Posted by Editor on 12/7/98
11th Annual VeloNews Awards Announced
North America's most prestigious cycling awards (we'll let them think that... ed.) were announced today by the editors of VeloNews: The Journal of Competitive Cycling. The top title, International Cyclist of the Year, was awarded to Italian Marco Pantani. Texan Lance Armstrong was named North American Male Cyclist of the Year, and Canadian Linda Jackson earned the North American Female Cyclist of the Year. Technical Development of the Year went to the Nokian Gazzaloddi 3.0 tire. These awards, plus more than 50 others, are published in the December 7 edition of VeloNews.
INTERNATIONAL CYCLIST OF THE YEAR: Marco Pantani (Italy)
When Marco Pantani was lying in agony halfway down a hill near Turin after a head-on collision with a Jeep three years ago, it seemed that his cycling career was ended. But the then 25-year-old Italian decided otherwise. He went through months of rehabilitation. This year, Pantani set his sights on the Giro d'Italia, and came through in the third week with brilliant attacks in the mountains to clinch the overall victory. A month later, at the Tour de France, Pantani again came from behind and crowned his superb season by demolishing defending champion Jan Ullrich in the Alps.
Finalists: Anne-Caroline Chausson (France), Nicholas Vouilloz (France).
NORTH AMERICAN MALE CYCLIST OF THE YEAR: Lance Armstrong (Austin. TX)
When Lance Armstrong quit the Paris-Nice stage race in March, a month after returning to cycling following his successful battle with cancer, he thought it would be the last race of his career. Armstrong just forgot one thing: who he is. After another break from racing to collect his thoughts, Armstrong came back as only he could with victories at the Tour of Luxembourg, Germany's Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt and America's Cascade Classic. Then came a string of high-profile fourth place finishes, at the Vuelta a EspaÃƒÂ±a and world road championships. Armstrong wins this award by a narrow marging over Bobby Julich. who also had a sensational year -- highlit by his third place at the Tour de France.
Finalists: Bobby Julich (Philadelphis. PA), Brian Lopes (Mission Viejo).
NORTH AMERICAN FEMALE CYCLIST OF THE YEAR: Linda Jackson (Nepean, ONT)
As she turns 40 this year, it is difficult to imagine that Canadian Linda Jackson has just completed only her fifth year in this sport. For most of her brief career, Jackson has been a factor in almost every race she has contested, especially this year when she won the Hewlett-Packard Women's Challenge and Killington Stage Race in America, and placed second in the Giro d'Italia Femminile.
Finalists: Dede Demet (Boulder, CO); Alison Sydor (North Vancouver, BC).
TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE YEAR: Nokian Gazzaloddi 3.0 tire (Finland)
This year, it was the Nokian Gazzaloddi 3.0 tire that upped the ante on the downhill circuit. So, what is the advantage of a tire 50-percent larger than the average mountain-bike tire? The sheer air volume between rim and ground greatly reduces the risk of a pinch flat, as does the wider profile, which offers increased traction and the ability to run lower air pressure. Also, this product is available to the public, not something only available to pro racers.
Finalist: ADA wheels in cyclo-cross (Netherlands)
Time is running out to vote for the Canadian Cyclist of the Year awards ("The most prestigious cycling awards in Canada..."). Right now, it appears that the Roadies will take a clean sweep of the four categories, based on current vote standings. To place your vote, go Here. Voting closes in less than 72 hours (Noon EST, Thursday, December 10th).
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