The Best of Memories: Doug Holland


For me at VeloUK, this is perhaps the most special of people I have known as Doug helped me during my years as a junior in my home town in Australia – here are his best memories

The Best of Memories: Doug Holland

When I started racing aged just 13, one of the first people I got to know in my home town club in Australia was Doug Holland. The guy’s one of the do’ers in the world just like so many people I have got to know in Britain. Doug was racing and an official back in the 70s and is still riding the bike to this day and an official in my home town club. One of the few people from the old days still in the sport back home.

It’s only in the last few years I have realised after reading Doug’s biography just how much of a part he played in the sport, racing the sport’s biggest races in Australia from the 60’s onwards. So I am very proud that Doug agreed to join some really big star names from the sport here in Britain to present to me and you, his best memories in this sport so many of us have dedicated our lives to.

For me, knowing a lot of the races and Doug too, this is quite a touching article to both read and edit … thank you Doug.

1964: Townsville centenary championships: My first year in the senior ranks and I made an impression by winning this event against some top North Queensland riders. They don’t look happy being beat by skinny me. The bloke who placed second had won the Queensland junior sprint championship two years earlier.

1965: I was a scratch rider (Handicap races, last (fastest) group off) on the road in North Queensland road races and here I have won the Bridge Cycles sponsored Mount Elliott 76 mile road race. The win was a pair of Campagnolo track wheels, fastest time was a pair of Clement No. 10 tubulars.

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World masters champion Keith Oliver in the background as winner of the race

1969: the presentation for the NSW Suntour with race winner Keith Oliver (he competed at the World Masters in 2019 in Manchester) in the background. I won the prize for the Best Sportsman in the race, with $100. Good money in 1969. Plus team money and overall money.

I had moved to New South Wales in 1967 and turned pro in Newcastle (Australia). I was second in my first pro race then won a stage and was second in a pro three stage tour a week later. My thoughts on turning pro were to make money whenever possible and with a lot of top pros around, I was on the payroll often as a worker, a leadout, on teams etc with some wins along the way.

Doug, centre of picture

1973: The Bathurst to Penrith (outer Sydney) 100 mile road race. I always rode well in this event that included a climb up Mount Victoria as shown here. I was 6th in this edition. In 1982, the race was no longer allowed on that course and it became the Penrith Pro Open, 140 kilometres including climbs at Silverdale, The Oaks, Razorback and finished at the Penrith Leagues Club. I won the race that year.

1981: over the previous couple of years, I was back to state racing after a few slack years in the latter seventies. In the Veterans (Masters 1), I won four New South Wales championships. Pursuit twice, 5000 metres scratch and road.

2013: I stopped racing at age 40 and concentrated on my shop (in Bomaderry, NSW) and other cycling activities like team manager, team mechanic, state handicapper, state selector, state commissiare. After retiring in 2008, I returned to racing at age 62 and raced club, interclub and some events in Townsville until 2013. I needed surgery on my shoulders and rode my last bike race in May 2013, which I won.

Doug with wife Ingrid

2017: I won an award at the NSW Sports Awards presentation in Sydney for my long term involvement in cycling and my contribution to the sport in my many roles. I have now been secretary of the Nowra club since 1974. As previously mentioned, my memories are long and varied. I don’t really have a favourite. But I guess the NSW Sports Award has to be pretty high on the list

PS: Doug was also made a member of the Hall of Fame for sport in Nowra (Shoalhaven), NSW (my home town) which is a well deserved honour. Look forward to sharing a stubbie or two when I get there again some time.

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