrnambool to Melbourne Tour de Transplant 2016."
Anderson is well known for being the first Australian (and first non-European) to win the prestigious yellow jersey in the Tour de France. His daring challenge of the French favourite, Bernard Hinault and his exploits on the road, are stories full of pain, fierce determination and excitement. Ultimately Phil Anderson won the yellow jersey 11 times and rose to number one in the world.