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Liz Hepple

Liz Hepple

Inducted 2024

The 1980s were a breakthrough period in women’s cycling.

In 1984, at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, women's racing was first added to the cycling program via a road race.

For track cycling, that introduction would come four years later at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Cycling was playing catch up and it was group of pioneers who were leading the charge.

For Australian women, that push was led by Queensland's Liz Hepple, a member of the University of Queensland Cycling Club.

Liz was a world class athlete, as she showed by winning the first edition of the Noosa Triathlon in 1983.

But on a bike she needed a platform to show it.

That platform came in 1988 on the biggest stage in world cycling, the Tour de France.

Across 12 stages, Hepple put down a groundbreaking performance, finishing third in the general classification behind two legends of the sport, French woman Jeannie Longo and Italian Maria Canins.

With that result, Hepple became the first Australian ever to finish on the podium in the general classification of Le Tour.

In the same year, she finished second in the inaugural women's Giro d’Italia, won by Canins.

That same year, Liz became an Olympian after racing the road race in Seoul alongside Australian teammates Donna Gould and Kathleen Shannon.

All three would finish on the same time as Dutch gold medallist Monique Knol, with Hepple leading the trio in 22nd.

But Liz’s contribution to cycling, and sport more broadly, didn’t end on the bike when she retired.

She joined the Queensland Academy of Sport as a scholarship coach in 1992 and then transitioned to athlete wellbeing and engagement in 2007.

In the 22 years that have followed, Liz has guided many of the best in Australian cycling and sport from Queensland.

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