By John Trevorrow
One of the legends of Australian cycling and one of its true characters, Ken Stewart, passed away peacefully last Wednesday, October 3, only a few days shy of his 86th birthday. Ken had a stroke three weeks ago and had been in a coma in Frankston Hospital since then.
Stewy, as he was affectionately known, was inducted into the Victorian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2005. Ken won the Austral Wheelrace in 1941 and also won eight Australian track Championships, 17 Victorian, 23 South Australian and 14 Queensland Championships.
Stewart was a Champion cyclist on track and road and finished second to the great Billy Gyatt in the 1954 Melbourne to Warrnambool. He also rode in three Sun Tours, including the inaugural one in 1952.
Stewart won the 1974 World Veterans Road Championship in Austria and was second in '75 and third in '76. In 1988 Ken dominated the World Masters Games winning the sprint, time trial, five-mile scratch race as well as the criterium.
Stewart was selected in the Australian Olympic team for the 1940 Olympics that were cancelled because of the second world war.
As a professional, Stewart toured Europe in 1950 and 1951, winning the prestigious Grand Prix of Denmark.