A framed photograph featuring a youthful Hubert Opperman standing with his bicycle in his grandmother's garden in Melbourne. He is wearing his riding uniform and a sash that was presented to him for being the fastest time champion in the Barnet Glass Road Race from Launceston to Hobart in Tasmania in 1922.
The race was held on Saturday 4th November 1922 and was won by F. Stubbs (6h25m15s) who rode off a 33 minute handicap in a field of 48 starters over the 120 mile distance. Hubert Opperman and J. P. O'Farrell, a fellow Victorian rider and holder of the course record which he set the previous year (5h58m), were given the backmarker handicap of 9 minutes.
Opperman won the fastest time prize (the "Blue Riband"), finishing in 4th place overall, with a time of 6 hours, 4 minutes and 43 seconds. In a newspaper report prior to the race, Opperman was quoted as saying: "I finished 20th in the Warrnambool after having to repair a puncture, and recorded third fastest time, but I think that £65 first prize will be mine tomorrow night." Opperman did puncture 12 miles from the finish but was able to swap his bicycle (which was permitted in the race) and continue to record the fastest time on the day. He also won a prize for the youngest rider to finish; he was 18 years old at the time.
Other riders suffered punctures in this race and it was reported that "evidently there are still some people in Tasmania who have a strong dislike to road racing, and they will even go to extremes to prevent it, as a number of the competitors were seriously handicapped by having to stop and repair punctures, as quantities of tacks had been scattered freely along the portion of the road in the early stages of the race."
The first Launceston to Hobart race was held on 24th May 1897 and was won by Frank Beauchamp off a 30 minute handicap, setting the course record of 7 hours, 19 minutes. The 1929 was only the seventh edition of the race. The event was reported as having the richest prize pool (£300) at the time for any event in Tasmania and the field contained almost every road champion of Australia and New Zealand. The first person to ride between Hobart and Launceston was Mr George Burston of Melbourne, who rode an ordinary or high wheel bicycle over the distance in 1878.
Description of Content
Young man standing with his bicycle wearing a sash. His riding guernsey features a star and he is located in an outdoor setting with trees and a garden in the background.
Decorative metal frame that contains a black and white image of Hubert Opperman standing with his bicycle wearing a sash. A lush garden is in the background. Frame has a card backing board with a faux wood print and hinged fold-out stand. It is attached to the metal frame via four metal tabs.
Sir Hubert Opperman (1904-1996) was one of Australia's most successful long distance cyclists. He won his first race in 1921, at the age of 17 and went on to win over 50 major road races in Australia, England and Europe. He also won hundreds of track events, earning a reputation as the `lap king'. In the process, he established dozens of world records.
Photograph, Black & White
Handwritten text on reverse of frame in black ink reads: 'After Launceston / -Hobart / Grandma's / garden / 1922'.
Type of item
113 mm (Width), 9 mm (Depth), 162 mm (Height)