Summary

A cycling award presented to Hubert Opperman for the fastest time in the 1922 Barnet Glass road race from Launceston to Hobart.

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 1922 event 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.

More Information