Cycling foundation keen on Armstrong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cycling foundation keen on Armstrong

By Roger Vaughan 14/12/2005 07:19:59 PM Comments (0)

Lance Armstrong remains No.1 on the Amy Gillett Foundation wishlist ahead of its upcoming official launch.

The foundation continues to attract strong community and corporate support and its launch will be held leading up to the Melbourne F1 grand prix on April 2.

F1 driver Mark Webber and former Tour de France star Phil Anderson are the patrons of the foundation.

Armstrong, who won a record seventh Tour this year before retiring, sent a video message of condolence from the race immediately after the July crash that killed Gillett and injured five of her Australian Institute of Sport teammates.

"We're trying to get him out for the launch, if we can, and that's obviously a tricky one to try to negotiate," said Gillett's husband Simon.

"We're still trying to nail down a launch date, we're trying to fit in with Mark Webber's commitments.

"Until we actually get a date sorted out, we won't go back to him.

"But once we do, we'll push that barrow pretty hard because we reckon it would be a good drawcard - obviously."

Armstrong's international stardom would substantially boost the focus on the launch if he attended.

Long-time local cycling sponsor Jayco presented Gillett with a donation of more than $20,000 and more than 1000 riders have already entered a charity ride in Geelong on January 7 that will raise money for the foundation.

"Amy's Ride" will be held in conjunction with the January 4-8 Bay Cycling Classic criterium races.

The foundation aims to promote road safety and support the five injured riders.

One of them, Kate Nichols, will resume top-level competition in the Bay Classic series.

She will be the first of the five riders to race at that level since the tragedy.

"I'm not too badly-off fitness wise, surprisingly, so I'm hopeful in these Bay Crits that I will be able to get among it," Nichols, 22, said.

"Since the accident you definitely question things like riding, but I realised my passion for racing and that's why I do the sport.

"It is surprising how quickly I've recovered and I'm very fortunate, it was a horrific accident."

Emotions are still raw in Australian cycling over the accident.

The Bay Classic series was launched Wednesday and promoter John Trevorrow was reduced to tears as a video tribute to Amy, originally played at her memorial service, was shown again.

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