WHEELY GOOD: Cycling 900km is no easy ride but these youngsters on the Sydney to Surfers Robbo's Ride have shown great courage and fortitude, according to event ambassador SBS cycling presenter Michael Tomalaris.
WHEELY GOOD: Cycling 900km is no easy ride but these youngsters on the Sydney to Surfers Robbo's Ride have shown great courage and fortitude, according to event ambassador SBS cycling presenter Michael Tomalaris. Sally/Turtle Pictures

Sydney to Surfers: here they come

KEEP a look out for SBS cycling presenter Michael Tomalaris as he will be riding through our region on May 8, 9 and 10.

Tomalaris said he's stoked the 2019 ride would be the 21st anniversary of the event, which was first run in 1999 and has raised more than $3 million for Youth Off the Streets.

For the man known as the Australian voice of cycling, Tomalaris will again be the event's ambassador and with about 200 other riders left Sydney on Saturday, May 4, to power 950km over the next week to Surfers Paradise. And it's no picnic, with more than 7500m climbed. Tomalaris said he was looking forward to cycling through the beautiful Northern Rivers, from Grafton to Casino, Lismore and the very welcome descent to Ballina.

He said the peloton's mission was far more important than making the top of a race podium and collecting some bling.

"What amazed me on this ride is we had kids from hostile backgrounds take part and they have done amazingly well,” he said.

"These kids as young as 15 and 16, who have come from broken families - one or two have literally slept on Sydney streets - and were drop-outs, all living a life with an uncertain future, have now turned this around with help from Father Riley and it's not as if they have been forced to do this ride.

"It's something they have wanted to do and they have done so with determination and happiness.”

Visit www.sydneyto surfers.org.au.