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34 Melbourne to Warrnambools

August 27, 2015

Thanks to Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC), Thornbury for letting us film in such a great venue

Anyone connected with Footscray Cycling Club needs no introduction to Frank Zanatta – the man and the club are essentially one of the same.

As Frank says straight from the get-go, he shudders to think where life would have taken him had he not discovered cycling. He might not even be married. It was largely thanks to the bike that Frank, a naturally timid character, came out of his shell and grew the courage to talk to girls. He started talking to one in particular in Altona and they’ve been married for 52 years…

Frank has completed an incredible 34 Melbourne to Warrambool races; a colossal achievement for anyone familiar with the gruelling event. He credits the club for his race outcomes – working 7.30am to 4pm every week day was not conducive to good training, but weekend club racing most certainly was.

Frank believes the Footscray Cycling Club’s success is in part due to it being “like one big family”. It sounds like over the years there might have been two or three black sheep, but overall the club has been full of like-minded people who just want to help cycling.

Shane Kelly sits back for a yarn with the most unassuming and charming Frank Zanatta in this latest episode of Off the Bike.

We seriously think you should check out the extended cut here

Check out other stories from the Shane Kelly Off the Bike series:

  • Emma Carney - not one to let a cardiac arrest stop her from completing a swim session.

  • Tim Spiteri - a human 'meteor' on an epic ocean adventure.

  • Bridie O'Donnell - a tenacious force in women's cycling.

  • Billy-Joe Shearsby - the self-confessed 'flash in the pain' world champion cyclist who caught the attention and admiration of a young Bradley Wiggins.

  • Tammy Foster - how two siblings' cancer journey is now helping others.

  • Dave Sanders - behind every exceptional coach lies an exceptional athlete.

  • Josiah Ng - the power of five, the mysterious world of Keirin track cycling in Japan, and life post bike for this Malaysian champion.

  • Lance Picioane - former AFL player helping young people struggling with mental illness reach their full potential.

  • John Bylsma - two time Olympian and Common Wealth Games Silver medalist believes in quality (training) over quantity.

Keep up with the Shane Kelly series and plenty more - like us on Facie or subscribe to our email