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Western NSW Cycling History

WESTERN NSW CHAMPIONSHIPS FOUNDED IN 1886/7

Established in 1886 when Bathurst (Occidental) Bicycle Club received approval from the newly founded NSW Cyclist Union to contest the inaugural WESTERN Districts of NSW 1 Mile Title, the Western Division Championships have a long checked history.


Different Distances, Cycling Disciplines and Formats have been used as the Championships tried to keep pace with the sport and the bicycle, and meet the changing demands of the cyclists of the Western Region of NSW Australia. In almost one and a half Centuries of competition, the Championships of Western Division have rolled through a number of eras where sometimes world class riders fought for highly publicised regional titles and then times when championships simply stopped as the clubs of the west battled to stay afloat or even just became too busy.

    

The task to compile a complete set of NSW Western Division Cycling Championships Results would be almost impossible. In fact it will be difficult to even identify all the type of events and race format used at the championships, as the sport, and its competitors changed their focus through the years. For the wonderful thing about Regional Competition is it is very focused on the needs of the competitors in their specific location and therefore has a major development emphasis. In fact it could even be argued, that in cycling’s good times, that the need for healthy Divisional Championships is less.


It is hoped that this page encourages anyone with information on the long history of racing in NSW’s Western Division to contribute to the wonderful story of cycling in the west of NSW. To break up the huge task of documenting the Western NSW Champions we have divided the History into 5 separate Eras which are:-


1. The High Wheeler Era (Pre 1890); 2. Pre-War Boom Period (1890 – 1914); 3. During the Wars (1914 – mid 1940s); 4. Post Wars Era (mid 1940s – mid 1980s): and 5. The Amalgamation Era (mid 1980s – Today).


HISTORY

The First Regional Championships in the Colony:

It is believed that the Western and Northern Division Cycling Championships were the first formally santioned regional championship in Australia, with the Newcastle and Bathurst Bicycle Clubs recieving approval from the newly founded NSW Cyclist Union to contest the inaugural Regional Championships in 1886. While the Northern Title was first held in mid 1886 it wasn’t run in 1887; while the Western Championship quicky established itself with Dubbo and Lithgow also holding Titles in the first 5yrs.  For more History CLICK Here>>>


Five Era’s of Western NSW Divisional Championships:

The High Wheeler Era:

These days it is difficult to appreciate and understand the Excitement and Hype around the era of the Penny Farthing. Even now, new generations are still aware of these amazing machines which are etched in history.

The impact Penny Farthings had on the planet is immense given they only really existed for a decade. To that point in history only horses existed for personal transport so the arrival of the bicycle caused quite a stir and marked a point in history when humans discovered a new freedom due to the availability of machines for personal travel.

But what great showman the High Wheeler Riders where! So fast and skilful; and so high in the air. The hype and speed of High Wheeler Era must have provided a lifelong memory for all those that watched these first regional championships.


OUR FIRST CHAMPIONS:-

1886: 1 Mile - J. Hemsley (Bathurst) R Ashworth C. W. Mills

1887: 1 Mile – A.E. Ashworth (Bathurst) J. Hemsley C. W. Mills

1888: 1 Mile - (TBC) A.E. Ashworth (Bathurst) W J Freeman – see notes in History Section>>>

1889: 1 Mile – A.E. Ashworth (Bathurst) H. S. Clifton - Gorman, Paul, Campbell, Roth, Ballinger

1890: 1 Mile – G. Roth (Dubbo) A.E. Ashworth – Lees, Campbell, H Ashworth

1890: 5 Mile – A.E. Ashworth (Bathurst) H S Clifton

1890: 10 Mile – A.E. Ashworth (Bathurst)


The Pre-War Cycling Boom Period:

Cycling exploded in popularity in the 1890’s with safety bicycles taking the sport to the masses and then Pneumatic Tires adding huge gains in performance and comfort. While George Roth himself states he was one of the first to switch to the performance Safety Bike it has Horace Jones that that recorded a comfortable win on Pneumatic Tires in 1892 while Roth used the older Cushions Wheels.


1891: 5 Mile – G Roth (Dubbo) D Campbell H Clifton  

1892: 5 Mile – H Jones (Lithgow) D Campbell G Roth


PROs & AMETEURs:

But off the bike there were major changes in the Administration of the sport as riders rebelled against the Cyclists Union’s restrictions on cash racing. The Sport splitting into 2 bodies with the introduction of the NSW League of Wheelman in 1892 which would result in potentially 2 separete bodies running championships for close to 100 years. Most of the Western NSW Championships reported on in this History Report will focus on the League of Wheelman titles, (the Pros), as these titles where generally for the stronger senior riders in the west, while the NSW Union mainly worked with the developing younger riders. That is not suggesting that the Union was not running Championships in the west, or that stong senior riders where racing with the Union, (remembering that Olympic selection was only for the Union’s Amateur Riders), but generally speaking the bigger title promotions covered by the press in Western NSW were League Events till the late 1900s.     


1897 League Championship - 1 C Goodwin (Lithgow?) 2 J OBrien (DQed TBC) - 3 R Mutton, H Lamberton


INTRODUCTION OF REGIONAL MANAGEMENT:

With the League quickly spreading across NSW at the turn of the century, The Union (amateurs) decentralization some authority to the regions with the introduction of the Divisional Unions in country NSW and an Inter Club Association in Sydney. The Western Cycling Union was in fact a excellent initiative in the development of regional cycling by 1904 it included a number of western clubs including Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow, Portland, Mudgee Caledonian, Blayney, Gulgong, Dubbo, Nyngan and Nymagee. In a clear example of how a regional body can become less involved in the politics to better cater for the specific needs of all cyclists in the region, the President of Western Division, Mr G Yates of Lithgow surprisingly stated it was also a goal of their team to develop racing for the League riders (the Pros) as well as the Union (the Amateurs) who they were affiliated with.

Yates’s comments seem very much at odds with the State and National administration, but his common sense approach to cycle management in the west came at the start of a decade where Western Districts of NSW would produce some of Australia’s Greatest ever cyclists. Bob Spears, Reg McNamara and Frank Corry all appeared within a couple of years of Yates (and the Western Cyclist Union) stating they would be there for the cyclists as opposed to the politics of state and national admin bodies. Within 10years of Yates comments Spears, McNamara and Corry would be on the world Professional Circuit.

Yet maybe even more impressive was many others had their careers shattered by World War 1, as the opportunity to ride international disappeared; riders like Atkin, Honeyman and Sample had to ride in the shadows of the Western Districts international superstars but still established themselves on the National Calendar; we should remember these champions also came from that era also.

Maybe it was all just a coincidence but the riders that came from the decade after President Yates comments stating the Western Union would work for the development of all cycling in the West was simply staggering.    

    


The Wars Era:

Cycling developed and grew further during the period between the World Wars. New events appeared on the track and local riders would make their mark on the World Professional Circuit. On the road national level open events would take place in Western NSW and record chasing Time Trial Challenges would become very popular.  New clubs and tracks would pop-up in many Western NSW Town while it became more likely that riders from the West would travel to larger events around Australia.


CLASSIC WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS:-

While Australian Sport was trying to reestablish itself after WW1, cycling in Western NSW Cycling was riding high, getting heaps of publicity due to local riders such as Reg McNamara, Frank Corry and Bob Spears performances on the world Pro Circuit. It is debatable whether this added prestige and occurrence of Western Division Championships, but with the local media now also focusing on International Cycling there seems to been less space in the local press for Western District Championships Results so it has been difficult to investigate regional titles.

Although not a sanctioned Western Division Championship, Western NSW cycling received a wonderful boost when World Champion Bob Spears returned home for a month from Paris to race Australian Champ H W Nesbitt at Gilgandra in what the press described as the race of a lifetime for sporting enthusiasts.


1923 Gilgandra Australia Day 1 mile Championship (Best of 3)- R Spears def H W Nesbitt (Vic) in 2Heats

1927 Western Districts Road Champs - Jack Pearce (TBC)

1928 5 mile Western Districts Track Champs: 1 Tommy Ashworth (Lithgow) 2 Mr Ranger (Orange) 3 S Beasley (Lithgow).

1933 3 mile Western Division Champs held at Gulgong

1933 Half Mile Western Division Champs held at Bathurst:- 1st TBC 2nd N Tickner (Gulgong)

1933 Western Districts Road champs held at Bathurst

1934 3 Mile Western Districts Championship – Open Event (including Morgan&Bray) held at Gulgong

1935 Western Districts Road champs to be held at Orange

1938 1 Mile Western Districts Championship to be held at Bathurst as an Open Event (Local Bruce Cooper  racing Sydney’s Don Blackman, Billy Thomas, D Betteridge)


JUNIORS:-

It seemed the success of local riders on the international Pro Cycling scene resulted in a significant increase in junior riders in Western Division. Junior Western Division Championships would have record numbers and receive plenty of publicity.  The extra attention resulted in the new regional junior development program where 2 riders from each “Territory” progressed to the State Final


1934 Dunlop Junior Test Championship Series of NSW: – T Jones won the Wellington round

1936 Malvern Star Junior Test Championship Series of NSW: - Wally Westbrook won the Lithgow round

1937 Western Districts Junior 800m Championships (League): – Wally Westbrook (Lithgow)

1937 Western Districts Junior Scratch Race Championship: - 1. Dumpsey Taylor 2 Maxie Morris 3 Anderson

1938 Western Districts Junior Scratch Race Championship (24riders):– 1 R Denny (Dub) M Morris (Dub) H Dunn (Org)

1939 Western Districts Junior 800m Championships:- 1 S Crooks (Orange) 2 Nev Cripps (Forbes)

1940 Western Districts Junior 1mile Championships:- Fred McMahon (Canowindra) K Hodder (Dubbo)


LADIES:-

Along with the development of Junior Racing in Western NSW, women’s events also appeared more regularly on the Western Division Calendar. It seems Western NSW was very forward thinking regarding women racing with the men as worldwide this integration of men and women in cycling wasn’t accepted. However in the Western Division of NSW riders such as Miss Cecy Harvey of Cookamidgera was racing in the major men’s wheel races in the 1930’s. The Western Division also hosted what is believed to be NSW’s First women’s State Championship at Lithgow.

    

1936 NSW Women 10km Championships:– 1 C Trenerry 2 E Trenerry 3 L Denham 4 J Sefton 5 L Lyall 6 M Malcolm

1938/39 Western Districts Ladies 1 mile Championships:- 1 Cecy Harvey 2 Daphne Jones 2 Wanda Logan

1940 Western Districts Ladies 1 mile Championships:- 1 Wanda Logan 2 Joan Foley


TEAM RACING CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Club based Competition was developed between the wars with Madison Team Events and Club Team Time Trial Championships held. The Western Districts Teams Championship was a 4 man Team Time Trial held over a 25km out and back course. The Team Championship seemed to make way for a Madison team race at Forbes in 1938 which looked to be more an Interclub Challenge, with the Championships Trophies donated by prominent Blayney Businessman Mr Elliott. This event is very significant, as one of Australia’s greatest sprinters Jack Fitzgerald had moved to Blayney and was riding for the local club.


1934 Western Districts Team 25mile Championship:-  Orange (TBC)

1935 Western Districts Team 25mile Championship:-  Dubbo

1936 Western Districts Team 25mile Championship:- 1st West Dubbo, 2nd Mudgee, 3rd Dubbo Leagues, 4th Bathurst…  

1938 15mile Western Team Race:- 1.Blayney (J Fitzgerard J Ford) 2. Orange (Battye McInnis) 3. Dubbo (Levitt Berwick)



The Post War Era:

Considered a working class sport, the hard times after World War 2 resulted in cycling returning to its roots with plenty of good hard racing on both the track and the road. There was no shortage of good race promoters in the region’s clubs, plus plenty of tough hard bike riders looking for there share of prizemoney in these quality regional promotions.


More CLASSIC WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS:

In fact Western Division racing was at a very high level with good prize money and plenty of spectators. It was a time when many talented local cyclists would remain settled in the region and regularly race in the regional events. Gate taking increased as western towns developed a great respect for their local cycling champions. Riders such as T Hampson Orange’s Sid Crooks and Mudgee’s Leo Leonard created plenty of hype as they were National level riders that continued to race the local cycling promotions.


1946 Western Districts Championship Derby Final - 1 T Hampson W Peard J McKay

1946-47 3 mile Western Division Championships - 1 Peter Whitely

1947-48 1 mile Western Division Championships - 1 Sid Crooks 2 Laurie Williams

1947/48 5mile Western Division Championships – 1 Sid Crooks 2 Laurie Williams 3 R Keays


TEAM RACING:

Western NSW Cycling Club continued to challenge each other to Team Events, the Whitney Cup one of the popular teams events on the track at Dubbo.

