Summary

A cycling medal presented to Hubert Opperman for achieving the fastest time in the Dunlop Road Race from Launceston to Hobart (125 miles) on 25th October 1924. This was the second most important cycling race in Australia (after the Warrnambool to Melbourne) and attracted a high calibre of cyclists from all over Australia.

In contrast to when he first contested this route as a promising 18 year old youth in 1922 (Barnet Glass Road Race, Launceston to Hobart), Opperman had by this time demonstrated many stellar race performances and was being hailed as "one of the greatest road riders in Australia." He was also coming into this race as Australasian road race champion for his fastest time win in the Warrnambool to Melbourne race (165 miles) on the previous weekend.

In an interview prior to the race Opperman said: "This is my third visit to Tassy, and I have secured fastest time on two occasions, but this year I am after Jack O'Farrell's record, and I think I can do it."

Opperman won the race in a time of 5 hours and 59 minutes, breaking O'Farrell's course record by just 10 seconds, and also earning a bonus prize of £20 which had been offered by Mr W. A. Lake to any rider who completed the event in under 6 hours. He was presented with the A. H. Thomas Cup by Mr George Watt and with the Blue Riband sash by the Tasmanian State Premier, Hon. J. A. Lyons.

In Opperman's autobiography (Pedals, Power & Politics, 1977), he reflects on his encounter with Hon. Joseph Lyons, who later became Prime Minister of Australia (1931-1939), and who had presented him with his trophy. "It was a valuable hint to me during my later political days that young people, flushed with success and fatigued by exertion are not overly conscious of the most dignified and outstanding public figures, so that a short speech at the time, and a longer congratulatory letter afterwards, will leave a more lasting impression."

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