John Law

John Law was born 13th November 1929 in South Australia (S,A) and started competing competitively in 1948 and by 1949 won the first and fastest Open Road race in Adelaide at Hanson Reserve (S.A). Law was a member of the Kilkenny Cycling Club and by 1950 became the club’s 50-mile champion.

Early 1950's old Kilkenny club rooms

By 1950 Law had reached the top rung of amateur cycling in S.A, He had won the Navy Cup on two occasions and represented the state interstate.
By July 1951 Law again registered the fastest time and won the Annual Lyndoch “62” 100-kilo championship, his terrific burst of speed towards the end caught race leader D. Anderson.
Law was a winning member of the State Pursuit team, won by South Australia in 1951,
Southcott Cup, 4000m Australian teams Pursuit Championship 1951-52

His form was on the mark as he won the Eastern Districts Open 54-mile classic the weekend prior. The following week Law scored his third successive victory by narrowly winning the 125-mile test championship trial race at Klemzig (S.A), with his great form Law was the second South Australian, with Jim Nestor to be chosen for the Australian cycling team for the Olympic Games to he held in Helsinki 1952. John raised the amount needed to qualify for his trip (necessary in those days) but was not included in the team at the last minute. The reason for this was that there was only one spare seat on the plane and selectors wanted to send an extra official, such a bitter disappointment would have deterred most cyclists however law became more determined.
The Australian team chosen by the selectors were R. Mockridge (VIC), J. Nevin (VIC), K. Cave (QLD.). P. Nelson (SA). P. Pryor (NSW), L. Cox (NSW), G. Baker (W.A), H. Sutherland (VIC), J. Law (SA) with backup riders W. Donovan (NSW) and J. Nestor (SA).
Law continued his fine efforts with two of three sprint wins at Payneham (S.A) in March 1952 and two days later again outstanding winning the half-mile open handicap, placed third in the A grade scratch race, but ended up placing second when B. Thorn, the winner, was disqualified for breaching racing rules.
The following month Law had some bad luck when sprinting to the line with other 3 riders, the small group fell altogether. All escaped with only minor abrasions with Jim Nestor victorious. A disappointed Law continued to race with more success at local events, he was first over the line in July 1952 at the annual Lyndoch 62-mile cycling classic but later to be placed third due to interfering with two other cyclists in the last sprint to the line. Law was to lodge an immediate appeal against the stewards decision, other wins included the Advertiser 100 kilo title, a win of the inaugural mail Tour, the first stage of the Tour of Victoria and the first SA cyclist to win an amateur 125km road championship in Perth (W.A)
Inaugural "Mail Tour" win by John Law, 1953

Law was committed to training and cycled around 400 miles of training each week, his consistent training and dedication allowed him to always race at his best and be among place getters.
In August 1953 Law caused a Stir when he rode in the combined club race at Cavan with mudguards on his bike. He also discarded his variable for a single gear of 77 inches.Law raced home for a third position and fastest time, averaging almost 25m.p.h. In the same month Law won the 125-mile Australian amateur road championship over a difficult course at Melville (W.A). He finished half a wheel in front of J. O’Sullivan (VIC) with a time of 6hrs. 2mins. 9secs. The race caused confusion among riders and officials when it was realised that one lap before the finish, the lap marker had registered one lap too many and the cyclists were only Informed of the error when they thought they were within 2 miles of the finishing line. and had to complete another lap.
Law had now achieved two if his ambitions, winning the South Australian two-day races and national titles and was hoping to win the Amateur Tour of Victoria and qualify for the next Olympic Games selection tests. By September Law had won and added £143 in trophies to the £250 in prizes he had won in SA and Victoria in the previous 12 months.
By November 1953 Law made his first appearance in open racing season and took aim to win 2-mile Navy Cup, for the third time and by December claimed the title of National Road champion. Subsequent wins in 1954 included winner of fastest time honours in the Port 40-miler and the 4000m Pursuit championship at Brisbane (QLD) and was selected for the Empire Games in Vancouver, Law would ride in the individual pursuit and 100 kilo road race, with not making the 1952 Empire Games the selectors this time round found that Law was a clear and firm favourite to compete. At the Games the Australian cyclists Jim Nestor, John Law and John O’Sullivan had an unusual warm-up for the 4000m pursuit that they would do their preliminary through the traffic on busy streets adjoining the track. Law had qualified for the final of the 4000m individual. Law ran 7th in the road race and 7th in the individual pursuit.
Following the Vancouver Games John won 1st stage of the Second Mail Tour with an overall finish of 3rd place and in December 1954 Law won the annual 60-lap Christmas Derby at Hanson Reserve, Woodville Gardens (SA).
Law was sponsored by Super Elliott cycles but in 1955 transferred over to Malvern Star for their road season.
In 1955 Law won every open scratch race he contested in the track season.
Law became engaged in 1955 and married in 1956 and during that time with no training he won the state sprint Championship at South Australian 1000M Track/Sprint Championship at Norwood (SA), this was the last time Law competed seriously.
In 1964, eight years later law returned to cycling and in his first event in an open handicap he achieved first and fastest.
As a veteran cyclist Law had many successes, He rode in the Apple and Pear Tour from Brisbane (QLD) to Adelaide (SA) since then has retired gracefully.

John Law

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