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Slideshow: Pelotonia 2019 rolls through central Ohio

The fight to end cancer is on two wheels this weekend as thousands of riders participate in the annual Pelotonia bicycle tour in central Ohio.

More than 7,400 Pelotonia riders have raised $12.5 million this year to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

President Michael V. Drake, a six-time Pelotonia rider, helped open the 2019 ride at a ceremony at McPherson Commons Friday night. Drake praised the recent commitment to fund the new Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology. The organization pledged $102,265,000 over the next five years to The OSUCCC – James. The largest portion – $65 million – will directly fund the new institute.

Christine Sander, a cancer survivor and beneficiary of the research into immuno-oncology, rode her first Pelotonia in 2016. She’s back for more this year and says the atmosphere is inspiring.

“I love everything about it. I love when they ring the bell when you check in as a survivor. I love the camaraderie along the ride, whether you’re by yourself or in a group,” she said. “I love peanut butter sandwiches volunteers make for riders.”