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Army October 11, 2012
Cycling for peace through 500km of Timor's toughest terrain
FIVE of the toughest members of
the Defence Cooperation Program
in East Timor pedalled up and
down 1400 vertical metres of rug-
ged terrain for the 2012 Tour de
The DCP team was buoyed by its
success in the 2011 tour, for which
members were awarded third place in
the Security Sector Cup, and excitedly
returned to support the community-
based event that involves cycling East
Timor as peace ambassadors.
Training for the 500km event
began in February, with weekly rides
on the trails and roads around Dili.
This included a challenging mix of
steep climbs, fast downhill legs and
challenging off-road descents to pre-
pare the team for the six-day ride.
The tour is the toughest moun-
tain bike race in South-East Asia and
attracts competitors from around the
world. A route was chosen to celebrate
the 10th anniversary of East Timor's
independence. This was the fourth
annual event and the course followed
the picturesque coastline to the border
town of Mota'ain.
Then there was a gruelling climb
from Mota'ain to the mountain town
of Gleno in the coffee-growing district
of Ermera. There was also a hard and
fast ride down the mountain into Dili.
The team finished 52nd out of
78 and managed to power through
37 hours of riding, sweating it out
between four to 11 hours each day
from September 10-15.
Working hard: The DCP Tour de Timor Team are Valerie Thomas, Cpl
Peter Jefferey, Capt James Scott, Sgt Corey Hill and Sgt John Bijoux.
Photo by Rose Magno
It was the first year that DCP
entered a mixed team, with Defence
civilian adviser to the Secretary of
Defence, Valerie Thomas, joining engi-
neer adviser Capt James Scott, DCP
quartermaster Sgt John Bijoux, medical
adviser Sgt Corey Hill and carpenter
adviser Cpl Peter Jefferey.
"This year the tour was particular-
ly interesting," Capt James Scott, the
DCP's team captain, said.
"We had the opportunity to ride
through the Indonesian province of
West Timor, in order for the tour to visit
East Timor's enclave district, Oecusse."
DCP consists of 25 ADF and APS
advisers who provide training, men-
toring and advice to the Timorese
Program members instruct in key
areas including English language,
engineering and nation building,
maritime security, peacekeeping,
governance and financial manage-
ment, strategic policy, medical and
infantry skills, communications and
Find results, photos, maps and more at
Your turn: Lt-Col Mick Sasse assumes command of the International
Stabilisation Force from Col Luke Foster.
Photo by LAC Oliver Carter
LT-COL Mick Sasse has taken
command of the International
Stabilisation Force in East Timor.
Outgoing commander Col Luke
Foster handed over the reins at a
transfer of authority ceremony on
September 26 at the ISF's Camp
Phoenix in Dili.
Col Foster spent 15 months as
Commander of the International
Stabilisation Force at a time of
significant change within East
During his tenure, the country
conducted both presidential and
parliamentary election campaigns
in an atmosphere of peace and
calm, commemorated the 10th
anniversary of the Restoration
of Independence, and hosted the
Dili Peace marathon, the Tour de
Timor and the Dili Peace Games.
Handing over the
reins in East Timor
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