Date Inducted: 11 Dec 1991
Sport: Administration - Cycling
Hall Of Fame

William 'Bill' Long OAM - Administration - Cycling

Bill Long was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame as a General Member in 1991, for his contribution to the sport of cycling. 

He promoted the sport of cycling at all levels.  He served the sport in every capacity, first as an amateur and professional road and track competitor, club president, organiser, councillor, handicapper, president, secretary, judge, promoter, sponsor, team manager, coach, sporting journalist, publisher and commentator.


He became a councillor of the League of Victorian Wheelmen in 1948, and its youngest president in 1954 at age 30.  He further served as president 20 years later; his association with the LVW spanning 40 years.  Long was also national president of the Australian Professional Cycling Council in 1977; president of Victorian Veteran Cycling Council in 1990; national president of Australian Veteran Cycling Council in 1993.  Long was bestowed with life membership honours from all four cycling bodies.


Long had been the manager of Victorian and Australian teams to national and world championships and Australian delegate to UCI World Cycling Conferences.  He was the first Australian delegate to a UCI World Cycling Conference in 1963.


A highly respected official with the world cycling countries, he brought about many changes to international racing regulations. 


Long promoted cycling in Australia in every discipline including Australia’s cycling classics - the Melbourne to Warrnambool road race; The Austral; Melbourne Cup on Wheels; state, national, amateur, professional, schoolboy and veteran championships; weekly velodrome carnivals; world record attempts; madisons; omniums; 24-hour races, and a feat unsurpassed, 49 Six-Day bike races, offering rich prize-money and innovative incentive payment contracts bringing international champions to Australia to race.  He was involved in the creation of The Sun Tour of Victoria in 1952.  Such was Long’s innovation for cycling promoting and obtaining sponsorship, he got a political party, The Nationals, to sponsor an 8-Day Bike Tour around country Victoria ensuring it crisscrossed each electoral boundary. 


In the early 1951 he published The Australian Cyclist magazine – the cyclists’ bible.  He wrote “Pro. Cycling” for the pink Sporting Globe, as well as various publications.


He was a cycling commentator with the ABC from 1956, covering Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Cycling Championships, radio and television.


In 1973 Long was invited to Japan as a specialist sprint coach from 1973.  He coached both amateur and professionals through interpreters.  He had a prodigious talent for spotting budding champions.  By 1975 one of his riders, Ryoji Abe, was on the UCI World Track Cycling Championships victory dais with a bronze medal.  In 1976, again a bronze, for Yoshikazu Sugata, and a 4th placing for a rider making his debut on the world track stage - Koichi Nakano.  By 1977 Nakano struck gold winning cycling’s blue riband title, Yoshikazu Sugata the silver medal, and a 4th for Kenji Takahashi.  Koichi Nakano went on to win an unprecedented 10 consecutive professional sprint gold medals at the World Cycling Championships from that year through to 1986 putting Japan on the world stage for sprint cycling excellence.  By the end of the 1970s the Japanese were the fastest in the world.  By the end of the 1980s they had ‘picked-up’ 25 medals - 11 gold, 6 silver, 8 bronze and many placings just short of the victory dais – a remarkable achievement for any country.  In 1976 the Fédération Japonaise de Cyclisme Professionnel honoured Long.


Long worked in the bicycle trade at Hartley’s as a travelling salesman before and after WWII, then as a retailer with Progress Bicycle Company and ‘Bicycle Expo’ director.  He was the Retail Cycle Traders Australia president in 1963, then its secretary in 1964 for 24 years, steering it from a state association to a national one.  He created the ‘Bike of the Year Award’ and ‘Bike Expo’.  The RCTA bestowed him with life membership.


In his spare time, Long played cricket including the AIF during WWII and RSL Victoria after the war, captaining it to national Ex-Servicemen’s premiership.  He then played District Cricket, as left-hand opening bat, with Collingwood (1957-1963) and Sub-District Cricket with Elsternwick (1963-1976) having captained both 1st XI and 2nd XI.  Elsternwick Cricket Club bestowed him with life membership.


