• Romain Bardet of France and AG2R crosses the finish line during Tour de France (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
AG2R La Mondiale rider Romain Bardet has teamed up with Mavic to raise money for the Australian bushfire relief as much of the international cycling community in town for the summer of cycling band together.
Cycling Central

19 Jan 2020 - 11:40 AM  UPDATED 19 Jan 2020 - 2:15 PM

Bardet, together with the French manufacturer, will auction his special Tour Down Under shoes - the Mavic Comete - until January 26 in a bid to help those affected by the devastating fires.

The 29-year-old has been in Australia since December ahead of this week's TDU in Adelaide and felt compelled to contribute.

"I’m happy to discover the Santos Tour Down Under which is a popular event that is eagerly awaited here despite the environmental disaster that is affecting Australia today," Bardet said.

"We’ve seen some of the devastation in various places around Adelaide.

"I hope that the race will be an additional lever in the solidarity movement emerging all around the globe to help the regions stricken by fire."

The Mavic Comete is a two-piece shoe containing a carbon exoskeleton and features removable inner booties that are tailored for both summer and winter.

Other bushfire relief fundraising efforts by the pro cycling community in town for the summer of cycling include Deceuninck-Quickstep's special kit (plus Specialized's $100,00 donation, both for WIRES), Israel Cycling Academy will auction off their signed Katusha Tour Down Under kit for the NSW Royal Fire Service, plus prize money from Sunday's Tour Down Under Schwalbe Cycling Classic will be fully donated for South Australian fire relief and it and the money raised from the gold coin donation at last night's team presentation will be matched by race sponsors Santos including a separate $600,000 contribution. 

A decision was also made by organisers of both the women's and men's Tour Down Under in consultation with the community to go ahead with racing through bushfire affected Adelaide Hills in a bid to inject morale and much needed business. Riding and racing through the area was only made possible after a month's worth of clearing efforts to ensure safety.