INAUGURAL CYCLING AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Cycling Australia’s Hall of Fame announced today, the first of its 12 inaugural inductees, who will be celebrated at the 2015 Jayco Cycling Australia Awards on Friday 13 November in Melbourne.
The inaugural inductee class features twelve of Australia’s finest, including nine athlete and three general category selections.
Cycling Australia Hall of Fame inductees 2015
1. Sir Hubert Opperman OBE KCSJ (Athlete category, posthumous)
2. Russell Mockridge (Athlete category, posthumous)
3. Edgar ‘Dunc’ Gray (Athlete category, posthumous)
4. Sid Patterson (Athlete category, posthumous)
5. Phil Anderson (Athlete category)
6. Kathy Watt OAM (Athlete category)
7. Anna Wilson (Athlete category)
8. Robbie McEwen (Athlete category)
9. Sara Carrigan OAM (Athlete category)
10. Ray Godkin OAM (General category)
11. Charlie Walsh OAM (General category)
12. Gerry Ryan OAM (General category)
“Cycling has etched an indelible mark on the Australian sporting landscape and the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame allows us to celebrate those who have contributed to the success of Australian cycling over the past 100 years,” said Nicholas Green OAM, CEO of Cycling Australia.
“The inaugural group of inductees exemplify those that have achieved greatness or reached the pinnacle of our great sport – the best of the best – and on behalf of Cycling Australia, I congratulate them on their selection into this elite group.
“I would also like to thank Selection Chairman Peter Bartels AO and the entire committee, on their tireless effort in establishing the Hall of Fame, and what was certainly a challenging process given the depth of talent in our sport,” Green added.
Sir Hubert Opperman headlines the inaugural selections with Oppy capturing the nation’s attention almost 90 years ago with his endurance feats across the world. The Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal & Trophy is currently presented annually to the Australian Cyclist of the Year.
The posthumous inductees also include Edgar ‘Dunc’ Gray, Australia’s first cyclist to win Olympic gold, dual 1952 Olympic gold medallist Russell Mockridge and multiple world champion Sid Patterson.
“Opperman’s feats in Europe saw him crowned the sports star of the year in France in 1931, while Dunc Gray became our first cyclist to win an Olympic gold medal (1932, 1km time trial),” said Selection Committee Chairman Peter Bartels AO.
“Mockridge and Patterson were great rivals, and sometimes teammates, who brought the best out in each other. Mockridge winning two gold medals in one day at the 1952 Olympics, while Patterson extraordinary feat of winning both sprint and individual pursuit world titles, serve the test of time.”
Also to be inducted is the first ever non-European to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France in Phil Anderson, 1992 Olympic Games gold medallist Kathy Watt OAM and dual UCI World Cup winner Anna Wilson.
Along with Robbie McEwen, who boasts 24 Grand Tour stage victories and 2004 Olympic Games gold medallist Sara Carrigan OAM.
“In the biggest race of them all, Anderson and McEwen broke new ground. Phil being the first ever non-European to wear the yellow jersey makes him a significant figure on a global scale,” Bartels said.
“And Robbie was the first Australian to win the green jersey at the Tour, which he did three times, along with 12 stage victories, putting him among the greats of the sport.”
“Kathy’s victory in the road race at the 1992 Olympic Games, is one of the iconic moments in the history of Australian sport and that Olympic success was repeated by Sara in 2004.
“And Anna, she was the best in the world as a dual winner of the season long Women’s World Cup crowning her the world’s number one ranked cyclist.”
Recognized in the general category for their ‘off the bike’ contributions to the success of the sport are Ray Godkin, Charlie Walsh and Gerry Ryan.
“Ray has been a key figure in Australian and world cycling for more than 30 years, playing a key part in the merging of the professional and amateur bodies of the sports, as well as establishing a cycling program at the Australian Institute of Sport,” explained Bartels.
“Charlie’s contribution to setting new standards in Australian track cycling, leading us to Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship success is unprecedented.
“While Gerry has been a cornerstone of the sport for the past 20-years, most recently as the creator of two world class teams, the women’s Orica-AIS team and the Orica-GreenEDGE men’s team.
For Bartels, and the selection committee, the biggest challenge they faced was the selections themselves and leaving out some of the greats of the sport in the first set of inductions.
“There are many more riders worthy of being in the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame but we can’t induct everyone at once, and we looking forward to unveiling more great members in the coming years,” Bartels added.
Riders are only eligible for induction into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame after two years in retirement, from competition at the highest level.
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