Gruelling rides in Hunter Cycling Classic

CESSNOCK has never seemed so far away for Ben Carney who will ride the 240km trek in next month's Sydney to the Hunter Cycling Classic.

The 31-year-old, recovering alcoholic, said it was his way of "giving back" to the charitable organisation which has helped him turn his life around.

"The One80TC rehab program helped me take back control of my life," Carney said.

"It taught me how to deal and beat my addictions of alcohol, drugs and gambling."

The Cycling Classic will start from Rouse Hill Town Centre on September 14 and continue up the Old Pacific Highway to the Central Coast.

After a gruelling 120km leg the riders break for the night at The Entrance.

The ride resumes the following morning with the second 120km leg from The Entrance through Cooranbong to Cessnock.

Event manager Nathan Telford described the Cycling Classic as a boutique five-star ride which is open to everyone.

"Aside from the Tour de Hills this is the only other major cycling event in The Hills," Telford said.

"The ride was originally set up by its founder Phil Latz to give people a new perspective on life."

Proceeds raised will go towards ONE80TC which is a residential-based recovery centre for men struggling with addiction or depression.

Organisers have set themselves a fund-raising target of $250,000 after raising $120,000 in last year's ride.

The ONE80TC receives no government funding and is based in Penrith and Richmond.

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