History of the Goldfields Cyclassic

The Menzies to Kalgoorlie race has a magnificent history. The race had its origins in 1928, following a discussion at a race club meeting where there was a concern at the lack of distance races on the Goldfields. 

Messrs J. Richards, JC Walsh, Chas Egan along with a small committee set about organising a long distance event. Their choice of starting point was the small mining town of Menzies, 81 miles north of Kalgoorlie. Many businessmen of the Goldfields supported the venture and, on the King’s birthday, June 1928 at 8.00am, the limit men were sent away for the first “Menzies”. Twenty-four riders started in this event. 

From its inauguration in 1928 until 1932, the race was known as the Menzies-Kalgoorlie Road Race, but two days before the race of that year, Charlie Egan, the well-liked and highly respected secretary of the club, tragically died, and all riders in the race that year wore black armbands as a token of respect. It was decided later that the race should, in future, be known as the “Chas Egan Memorial Race”.  

Mention of the Menzies Classic is not complete without some comment on the road. During the first five years, the term “road” could hardly apply to the bush track, rough, ripply and sandy, that connected Menzies to Kalgoorlie, and the stretch from Menzies to Comet Vale was a cyclist’s nightmare, being almost axle deep sand. 

By the late thirties, the road improved. Although it was still far from perfect, at least by then a cyclist could heave a sigh of relief when he reached bitumen at Broad Arrow, instead of bumping over ripples, skidding into ruts and ploughing through sand for the rest of the journey right into Hannan Street, as the early cyclists did. 

The inaugural winner R. Bennets won the race in a time of 5 hours and 55 minutes, 45 seconds to cover the 81 miles from Menzies to Kalgoorlie. The great road rider R. Hudson set a high bench mark with the fastest time in the inaugural handicapped race of 4 hours and 48 minutes, 45 seconds, and would go on to win the next two Menzies to Kalgoorlie Road Races.

In 2011 Hon. John Bowler, MLA, Member for Kalgoorlie at that time, came up with the idea of combining the Menzies Classic with the Leonora Golden Gift which was also held during the same weekend.  EGCC Executive Committee members, Dr Ruth Murdie and Rob and Maree Northcoat turned the idea into reality and the first “Goldfields Cyclassic” was held.  Their efforts have made this event a "must-do" handicap event with a reputation of being one of the most professional and well organized races in WA. 

2024 will again see the inclusion of a Community Challenge event where riders complete the 132 kilometers between Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Menzies in a two to four person relay ride or as an individual. Riders leave Kalgoorlie-Boulder before the race participants and arrive in Menzies in time to cheer on the winners. This event has opened up the day to a wider variety of riders and groups. We encourage recreational riders and corporate teams to get their team together and participate in this event.