 

1948 Track Team Race:- Winners Dubbo (A Rich N Smith M White J McTiernan)

1948/49 – Track Team race Whitney Cup:- Winners Bathurst (Buttsworth Bob Doulman Hilton Thomas Keith Edwards)

1949/50 – Track Team race Whitney Cup:- Winners Wellington (Daley Val Gersbach Gordan Jones Keith Logue)


NEW RACE FORMATS FOR THE WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS

With money to be made on the Track in western NSW in the 1950s and gate-taking on the rise, the clubs and state body investigated using different types of race promotions. In fact the league moved the State Track Titles to Dubbo in January 1950 on the back of their flourishing Club Program. Local Clubs changed the regional championships to a series in the early 1950s to make the most of the increased interest in cycling in the west and added Interclub events at different locations to fuel the increase in demand in the region for good cycling racing.

The state body also changed their championship to a Zone Qualification System to make the most of the thriving country cycling club culture, while some districts even developed new regional competitions such as Forbes with their Lachlan Valley Championship.


1951 Interclub winners Don Evans, Leo Leonard, George Daley

1952 Western District Round 1 – 1 Leo Leonard 2 John Cowper (Dubbo) 3 Hilton Thomas (Org)

1952 Western District All Round Champion - Leo Leonard

1952 Zones Championship Final Reps - Leo Leonard (Mudg), Hilton Thomas (Org), Ken Potter (Lithgow)

1953 Zones Championship Sprint - G Daley Leo Leonard Norman Leonard

1953 Zones Championship 10mile - Leo Leonard George Daley Norman Leonard

1953 Zones Championship Juniors – Warren Franklin (Bathurst)

1953 Zones Championship Ladies – Mrs Gersbach defeat Mrs Warren

1953 Western District Champs - George Daley (Wellington) TBC


Inaugural 1953 Lachlan Valley Championships at Parkes

1953 1mile Lachlan Valley Senior Champs Leo Leonard (Mudgee)

1953 5mile Lachlan Valley Senior Champs Leo Leonard (Mudgee)

1953 800m Lachlan Valley Junior Champs Bruce Rauchie (Parkes) Keith Gardiner (Forbes)

1953 1mile Lachlan Valley Junior Champs Max Rowe (Dubbo) Keith Gardiner (Forbes)

1953 800m Lachlan Valley Juvenile Champs B Fittler (Mudgee)

1953 3 mile Lachlan Valley Juvenile Champs Ray Watsford (Forbes)



The Amalgamation Era:

A rapid rise in Pro-Am events in the 1980’s  signalled a need for Amalgamation. After around a century of separate Amateur and Pro administration bodies in Australia there was a need for the sport to come together for more effective and efficient management and to cut confusion with backing organisations such as the Media, sponsors and the government (eg sports commission).

The folding of the NSW League of Wheelman and take over by the Union (or Federation) would in theory see a resurgence in the Divisional Championships as it was accepted that the Union had a strong Championship focus as opposed to the League where prizemoney was the prime driver.

Initially on the ground there was actually little change, however before long a regional body was re-organised (with enthusiast such as Andrew Docking and Elaine Ryan) and western Division championships started occurring more regularly.


WESTERN NSW CYCLING PREMIERSHIPS (1998-2010)

In 1998 a series was introduced in response to NSW cycling establishing Regional Academy cycling development program. It involved Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee and Orange all holding handicap events through the season with accumulated points deciding the winners in different categories, including champion Club. During this period the Champion Backmarker Title was a target for the Elite riders of Western NSW and would feature a number of regions best including the world greatest lead-out man Mark Renshaw. While a separate title for Female riders included a Bathurst’s National and Oceania Medalist Toireasa Ryan/Gallagher, Youth Olympic Gold Medallist Meg Windsor and National Masters champions Jodie Martin and Rosemary Hastings. The graded riders also acknowledged in the top Handicap rider for the season.


OPEN CHAMPION BACKMARKER:

1998 1st Mark Windsor 2nd Dave Wilton 3rd Chris Cameron
1999 1st Mark Renshaw 2nd Adrian Trevor 3rd Mark Windsor
2000 1st Matt Farmer 2nd Mark Windsor 3rd Adrian Trevor & Scott Dixon
2001 1st Chris Pascoe 2nd Luke Farr 3rd Mark Windsor
2002 1st Dean Windsor 2nd Scott Dixon & Kane Brennan
2003 1st Dean Windsor 2nd Dwayne Grant 3rd G Peadon
2004 1st Dean Windsor 2nd Owen McPhillamy 3rd Mitch Chapman

2005 1st Dean Windsor 2nd Mitch Chapman 3rd Mal Haigh
2006 1st Mitch Chapman 2nd Dean Windsor 3rd Blair Windsor & Mal Haigh
2007 1st Dennis Martin 2nd Charlie Gascoyne 3rd Craig McAlister
2008 1st Charlie Gascoyne 2nd Blair Windsor 3rd Ryan O Donald


