The Heppy story…
Michael Hepburn (born 17 August 1991) is an Australian track and road cyclist from Brisbane. He started cycling competitively at 14 years of age, after making the change over from triathlons.
Heppy first caught the eye of the Australian cycling community back in 2009 when he set a new World Record in the U19 3000m Individual Pursuit at the Australian Track Nationals in Adelaide. He went on to break his own world record (twice) later that year in winning the Junior World Championship in Moscow – his first Rainbow jersey.
2010 saw Heppy return to the road with a big win in the Under 23 RR, at the Australian Road Nationals (at just 18 years of age). Maintaining his efforts on the velodrome, he earned his first senior Rainbow jersey as a member of the victorious Aussie Team Pursuit squad, at the UCI Track Worlds in Appeldorn, Netherlands. Later that year, at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he took Bronze in the Individual Pursuit before picking up a Gold in the Team Pursuit.
Juggling both Track and Road commitments throughout 2011, he collected his second Rainbow jersey when the Aussies defended their World Champion TP title at the UCI Track Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark. Heppy’s focus remained on competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games, with a long-term aim of signing up with a UCI Professional Cycling team in the near future.
The Olympic year of 2012 saw Heppy sign up with the exciting new Australian cycling team GreenEDGE for their inaugural season, plus he added a personal Rainbow to his collection by winning the Individual Pursuit at the UCI Track Worlds in Melbourne. In August his Olympic dream came true at the London Games, first with his inclusion in the Olympic squad and later, by winning a Silver medal in the Team Pursuit.
2013 started off with double Gold – and more Rainbows – with wins in both the Team Pursuit and the Individual Pursuit, at the UCI Track Worlds in Minsk, Belarus. At the end of the Track season, Michael turned his attention back to Road racing, competing for Orica GreenEDGE at a number of major races across Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland & in the USA and Canada. At the Florence Road World Championships, the TTT OGE squad with Heppy on board missed out on Gold by less than a second.
In 2014 Heppy decided to step away from the Velodrome, to concentrate more on his Road racing career. This decision proved timely when he won the Australian Time Trial at the National Championships in January, and followed this up in quick time with another TT win at the Tour of Qatar. April saw Heppy’s introduction to two of cycling’s ‘Classics’ – the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. By May he was ready for his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, and he was elated to be a part of the winning Stage 1 TTT squad. While OGE retained the leader’s Maglia Rosa for the entire first week, the team was later hit with numerous injuries and Heppy was one of only two OGE riders to make it to the Trieste Finish line 3,445 km later. At the Ponferrada Road World Championships, Heppy’s OGE TTT squad were far from disgraced despite having to again settle for Silver.
2015 saw Heppy perform strongly at the National RR, in support of runner-up Caleb Ewan, before taking a win himself in the TT at the Oceania Championships. He followed this up with another classic, Milan-Sanremo, plus his second Giro d’Italia where OGE again won the opening TTT to claim Maglia Rosa leader’s jersey, safely defending it in the early stages. At the Road World’s at Richmond in the USA, Michael following up OGE’s fourth place in the TTT with a very solid personal performance in the ITT.
With the impending Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Michael returned to his Track roots and collected his sixth Rainbow Jersey when he lead the young Australian TP squad to victory at the London World Championships. Juggling his road and track commitments, he also lined up for his third Giro d’Italia where he helped OGE teammate Esteban Chaves to overall 2nd place.