Back to the 80’s with our recently unearthed 8mm cycling home movies!

Did you race road bikes in the early 1980’s or know someone who did? Then you are going to love this.  My old 8mm home movies have been unearthed and uploaded for your enjoyment.. Lots of footage from Blackburn club racing (road and track), some Victorian state opens and 3 day tours, and a reel from the infamous 1983 Bicycle engineers convention. We are talking steel frames, toe clips, itchy woolen jerseys, leather chamois and not a scrap of carbon fiber.

Click on the image below to be transported back in time!

 


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The Croydon Cycleworks Italian connection

Cycling in France or Italy is on the bucket list for most Australian cycling enthusiasts.  Croydon Cycleworks tours have been running for some years to France and now Italy. Here is a little background on my passion for the cycling culture in Italy and why it draws me back.

You may know a little about the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part cycling team captain, Tom Leaper. Tom is now 39 years old and still racing strongly, but did you know during his professional career he raced the Giro D’Italia in 2000 and 2001 for the Italian team Panaria-Gaerne?

I asked him about his recollection of racing the Italian grand tour…

“   The 2001 Giro (my 2nd) started with a flat and straight prologue in Pescara on the central east coast of Italy.  I was lean and strong and started the prologue fast averaging 60km/hr in the tailwind, just fading in the 2nd half though to finish mid-field. Rolling back to the start house, Mario Cippollini was on the ramp ready to go, dressed in the infamous “muscle” skin suit with no helmet and a fabio hairstyle he looked like something out of a horror movie. Stage 2 took us into the rolling hills before several flat stages for the sprinters. The fans would line the roads to see the local heroes, their favourite was clearly Marco Pantani. Every stage the roars for Pantani and Cippo were deafening. The colour of the Giro and the beauty of the country were amazing. The people made it even more special and the racing was harder than I’d ever experienced. Too hard as it turned out, I ended stage 12 with pneumonia and a trip to hospital. My Mexican team mate Julio Perez later won a stage and my team Panaria-Fiordo now known as Bardiani – CSF has had much success at this race over the years. Although I didn’t finish the race that year, it is something I’ll always remember. The Giro may not be as big as the TDF but it is the most beautiful race in the world. “

Today Tom is the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part team captain.

Today Tom is the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part team captain.

Nowadays Tom is a committed family man, and as leader of our NRS team sets a great example for our younger riders. Tom is still a force on the bike as many local Elite riders will attest to!

While not on the same level as Tom, shop owner Mick Jamison has his own Italian connection. Selected for the 1991 national mountain bike team to race the UCI worlds which that year were held in Italy, Mick was billeted with the rest of the team to a mountain village near Lucca (in Tuscany).

Worlds team Italy 1991

Worlds team Italy 1991

 

Aussie MTB team 1991 Italy

Aussie MTB team 1991 Italy

 

Auusie MTB worlds team Italy 1991 Coreglia Antiminelli

Auusie MTB worlds team Italy 1991 Coreglia Antiminelli

 

“Racing and riding in Italy was an amazing experience. We were treated like kings in the village we stayed in (Coreglia Antiminelli) and the lead up to the worlds was very exciting, with lots of racing and hard training on the most beautiful country roads in the hills of Tuscany. The locals were very friendly and gave us lots of support and encouragement, and even tried to teach us how to play volleyball! One of the team members and my training partner back in Melbourne (Scott Steward) had  raced with the Fanini road team in Italy following being signed up after representing Australia in the road race at the Seoul Olympics, and so had plenty of local knowledge. The actual worlds didn’t go great for the team, handicapped with a starting position a long way from the front row on a course with limited passing opportunities. Even so it was amazing to be part of this event with the huge crowds lining the track making a deafening noise! Scott rode well working his way through the field to finish 20th, and with a decent starting position would easily been in the top 10. My race finished on foot with a broken rear deraileur on the last lap.  Mind you we were up against it, I remember peaking inside the Italian team motorhome the day before our race and seeing an Italian team rider hooked up to a blood bag hanging beside him. It didnt stop American mountain bike legend John Tomac taking the XC gold medal, much to the chagrin of the euro brigade. Tomac was a fantastic rider and a true gentleman. He nearly doubled up by taking a silver medal in the downhill a few days later. In those days it was still common for riders to race in both disciplines.

Racing, riding and living in Italy for this short time was an unforgettable experience. I cant wait to return to Italy to see the Giro in 2015. If you are interested in joining a small tour group to see the Giro and ride the famous climbs of the Dolomites, please register your interest at Croydon Cycleworks. Click here for more information on our tours. 

John Tomac en-route to gold at the XC worlds 1991

John Tomac en-route to gold at the XC worlds 1991

Micks bio

“I started racing in 1981 with Blackburn cycling club on both road and track. Began work at the Bicycle Workshop soon after under guidance of owner Nigel Letty, who taught both mechanical skills as well as what it took to run your own business. Nigel was a great mentor. I started my first bike shop in 1984 Open Road Cycles in Glen Waverly (named after my father Jack’s bike shop in Ripponlea). I became partner in Bicycle Workshop in 1986. Began a long involvement with mountain bike racing in 1984, started running mountain bike events for The Fat Tyre Flyers club in 1987 with brother Simon. Started Australias first MTB only store with brother Simon in 1988. Started Melbournes first triathlon store in 1991 (Triathlete) with partners Robin Tullett and John Buskes. Had some very good results on both the road and the mountain bike in the 90’s  earning a bronze medal in Australian XC championship and raced in Italy and the U.S. as member of the Australian team. Lining up at the worlds was the high point of my cycling, but I have plenty of great memories of epic racing particularly the Victorian Pro-am opens from ’88 to ’92  when i was at my fittest. And of course there are the great mates you make when you are striving together to succeed in a tough sport. I still enjoy racing (somewhat infrequently) but much prefer a social ride  followed by coffee, cake and some bench racing with friends (talking about who was faster back in the day)

Young Jamo

One of my early races with Blackburn. Knox City criteriums 1981. D grade!

Jamofinish

First race win for young Jamo

The day I became a bike racer

Jack Jamison and Oppy062

I took this photo in 1980 at the end of the Victorian Veteran 6 day tour. That’s my dad on the right, being presented a trophy by Sir Hubert Opperman, a legend of Australian sport and one of our greatest cyclists ever. This was a proud day for my dad, having raced against “Oppy” in the 1930’s, he had a huge respect for the man. Sir Hubert was a very modest and down to earth chap yet his achievements made him a star of his time. After following Dad on this race I was inspired to start racing myself, joining the Blackburn cycling club soon after.

 

 

Jack Jamison rode the inaugeral Veteran 6 day tour in 1980 at the age of 67

Jack Jamison rode the inaugeral Veteran 6 day tour in 1980 at the age of 67