Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
Category: Sports Hall of Fame
Stephen Fairless grew up in a cycling family. His father Don Fairless was a good cyclist and became a wonderful supporter of the sport particularly helping juniors and took on the presidency of the Shepparton cycling club. He was the power behind the project to build a top class velodrome at McEwan Reserve Shepparton.
Stephen grew up a big strong lad and commenced his cycling career as a junior with the Shepparton Cycle Club.
He came under notice when he won the Australian schoolboys road cycling championship in 1978.
Two years later he represented Australia in the World Junior Cycling championships in Mexico in 1980.
Stephen won the Team Time Trial and was second in the road race at the Australian Road Championship in 1985.
He won the Tour of Tasmania in 1986 and again represented his country in the World Cycling Championships in Austria in 1987.
But there was much more to come as he was to become Shepparton’s second cyclist to gain Olympic selection when he rode for Australia at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, finishing 9th in the 100 km Time Trial.
Stephen travelled far and wide to compete in big races. He won the1991 Grafton to Inverell road race and was second in the famous Melbourne to Warrnambool road race.
Stephen then took a break from cycling in1992, but returned in1997 and won the 228 kilometre Melbourne to Shepparton race.
His love of cycling drove him on and he went into the masters ranks as a strong fit rider who was destined to excel.
He was on the bike every day, if not competing he was coaching the young Shepparton riders both on the track and on the road. He gave thousands of hours of his time to support his sport and kept himself fully fit to compete at top level as a master cyclist. He even took on the presidency of the Shepparton Cycle Club.
He won the Australian Masters road racing championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
This meant that he was able to represent Australia with success again on the world stage. He was second in the Masters World Championship in Slovenia in 2014 which set him up for greater success the next year.
In 2015 he travelled to Denmark and duly won the Masters World championship in the 50 – 54 age group.
So Shepparton had another world class cyclist.
Stephen Fairless was the Cycling Australia Masters Road Cyclist of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015
Throughout all this success Stephen did not change as a person. He continued to support his sport as a coach and an official. He deserved every accolade for his persistence, his dedication and his success.
Shepparton can be justly proud of this champion cyclist and champion person Stephen Fairless.