In 1969, Long entered into the arena of boxing having Lionel Rose, Henry Nissen, Harry Hayes, Tony Mundine, Paul Ferreri and Rocky Mattioli under contract. 


In 1991 Long, having earned his own place in sporting considerations, was inducted into Sport Australia Hall of Fame for ‘outstanding performance in sports administration and development of professional cycling’.


He served his country in the Australian Army during WWII from 1942 to 1946, as a transport driver VX136797, returning from active service in the 134 AGT Company.





1958 Russell Mockridge Medal

1959 Australian Cyclist of the Year Award

1967 Hubert Opperman Trophy “Oppy Oscar” and “Oppy Medal”

1983 Bike of the Year Award




1952 “The Sun” 9-Day Tour of Victoria [1]

1953 Echuca Centenary 3-Day Tour 494 miles

1954 “Sporting Globe” Sydney to Melbourne 7-Day Tour 972 miles [2]

1956 “Repco” Olympic Amateur 7-Day Tour 830 miles

1957 Victorian Schoolboy Cycling Championships

1959 Russell Mockridge Wheel Race 1000m

1974 Sun-HSV7-3DB “Cycle for Sight” 24-hour Relay Ride

1977 “Four’n Twenty” Melbourne to Berri 4-Day Tour 747km

1978 “National Party” 8-Day Cycle Tour 800km

1983 Bike Expo

1987 King of the Mountain Championship Wangaratta-to-Mount Buffalo 183km

1990 VicHealth Masters Games Nepean Peninsula Cyclists’ Championships

1991 “Repco” Veteran Mornington Peninsula Tour 170km

1991 Russell Mockridge “Sun Tour Cup” Veteran Individual Time Trial 25km [3]

1991 Veterans’ Camperdown to Warrnambool Road Race 70km (co-founder) [4]

1994 Opperman Grand Prix Rochester

1996 VicHealth International 6-Day Bike Road Race 532km




1954 Mordialloc Professional Cycle Club

1975 Elsternwick Cricket Club

1975 Yooralla Hospital School for Crippled Children Victoria – Life Governor

1979 League of Victorian Wheelmen

1985 Retail Cycle Traders Australia

1991 Australian Professional Cycling Council

1995 Australian Cycling Federation

1999 Victorian Veteran Cycling Council

2003 Australian Veteran Cycling Council




1963 Federazione Ciclistica Italiana

1963 Union Cycliste Internationale – Delegate

1973 Channel 9 Sportman’s Committee Miss Sportsgirl of Victoria - Appreciation

1976 Montréal Olympics - Special Contribution in Broadcasting

1976 Fédération Japonaise de Cyclisme Professionnel - Service

1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games - Special Contribution in Broadcasting

1980 Lions Club of Australia – Sportsmanship

1988 Seoul Olympics - Special Contribution in Broadcasting

1988 Confederation of Australian Sport and Sport Australia Awards - Certificate of Outstanding Performance for Best Organisation & Presentation of a Sporting Event - 1988 King of the Mountain Championship Wangaratta-to-Mount Buffalo

1990 Union Cycliste Internationale - Service

1991 The Sport Australia Hall of Fame – Inducted

1992 Oppy Medal – Service to Cycling

1993 Medal of the Order of Australia – Service to Cycling

1996 The June Long Foundation for Patient Safety – Patron

2000 Australian Sports Medal – Service to Cycling Administration

2000 Sydney Olympics – Torchbearer

2001 Victorian Cycling Hall of Fame - Inducted

2001 Victorian Cricket Association - Service

2003 Australian Veteran Cycling Council – Patron

2004 Oppy Centenary




[1] With Laurie Jones (founder), and Ben Kerville, Harry Lovell, Snowy Munro, Chalmers Watt, all of Victoria.


[2] With Sid Freshwater of NSW.


[3] With Cecil Cripps of Victoria.


[4] With Ray King (founder) of Victoria. 


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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.