Meares rides out of retirement with baby bump

ROCKHAMPTON'S golden girl Anna Meares has not let retirement, or a 6.5 month baby bump get in the way of joining an array of sporting heroes to raise funds for people under 25 with rare diseases.

Anna has flaunted her special cycling gear for The Captains Ride - a six day cycling fundraiser run by the Steve Waugh Foundation - over the past week on social media.

She was joined by fellow Rockhampton retired sports star - former Australian field hockey captain Mark Knowles - in the six-day ride across 11,000 metres of hills and 850km of road.

 

 

Anna Meares showing off her 6.5 month baby bump in specialised cycling shorts she wore during the Captains Ride six-day cycling fundraiser.
Anna Meares showing off her 6.5 month baby bump in specialised cycling shorts she wore during the Captains Ride six-day cycling fundraiser.

 

 

The fundraiser has been a family event with Anna's partner and national sprint coach Nick Flyger joining Anna on the road and sister Kerrie helping Anna and others with preparation for the long ride.

Meares and Knowles posted daily progress of the event, along with the Steve Waugh Foundation Facebook page posting 100s of photographs and plenty updates.

 

- Anna Meares posted this photo on her Facebook page on November 6 saying
- Anna Meares posted this photo on her Facebook page on November 6 saying "Thought I was done getting knick tan lines....3 years to get rid of mine... it came back in one day!"

 

 

 

The ride started on November 4 with riders taking on the road between Toowoomba and the Bunya Mountains.

Steve Waugh Foundation Ambassador Renee Eliades cut the ribbon to send the team on their way - three pelotons; 69 riders including 23 first time riders and four grant recipient dads; 31 on road and support team; six man film and photography crew, one Linfox truck and 14 Toyota cars.

The road was in high temperatures of 35 degrees, with 1514 metres of climbing and 134 kilometres of riding from Toowoomba to Bunya Mountains.

Steve described this day "as the hardest day in five rides", mainly due to the high temperatures.

"Everyone showed true courage and character to make it through the first day".

Meares posted thanks to Matthew Whitmore from Livelo Performance Bike Rentals and Guided Tours Bianchi Australia for loaning her the Aria E-bike for the ride. It was organised by Kent Williams from Entoure - an event management business specialising in boutique cycle events.

 

Kent Williams of Entoure with Anna Meares during the Captains Ride six-day cycling fundraiser.
Kent Williams of Entoure with Anna Meares during the Captains Ride six-day cycling fundraiser.

 

 

 

The ride continued across the next five days, travelling back through Toowoomba, Ma Ma Creek, Nooby, Clifton, Allora, Warwick, Yangan, Tannymorel, Killarney, Boonah, Kalbar, Beaudesert and finished at North Tamborine.

"What a joy to be able to still ride for charity at 26 weeks for the Steve Waugh Foundation," Anna posted on Facebook.

"While I can't ride every km of this tour with the Steve Waugh Foundation #CaptainsRide2019 I'm happy to provide support, advice and even fashion faux pa tips while I'm not on the bike.

"My plus one and I are thankful for being part of it and enjoyed the ride raising awareness and funds for kids living with rare diseases. Bravo Lynette and Steve Waugh and to all involved."

Meares posted on Facebook on November 6 "I love my sister Kerrie and loved being able to work with her to give some of the sponsors and participants an experience of a lifetime before the foundations ride began this week. Thank you Kez and Michael from Track Cycling Academy for such an incredible day at the Anna Meares Velodrome".

The comment came after Track Cycling Academy posted photographs from a session the academy hosted for riders in the fundraiser.

 

Kerrie and Anna Meares at the Anna Meares Aerodrome as Track Cycling Academy held a pre Captains Ride session.
Kerrie and Anna Meares at the Anna Meares Aerodrome as Track Cycling Academy held a pre Captains Ride session.

 

 

 

Other notable sports stars that took part in the fundraising ride include three time Paralympic gold medallist and two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kurt Fearnley, former British decathlete Daley Thompson who won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and broke the world record for the event four times.

Meares, Knowles and Thompson were Ride Ambassadors.

 

Rockhampton retired sports star and former Australian field hockey captain Mark Knowles took this selfie during the Captains Ride.
Rockhampton retired sports star and former Australian field hockey captain Mark Knowles took this selfie during the Captains Ride.

 

 

It was Meares' third time riding in the event.