When asked to write about the evolution of Australian cycling for the Official Guide of #Wollongong2022, one man stood out as a person of influence. Heiko Salzwedel is a star of our sport. He was called a ‘coach’, sometimes a ‘manager’, and many knew him as a friend.

Without his input, Australian cycling would look entirely different to how it is in 2022.



A year after he left us, here is a gallery of images from a shoebox of memories of a man who had a fantastic vision and wasn’t afraid to chase it. Heiko, your legacy lives on…


– A video and gallery in memory of Heiko Salzwedel


Left to right (from memory): Darryl McCulloch, Brett Dennis, John Gregory, Kelvin Martin, Matt White, Heiko Salzwedel, (maybe) Adrian Nolan (background), Damian McDonald, Paul Brosnan (background), – pass, sorry – Tony Morphett (background), Rod McGee, Marcel Gono (background), Jay Sweet, Nick Gates (background) and Brian Stephens.

It would be possible to go long – very long – in the telling of Heiko Salzwedel’s story. In time the many stories that he helped write will be shared but right now, in the days following news of his passing, people around the world are looking back fondly on his influence and considering the impact he had on their lives. He was 64.

Heiko was passionate about cycling but he came to the sport differently to most. He began coaching at a young age and clearly found his calling. That was his job from his 20s onwards and there are many who benefited from his help.

There is a long list of results that have Heiko’s stamp on them but now is not the time to write about race victories or sporting conquests; rather, we remember a man who gave so much of himself so that others could succeed. And he did so with grace, honour, gusto, commitment, passion, empathy… and with a grin.


[Click here for the full text of the tribute from 2021…]


Salzwedel and Bradley Wiggins after the successful hour record ride…
Photo: Graham Watson

He lived in Canberra from 1991 to the late-1990s when, ultimately, lame sporting politics saw him jettisoned from a program he created, one that would forever change the cycling landscape in Australia.

East German by birth, Heiko was a man of the world. Although I consider him a true Aussie, there are many elsewhere who would argue he was one of theirs: German, Russian, Danish, British… he was welcomed everywhere and quickly integrated into life wherever he was.

Upon arrival in Australia, with Charlie Walsh, then head of the Australian cycling program.

The 1996 Olympics… with Jayco’s support, of course. Left to right: Stephen Hodge, Neil Stephens, Pat Jonker and Heiko.

Dave McKenzie, Stephen Drake, Grant Rice, assistant coach, Brian Stephens and Heiko.

Deane Rogers and Heiko.

Heiko and Jay Sweet.