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by Shane Stokes
January 27, 2018
Wellens wins Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana; Najar wins stage 5 and takes overall lead in Vuelta a San Juan; QuickStep riders hospitalised after being hit by a truck; Kwiatkowski chasing Flanders and Liège success in 2018; Gaviria to return to Colombia after San Juan abandon; Aqua Blue Sport riders to donate 5% of all prize money to fight against breast cancer; Detroit’s Lexus Velodrome to be officially opened Friday evening; Video: Mitchelton-Scott’s 2018 Race Melbourne; Video: Awesome Cycling – Downhill MTB, Street Trials & BMX Tricks
Following a debut season where the Aqua Blue Sport riders competed with a pink ribbon design on their jerseys, the team has made a significant new gesture to signify the fight against breast cancer. The Irish squad announced on Friday that that the riders have chosen to donate 5% of their prize money from this season to
Breast Cancer Ireland, describing that fight as a ’cause close to the hearts of many members of the Aqua Blue Sport riders and staff.’
“After the success of our initiative with the Emerald Fund [a development fund for young riders] last year we decided, as a team, to cycle the charity we donate to in 2018 to another amazing cause close to the heart of Aqua Blue Sport: Breast Cancer Ireland,” said team rider Matt Brammeier. “Hopefully we can carry on our success from 2017 and use this as an extra motivation to win even more.”
One in nine Irish women are affected by breast cancer, with 2,500 new cases diagnosed annually plus 680 deaths. The team points out that each year there are 1.38 million new cases of breast cancer worldwide, as well as 450,000 deaths from the disease.
Breast Cancer Ireland CEO Aisling Hurley welcomed the decision. “We are honoured to be the beneficiary of Aqua Blue Sport’s endeavours this year,” she said. “Everyone knows someone that has been affected by this disease. Through our ongoing research efforts, we are making huge strides in transforming breast cancer from often being fatal to being a treatable illness that can be maintained long term.
“Events such as this build greater awareness and it is awareness that can lead to earlier detection where the treatment outcome can be more positive.” The team competed in the Towards Zero Race Melbourne on Thursday, where Peter Koning won the sprint competition, and will line out in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday.