Australian cycling legend Hec Sutherland dies aged 81

Hec Sutherland, who collapsed last Thursday, passed away at Hastings Hospital surrounded by his family.

He was a former Sun Tour winner and won the 1950 Auckland Empire Games road race.

Sutherland competed against the greats of Australian cycling in the early 1950s including the Rowley brothers, Geelong's Russell Mockridge, Sid Patterson, Peter Panton and John Young.

Geelong cycling promoter and former triple winner of the Sun Tour, John Trevorrow, remembered Sutherland well.

"He was a great mate of my father, Joe. I saw a lot of him when I was growing up and he was a wonderful influence,'' Trevorrow said.

"He was a natural coach, he always had some input when I was racing, imparting his little snippets of knowledge. He didn't say much but what he did say was always spot on."

"He was one of the great all-rounders, brilliant on the road and track. He was just a sensational guy, one of the legends on and off the track."

Sutherland won the 1954 Sun Tour and was twice runner up for the Australian road titles.

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