Gold Coast Cycling Club Inc.
Amalgamated Incorporation Date: 2 June 2017
The Gold Coast Cycling Club is an amalgamation of the Gold Coast CATS Cycling Club and the Gold Coast Goldstars Cycling Club.
Gold Coast CATS Cycling Club Inc.
Incorporation Date: 17 November 1992
The Club was formed in November, 1992 as an amalgamation of three Gold Coast cycling clubs – the Nerang Cycling Club, Surfers Paradise Cycling Club and Twin Cities Cycling Club. Initially, the Club was known as Gold Coast Albert and Tweed Shire Cycling Club to reflect its origins but quickly became known as CATS from taking the initial letters of the key words in the title. It took some years for the Club to formalise the name “CATS” but this was finally done at the AGM of 2007. The Club’s logo, designed by Dick Ploog cleverly hid the initials GC CATS within the shape of the cyclist.
Sadly, the day of the formation of the Club, outstanding young cyclist and Olympian, Darren Smith was killed in an accident. In recognition of this tragedy, the Club created its annual Open event “The Darren Smith Cycling Classic” held as close as possible to the day of his death and, of course, the formation of the Club.
The Club’s first President was John Mildenhall (pictured centre podium) who ironically was pressured into resigning shortly after his inauguration because of a perceived conflict of interest as a part-owner of a bike shop. Dick Ploog replaced him as President.
The first Darren Smith Memorial Race was held on 20th March, 1994 starting from The Pines Shopping Centre, going over Tomewin, doing a loop of the Murwillumbah Circuit around Chillingham and Tyalgum before doing a circuit around Galleon Way, Guinness Creek Road, Tallebudgera to eventually finish the second time along Galleon Way, Elanora. Prize money was in excess of $4000 and the field included the AIS squad and national teams from Germany, The Czech Republic and Poland. The winner was Henk Vogel, pictured below crossing the finish line.
Criterium racing was held on a regular basis at this time at Coombabah on Saturday mornings, Taree St with around 100 riders on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings (with daylight saving) at Leda Park.
Control of the new clubhouse was taken from the Club and placed in the hands of the Council. A termination payment of $25,000 was reluctantly accepted by the Club from the Council. This was a bitter pill to swallow for the Club given the blood, sweat and tears that had flowed and the tireless commitment given in the creation and maintenance of the cycling centre.
An important development in 2009 was the creation of a Junior Squad directed by Aidan Grimes and Kris Mackay. From modest beginnings, the group has expanded to over 40 members at the start of 2012, a number of whom have developed into highly competitive cyclists. Olympic gold medallist, Sara Carrigan is often of assistance at these sessions. Training techniques are adapted to each cyclist’s level of development and there is noticeable enthusiasm at each training session on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons at Nerang.
CATS have produced numerous outstanding cyclists many of whom are listed in our “Honour Roll”.
In this section, it is fitting to mention to mention Robbie McEwen and Sara Carrigan who, as former CATS juniors, have attained international acclaim. Robbie’s three green jerseys in the Tour de France place him amongst the greats in this event whilst Sara’s gold medal in the road race of the 2004 Athens Olympics is the stuff of which dreams are made. All readers of this section are encouraged to refer to our “Honour Roll” for more information on these current members as well as note the achievements of other CATS members who have achieved success at a national or international level.
One of the great personalities of the Club is Ken Mitchell, a former Champion of Great Britain and Tour de France rider. Ken has been with CATS since its inauguration in 1992 and in 2011 remains a strong supporter of the Club, a Committee member as well as an active volunteer. At 80 years of age, Ken is a Level 2 Commissaire and often takes registrations before races. He was honoured in 2010 by Cycling Queensland for his “significant contribution to Queensland cycling” with the CEO’s Award at CQ’s annual presentation evening. If the strength of a club is measured by the strength of its supporters, Ken’s contribution has helped make “The CATS” a great club.
2012 was a significant year for the CATS Club. At the Cycling Queensland annual dinner in November, the Club was announced as the “Club of the Year”. Given its precarious position only a few years previously this was a major achievement and a credit to the band of workers who had set about to resurrect the CATS to a position of dominance in Gold Coast cycling. The club had around 250 members, a new kit which had been enthusiastically accepted by its members and was managing an active racing program on the Coast. Steve Davies in his fourth year as President was leading a hard-working committee where Secretary, Kris Mackay, played a major role in coordinating activities and personnel as well as managing an excellent web site.
The CATS also ran a highly successful event in collaboration with the Stout family to honour the memory of Mike Stout who had passed away.
Gold Coast Goldstars Cycling Club Inc.
Incorporation Date: 15 February 1993
The Goldstars inaugural meeting was held at the Pindara Sports Clinic in early 1993 with 17 attendees. By November that year, the Club was running organised time trial training on Robina Parkway at 6:00pm and by years end, with a membership of 36, was conducting Monday Time Trials with up to 43 regular riders.
On New Years Day 1994, the Club successfully ran the first New Years Day Open Criterium around the streets of Robina followed by an Open Track Carnival at Chandler Velodrome in Brisbane on the following evening. The New Years Day Open has been run every year since firstly in Robina around Manly and Cottesloe Drives before moving briefly to the Goldstars established Robina Holden circuit in Brabham Drive, Robina and, most recently, to the Nerang Cycling Complex where it attracts large fields including many of the Aussie internationals who use it as final preparation before contesting the Bay Series in Victoria and the “Tour Down Under” in January.
During the years the Club has been active, it has conducted Saturday morning handicap road races in Tallebudgera Valley until increased development drove us out of the Valley in 2000. Wednesday afternoon Criteriums were run on the Surfers Paradise raceway regularly drawing up to 140 riders. Criterium circuits were later established in Molendinar for a brief period with racing held both Wednesday afternoon and Saturday mornings. Sunday morning Criterium racing was held on the Robina Holden closed road from 2000 through to 2005 until, again, increased development moved us on. The Club also ran monthly road race on the Old Pacific Highway at Pimpama and Criteriums at both Computer St, Arundel and the Luke Harrop Performance Centre at Runaway Bay.
In the early years, the Club established a daily morning training ride from the Mermaid Waters Ambulance Station. The Goldstars Ride, as it was known, became very popular with Club members and non-members alike and was great source of new members often attracting up to eighty riders.