Katie Mactier and Julie Speight inducted into Cycling Australia Hall of Fame

Duo to be honoured at November event in Melbourne

Former track specialists Katie Mactier and Julie Speight have been named as the first two inductees into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame for 2017.

Speight made history in 1988 as the first Australian women to represent the country on the track at the Olympic Games. Two years later, Speight became Australia's first sprint Commonwealth Game medallist. During her career, she also won eight national titles on the track and road.

Mactier, who took up cycling seriously at 25, also enjoyed success on the tack with Olympic silver in 2004 in the individual pursuit after setting a new world record in the heats. A year later, she won the pursuit world title and then at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Mactier won gold in the same event.

Mactier also won four individual pursuit titles in her career along with the 2001 and 2007 national road races titles.

"The 2003 worlds would be one of my many highlights as a track athlete," said Mactier. "With silver I qualified my Olympic position in the 2004 Athens Games and from that moment on I never looked back.

"I was single-minded about my approach with the IP; I loved the event, the training it required and I wanted to get faster and faster. John [Beasley] and I set no boundaries and with hard training we saw the times getting quicker.

"“Athens 2004 must be one of my happiest memories. I had only officially been racing on the track for just under one year, but with perfect preparation and conditions between Sarah Ulmer and myself we were able to go sub 3.30 for the first time and I proudly walked away with a silver medal."

Reflecting on her career ahead of her induction on November 17 at the Cycling Australia Awards, Mactier explained her struggle in naming one defining moment of her career.

"I don't like ranking my achievements as any and every race is significant and played a part in helping me achieve my bigger results," she said. "The Melbourne to Warrnambool was epic and this race concreted my love for the sport. The 2001 Australian road crown was the break through that opened many doors including a scholarship with the Australian Road women's squad and I will never forget my second road title in 2007 on the gruelling course in Buninyong.

"But with that being said, it would be my 2004 silver in the Athens Olympics followed by my 2005 world championships title and then of course winning the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games that are probably my three greatest achievements. I'm a very proud Melbournian and so to win my event in front of a packed stadium full of family and friends is something that I hold very dear to my heart."

For Speight, her time as a cyclist feels far removed from the present but she explained she is proud of having set an example for the likes of Anna Meares and reveals in watching new generations excel in the sport.

"I don't really talk much about my previous life as a bike rider and so when people find out and ask how I went at the Olympics and I say fifth place, they sort of pat me on the back and say never mind," she said. "I smile and change the subject because I have always been extremely happy with what I did in the sport.

"When Michelle Ferris and then Anna Meares achieved success at the world titles and Olympic Games, I felt really happy that I had fought so hard for women to be included in the track team. They are both such amazing riders and now because of them, little girls believe they can be Olympic cyclists. Women cyclists make excellent role models."

The winner of the 2017 Sir Hubert Opperman Medal will also be announced during the November 17 luncheon. Two further inductess into the Hall of Fame are to be announced next week.

Created in 2015, the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame also features Sir Hubert Opperman, Russell Mockridge, Edgar 'Dunc' Gray, Sid Patterson, Phil Anderson, Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Robbie McEwen, Sara Carrigan, Ray Godkin, Charlie Walsh, Gerry Ryan, Ryan Bayley, Oenone Wood, Mary Grigson, Chris Scott, Iris Bent and Alf Goullet.

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