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Tour Down Under racers donate Sunday’s prize money to Australian flood relief

Riders at the Tour Down Under are donating prize money from the event’s kick-off race to victims of the flooding in Queensland, Australia, race officials announced Friday.

All the 133 riders have agreed to donate the entire individual prize list from Sunday’s Cancer Council Classic, $12,000 Australian ($12,015 U.S.).

The Cancer Classic is part of the Tour Down Under but its results are not included in the TDU general classification. The stage race starts Tuesday.

“We cannot sit back and do nothing, it is not the Aussie spirit. This is our way of helping,” said native Queenslander, Allan Davis of Astana.

Fellow Queenslander Robbie McEwen and his RadioShack teammate Lance Armstrong are raising funds through a group ride, promoted via Twitter, to be held Saturday.

“People have been hard hit by this crisis and whatever small role we can play to help we will but we urge everyone to make a donation to the official Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal,” said McEwen.

In addition to the prize money donation, all 19 teams will donate a signed team jersey by every competing rider for auction on eBay.

“Cycling fans have an opportunity to bid for a once in a life time piece of sporting memorabilia,” said Davis.

Victims of the disaster will be remembered with a minute’s silence prior to the start of stage 2 on Wednesday.

To bid for a signed team jersey visit ebay.com.au starting Sunday. And donations can be made directly to the Flood Relief Appeal.

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