By Ben Triandafillou
CYCLISTS from Aspendale and Mordialloc have received the Order of Australia for their ‘services to cycling’ as part of this week’s Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Olympic gold medallist Anthony Marchant, 79, was rewarded for his achievements in his short but successful career.
Becoming interested in cycling around the age of 16, Marchant started out at Chelsea Cycling Club and moved his way through the junior and senior ranks.
Then aged 18 years old, Marchant was called up to join the Australian Olympic Cycling team in 1956.
Marchant went on to win gold in Melbourne and still recalls the joy of the occasion.
“I will never forget the experience,” he said.
“It’s hard to express, it was quite a thrill.”
“We were the underdogs at the time and even though we had some very good times in training, we didn’t perform very well in the opening rounds but luckily we started to get going.”
Marchant then spent a year away from the sport and took up football at Hastings.
“I needed some rest for a bit and nothing major was coming up in cycling,” he said.
Marchant returned the following year to continue his ventures as a cyclist until he retired in 1961.
“I should have probably stayed a bit longer but I decided to continue with my business studies”.
David Sanders, of Mordialloc, also received an Order of Australia in this week’s awards.
Sanders has become one of Australia’s most successful cycling coaches and also had an impressive career riding in Australia, Great Britain and Europe.
Sanders worked at the Victorian Institute of Sport for 26 years as the head cycling coach and has worked with some of Australia’s greatest cyclists such as Cadel Evans, Baden Cooke and Simon Gerrans.
Last year, Sanders moved to the Australian World Tour cycling team Orica-Scott and has now taken up a coach/mentor role.