Jim Nestor

Edward James ( Jim ) Nestor was born 1st December, 1920 in Jamestown (S.A) and at the early age of 6 came to the city of Adelaide.
He later joined the Sturt Districts Amateur cycling Club and after entering many racing events it wasn’t till 1938 that success followed.
His coach was Phil Thomas who already was a S.A champion rider.
In 1939, the Healing 118-mile road race was run and although Nestor finished in 5th place he was the fastest SA rider in the race, Nestor was showing great riding and was evident that he had the makings of a champion.
In 1940 Nestor was emerging as one of the leading S.A amateur cyclists; he set the time record for the 15-mile senior un-paced championship at Edwardstown (S.A) which he bettered his time he set the previous year. Nestor was crowned State Amateur cycling Champion over all distances and in the following year continued where he left off winning the 10-mile road championship from a field of 33 entrants riding brilliantly to victory.
In April the 1000-metre title was held at Hanson Reserve (S.A) and was marked as one the most important events of the cycling calendar which featured a top grade field of cyclists and Nestor showed great form winning the heats and at the conclusion of the sixth heat, rising junior K. Prior beat Nestor however after the race Nestor protested that Prior had interfered with him around a bend into the straight. The referee ordered a re-run of the race but Prior contested the re run and the race title was awarded to Nestor.
Prior was later disqualified for a fortnight for allegedly breaching the racing rules.
In 1942 Nestor again won the State un-paced 10-mile road race; this was his fourth successive win of this event (1939, 1940, 1941) raced over a hilly course Nestor showed true form and went on to win. He registered his best time for the event.
In July Nestor took out the 62-mile Annual Open Handicap road race conducted by the Kilkenny Amateur cycling club (S.A) with 27 starters, Nestor stayed back from the main bunch and it wasn’t till the last few miles that Nestor caught them and crossed the finishing line. Nestor started the race from scratch.
By September Nestor had won 21 State and Sturt Districts championships.
Nestor enlisted in the Defence force (RAAF) as a serviceman but this did not take away his love for cycling, he would continually keep fit during his enlistment and while in Northern Territory (AUS) he would engage on a circular racing track.
Nestor and other co-workers, Deane Toseland and Gino Bambagiotti would spend their leisurely hours riding the banked track with weekly cycling events proving popular amongst soldiers.
In August 1943, Nestor had recently returned from the RAAF and reproduced his winning form to win the 50-mile senior road championship, followed on with more success Nestor was again a threat to all competitors
In 1946 he was selected for the New South Wales team (N.S.W) for the Australian championships to be held in Adelaide but Nestor declined the selection.
Nestor possessed the right under the serviceman’s rule to represent his state of S.A should he wished; he had previously won the 1000-metres against C. Bazzano of N.S.W and regarded himself South Australian and therefore forfeited the championship and handed the sash to C. Bazzano. A special pennant was presented to Nestor.
Nestor always remained faithful to S.A.
Nestor had now gained more than 30 state Amateur championships over distances up to 118 miles, including the Amateur Open and 2 lap Senior handicap taking double titles in a single day, 52-mile handicap, 58-mile held at Edwardstown (S.A) and 62-mile race.
Nestor believed that long hard rides, plain foods and lots of sleep were the key factors in winning for the cyclist. Nestor’s brother Tom was also a competitive cyclist and had both entered many events together.
1947 Nestor won the 10-mile un-paced championship for the sixth time held at North Walkerville (S.A), his brother Tom followed closely behind who had previously won the event in years 1944 and 1945. Nestor was unstoppable and became the holder of all South Australian Amateur cycling titles with an impressive list of 35 titles: the 1000-metre sprint, the 1000-metre time trial, the one, five and ten-mile titles for track and also the 188-kilometre and 25-mile mass road race.
In March 1948 Nestor was selected for the 1948 Olympics held in London, however funds needed to be raised by April to the sum of £550, this was the first time a South Australian cyclist had been selected for the Olympic Games.
In the short time span funds were raised and Nestor headed for London, though no medals were collected by the Australian cycling team they had favourably done well compared to other countries with 10 times the population. The year ended with Nestor being married.
Nestor was involved with sponsorship throughout the years with Super Elliott cycles and released was the Super Elliott Nestor Olympic Model cycle to commemorate his Olympic achievement. The cycle featured the finest of road accessories and of highest quality build, Super Elliott went on to release other Nestor models throughout the years.
Rare individual cycles labelled Nestor also exist.
1949 another State Senior un-paced cycling championship at Hamstead (S.A) was added to his list, this was a 100-kilometre race was from Abattoirs to Lyndoch and return and with 160 riders from scratch it was a race full of mishaps with many incidents including strong wind on the outward journey. Followed with the 100-kilometer Senior title from Edwardstown to Sellicks Hill (S.A) and return, Nestor won by 5 lengths, Nestor showed sportsmanship by waiting for riders to join him over the climb taking them to the leaders of the race during the 68-mile open handicap, he lost precious time but went on to win the race.
The 1950 the Holdfast Bay “68” 125-mile Amateur championship was held and Nestor crossed the line on a flat tyre, the front of his singles tube had developed a slow leak in the 15th lap but he kept going the distance to finish a length clear of John Law, pacing the last few miles. Success followed on at the 52-mile Carr Memorial road race, he encountered the worst conditions ever in his years of competitive cycling but went on to win.
In 1953, Nestor had a great win in the Melbourne-Ararat 117-mile race, his win from scratch set the fastest time, with soaking rain and head winds Nestor finished first from 104 entrants and by 1954 Nestor was a favourite in all racing events he entered.
Nestor gained selection for the Vancouver Empire Games in August from winning the trial of the 100-kilometre at Modbury (S.A) where he would race 100-kilo road race, 1000-metre time trial and individual pursuit if required.
At 33 he was one of the oldest cyclists to represent Australia.
In August the Australian team finished took fourth and fifth placings however Nestor felt that the lack of teamwork lost the title, Nestor found himself blocked by team-mates when he lined up for the sprint finish and as he dismounted from his cycle after the race he said “Three jokers can’t all try to win a race”.
Critics who said that Nestor was out of his peak form were proved incorrect when in September Nestor won all 3 stages of the 220-mile two day tour.
Nestor in his later years was a mentor to upcoming riders and a coach; he was part of the establishment of the Sturt Holdfast Marion Cycling Club where he was a life member and always helpful in all ways.
Nestor died in June 2010

Jim Nestor

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