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JOANNA

SHARPE

ULTRA ENDURANCE CYCLIST

Planning, Training and Competing in such a mammoth ultra-endurance event such as 'The Great White Ride' relies not-only on my performance and stamina as an athlete, but also the fabulous, talented, supportive, and loving input from my road crew. I’m super-pleased to introduce my on-the-ground crew below - please visit their personal bios to learn more about their talents and business. Also please visit our sponsors who have all contributed in unique ways to ensure The Long White Ride™ has every chance of a successful and welcome outcome.

The Crew

JUDE BILLOWS

Crew Chief

Having spent the last 19 years together as life partners, I am Joanna’s biggest fan.  No-one is more passionate, dedicated or humble about the huge task of successfully completing the Long White Ride than her.  I particularly value her “no excuses” attitude to the mammoth task of training for this spectacular event, and despite occasional ill-health, has battled through to exceed in all her training sessions. 
In an endeavor to support her, and because of their unquestionable dedication to the cause of the early detection of bowel cancer, and their personal belief in Joanna, we have managed to secure the kindest,  most gracious, talented support team from around the country.  Through their own generosity, both those traveling and those on call at home, we get to share what I am sure, will be an unforgettable journey.  Lucky us!
A bit about me. I have never owned a bicycle beyond my 1960’s Raleigh fixed gear school bike. I’m passionate about kayak fishing and now Jetski fishing as I retired approximately 10 years ago I’m able to do more of this as well as spend time with my grandbabies and help Joanna achieve this fantastic goal to help Bowel Cancer New Zealand 

RICH WYATT

Team Member

My personal thoughts about who I am, want to be and what I do.

I am joining the Long White Ride team as a long-term friend and admirer of Joanna and Judith; I jumped on board without being asked because I believe in both of them as a team and inspiration.

My journey and experience with Lymphoma drives me every day to make someone close to me smile and forget about any worries they might have. I have a fear of missing out on something if I don't jump up straight away each morning and dive into the day.

Joanna's courage in taking on this epic physical challenge makes my experience pale in comparison....hence my eagerness to jump on board the J-train and support in any way I can. It turns out I am taking a 'Busman's Holiday' by driving the team bus and being Jude's boy for a week. Wouldn't have it any other way!

My everyday life is based around being with people and welcoming them to Rafting New Zealand in Taupo and taking them to our base in Turangi. It is hardly a job when I get to meet so many people from around the world each week and share their holidays with them. My spare time is spent with my partner Sandy and the wonderful lady of the house Miss Madeleine (our aging Fox Terrier). Running my fly-tying business from the home studio is also a joy and brings more friends into our circle. Check out www.silvereyeflies.com and tell your fishing buddies.

For this journey with Joanna, I will bring my enthusiasm, reliability and determination to be a good team player to the party....there is a party at the Bluff hey?  #teamrnz #silvereyeflies

BENNY DEVCICH

The Wizard - bike mechanic extraordinaire

Benny is a lead mechanic at EVO Cycles and is joining the road crew team to look after "all things mechanical". Benny's experience includes being a mechanic for professional cycling teams in Europe, he is also an accomplished enduro rider. His tough determined attitude and attention to detail is sure to keep the wheels turning for this massive 'length of New Zealand' campaign. 

As with everyone in the LWR team - Benny has personal family experience of the devastating effects of bowel cancer and is determined to help increase awareness and early detection of this disease.

MICHELLE TURNER

Accomplished Cyclist - mumma, Joanna's cycling bestie.

An ex elite swimmer, tri-athlete and now accomplished cyclist.  Michelle understands the dedication and commitment required to achieve a goal such as The Long White Ride™.  Her personal understanding of the physical demands together with her 'motherly instincts' like nurturing, tough love and compassion are sure to help encourage, motivate  and support Joanna along this journey.

Says Michelle - I dropped a few hints one weekend about Joanna tackling the Auckland to Wellington ride, next thing I know - she’s messaging me about the long white ride.

I am amazed at Joanna’s strength and determination, and seeing her go from strength to strength in cycling has been amazing to watch.

I’m 100% behind this ride - for 2 reasons - firstly to support Joanna as she tackles this record attempt head on, to be part of something truly amazing - and secondly because bowel cancer has touched our family - my partner Rob lost his dad to bowel cancer when his dad was 32, and Rob only 7.  Rob had his dad taken from him at such a young age and my kids never got the chance to meet their grandad.  

 

My role in the support crew is to take care of Joanna’s personal needs.  I know this event is going to have its dark moments, when I will need to take my ‘friend’ hat off and put my ‘support crew’ hat on and just get down to business - whether it’s wrangling in Joanna’s natural enthusiasm  and making sure she takes breaks and get what she needs or whether it’s reminding her that she totally has this and CAN and WILL do it.  But the thing I am most looking forward to is seeing my good friend get to Bluff in record time

Michelle's key role is to work alongside Jude in taking care of all Joanna's personal needs during the Long White Ride.

ROB SAKER

"MacGyver"

Rob is an international man of mystery - so we can't show his real photo :) 

This ride is important to Rob as he lost his father to Bowel Cancer when he was only 7 years old. He knows first hand the loss that comes with loosing a loved one to this cancer.

As an soldier in the New Zealand Army, Rob brings to the team a never-say-die attitude, a tried and tested ability to 'survive hours with no sleep' and the knack of 'fixing anything' with a piece of duct tape and a rubber band. Given he can turn his hand to anything and can follow instructions, Rob's role is to do whatever Jude asks of him whilst replying with a "yes Maam" "right away Maam".

(Not Rob's real photo)

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