Cycling Hall of Fame


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Posted on: 2nd December 2015

Australian

We are settling into Summer – it has started with a blast of cold weather and a drought but the riding is certainly on the up.

Coming home from the Share the Road Tour straight into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame was nice. An honor for me despite the commentary. The media have a view and a place and in many respects the naming of the first inductees was never going to be easy. Perhaps there should have been more inducted in the first round as with so many modern inductees how do you go back?

The 3 year rule meant they could induct old dogs like me and can have a big fanfare for Cadel another time. The same rule clearly did not apply to the administrators with the induction of Gerry Ryan, no offense, he does so much but there were no mentions of those who worked so hard before his time and he is still fresh off the board.

Possibly the selection of the selection panel requires scrutiny by the media and not the inductees – as I for one would have stepped back in time and with a clearer view of the legacy that came before me considered others.

Surprisingly there were no heroes from the track, olympic or the hardest pros of all, the 6 day riders. Such a loss not to consider those racers but this is perhaps a reflection of Cycling Australia’s need to create a legacy that they own.

Perhaps the next step is that that initial selection panel is disbanded and the positions handed over the the inaugural cycling inductees to review and consider who deserves the honor.

The summer brings with it the racing and the politics that are never far away. Appearances by international riders a coup, paid for to promote one event over another. Cycle racing in Australia needs so much support, teams are folding, dollars are tight and CA has debt.

Grass-roots cycling and racing needs support, participation events like L’Etape du Tour, the first in Australia just announced is a branding and no doubt likely to be an exploitive foray into running cycling events in Australia with the Tour de France logo attached. 

The TdU has the Bupa Challenge, great ride and all profit to events SA. The CEGOR one day race, mass participation funded. CA have created a mass participation event “Australian Gran Fondo Championships” but they no longer manage their own events and the much needed profits or entry money goes to whom? 

There have been established protocols for Gran Fondo naming rights, 2 only in Australia and this one isn’t on the UWCT calendar! I I find the whole amateur world champs thing a bit strange as it is essentially a return to the day’s when I had to decide a course and couldn’t ride for Australia but now there no barriers and so it is clearly a UCI mass participation business exercise.

Sun Tour, needs a mass participation ride.

The Melbourne to Warrnambool, Australia’s oldest race has received undeserved criticism from media as the event operator runs the race on a mass participation basis. Its great, as it now provides the opportunity for juniors and hopefuls to ride against their hero’s and the neo pro’s (NRS) riders need to harden up. If only the money spent on Froome to ride in the sun tour were spent on options for club riders to race against real pro’s. 

I am happy racing in the old dogs section of local events and love the pace of mountain bike and CX races. I love being able to participate, MTB is riding always on full gas and great training.

I will be riding at the Tour down under – out each day to watch the race, catching up with old friends and new and will of course add my own comments and view on all matters cycling.

Stay posted for facebook posts on my whereabouts for a ride.

Written by Phil Anderson


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