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Tour de Rock rolls into Esquimalt

Town asks residents to help welcome riders
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The 2023 Tour de Rock riders at the start of their 14-day journey down the Island. (Courtesy Debra Lynn)

The Township of Esquimalt is inviting residents out to welcome the 2023 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team.

Riders will stop at the Esquimalt Plaza, in front of the Archie Browning Arena at 1151 Esquimalt Rd., on Friday, Oct. 6 at 8:45 a.m.

“This group of dedicated fundraisers deserves a huge welcome,” the town wrote on its website. “Help us make Esquimalt the most welcoming community for these riders.”

The team will have almost completed the two-week, 1,200 km bike ride spanning the length of Vancouver Island to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer.

With cancer being the leading cause of disease-related death in children under the age of 15, the 26th Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock is once again being held to improve outcomes and change the future of childhood cancer forever.

From its first ride in 1997, Tour de Rock has grown due to the strength of dedicated volunteers and community partners from Port Alice to Victoria.

This year’s team of police, emergency services and media riders includes the Esquimalt-based Canadian Military Police member Mary Larkin, B.C. Emergency Health Services riders Michael Lowey and Katie Olsen, Shauna Bainbridge and Nadia Sandhu from the Saanich Police Department and the hefty West Shore RCMP contingent of Scott Hait, Mason Harrison, Rusty Olsen, Justin Raycraft and Kris Valentine.

The 19-member team is rounded out with Troy Mann from Island District RCMP, Mike Ramsey of Nanaimo RCMP, Wes Richens of North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, Ajinkya Chodankar of Courtenay Fire Department, Kirk Wolstenholme of Parksville Fire Department, Kayla Carlson of North Cowichan Fire Department. Media riders this year are Hannah Lelpine of Chek News and Johnny Novack of Virgin Radio.

After the stop in Esquimalt, the ride wraps up on Oct. 6 on the steps of the B.C. legislature building.

As of Tuesday (Sept. 26), the team was almost halfway to its $1 million fundraising goal. To donate, or to learn more about the ride, go to tourderock.ca.

ALSO READ: Tour de Rock riders receive official jerseys as 1,200 km charity ride nears