CHAMPION FEMALE (hcap)
2000 1st Meg Windsor 2nd Leanne Nichols 3rd Corrine Seegers
2001 1st Toireasa Ryan 2nd Meg Windsor 3rd Leanne Nichols
2002 1st Jodie Martin 2nd Meg Windsor 3rd Toireasa Ryan
2003 1st Jasmine Taunton 2nd Hanna Lee 3rd Toireasa Ryan
2004 1st Rosemary Hastings 2nd Jasmine Taunton 3rd H Lee
2005 1st Kerryn Windsor & Toireasa Gallagher 3rd Jasmine Lee
2006 1st Jodie Martin, 2nd Toireasa Gallagher, R Hastings
2007 1st Vanessa Bennett & Jill Harris 3rd Rosemary Hastings
2008 1st Toireasa Gallagher & R Hasting 3rd Jill Harris


HANDICAP CHAMPION
1998 1st P Amos 2nd John Stephens & Pat OBrien
1999 1st Tony Hogan 2nd Allan Asimus 3rd Clive laing
2000 1st Brad Wright & Dean Windsor 3rd C Davis & G Fuller
2001 1st Tony Hogan 2nd Toireasa Ryan 3rd Evan Elliot
2002 1st Drew Henman 2nd Dean Windsor 3rd Tony Commins
2003 1st Greame Peadon 2nd Bruce Goddard 3rd D.Wheeler
2004 1st Tim Guy 2nd Dean Windsor 3rd Mark Chapman
2005 1st Mark Windsor & Dean Windsor 3rd Blair Windsor
2006 1st Michael Buttsworth, 2nd Michael Caine, 3rd G McGill
2007 1st Craig McAlister 2nd Bruce Goddard 3rd Steve Brilley
2008 1st Ryan O’Donnell 2nd Charlie Gascoyne 3rd Mick Caine

2009 Team Series - 1st Mudgee Cycling Team No 1 (Kim Thomas Carl Hollieman Rick Thomas.. TBC)

2010 Team Series not completed.


NEW WESTERN DIVISION STRUCTURE IN 2011:

Following the successful Western NSW Premierships approach, (introduced in 1998), the most recent era of the Western NSW Championships started in 2011 when a new Working Party Committee approach was proposed, with the Guidelines approved by then CEO of CNSW Kevin Young. The first of these Western Division Championships was the Road Titles contested in Mudgee in 2011 with Time Trial, Criterium and Track Championships all following in recent times.


“Open Elite” Western NSW A Grade Road Racing Champions:

2011 - 1 Ayden Toovey, 2 Greg Wilmott, 3 Simon Ross (Host - Mudgee)
2012 - 1 Michael Troy, 2 Ayden Toovey, 3 BlairWindsor (Host - Orange/Forest Reefs)
2013 - 1 Harry Carter, 2 Nathan Dennis, 3 Simon Ross (Host - Dubbo/Wongarbon)

2014 - 1 Mark Windsor, 2 Ben Taylor, 3 Jono Cutler (Host - Bathurst/Rockley Loop/Xroads)

2015 – Not Run due to road permissions at Mudgee.

2016 - 1 Craig Hutton, 2 Will Hodges, 3 Brad Rayner (Host - Orange/Bloomfield Park)

2017 - 1 Will Hodges, 2 Josh Corcoran, 3 Kurt Eather (Host - Bathurst/Xroads)


For More Full Results - Including ITT Crit and Track Titles – CLICK on this Link>>>

Current Western NSW Champions


In 2017, Road Race and Ind. Time Trial Championships have been contested at Bathurst after Dubbo couldn’t host the titles after a change in their road permissions. Orange Club is planning to hold the Track Titles later in 2017.

2017 WESTERN NSW ROAD RACE:

A- Will Hodges Josh Corcoran Kurt Eather

B- Drew Carter Simon Hickey Simone Grounds

C- Isaiah Bennett Kevin Bell Mitchell Hines

D- Louise Mowlem Rosey Hastings Dave Hyland

2017 WESTERN NSW TIME TRIAL:

A- Richard Hobson Harry Bryant Billy Hutton

B- Jim Lavis Nigel Squire Graham Stait

C- SimoneGrounds DarrenFenton LukeTuckwell

D- C Robertson RoseyHastings Cathy Adams