December 2/02 8:22 am - Canadian Cyclist of the Year Award Winners
Posted by Editor on 12/2/02
Canadian Cyclist of the Year Awards
We are pleased to announce the winners of the fifth annual Canadian Cyclist of the Year Awards. After thousands of votes, the winners are...
Canadian Cyclist of the Year - Male: Roland Green
Roland has become the first rider to three-peat in the CC Awards, having now won in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Capturing 57% of the votes cast, Roland was far ahead of challengers Ryder Hesjedal (15%) and Charles Dionne (14%).
While his season may have culminated with a successful defence of his world titles in the cross-country and team relay, Roland was a dominant and consistent force through the year, winning the first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal in mountain biking, and sweeping the Norba long track series.
Big thanks to everyone who voted for me. It always means a lot to be recognized amongst your countrymen, peers and friends.I always try my best, but even harder when I have the maple leaf on my back. Looking forward to Hamilton.
Canadian Cyclist of the Year - Female: Clara Hughes
Clara returned to cycling after winning a bronze medal in speedskating at the Salt Lake Olympics early in the year. Surprising even herself, she won the Commonwealth Games Road Trials at the Tour of Greater Montreal. She followed this up by winning a national track title, and then headed off to Manchester for the Commonwealth Games. Clara completed her cycling comeback in Manchester by taking the gold medal in the individual time trial, and a bronze medal on the track in the points race.
Hughes led throughout the voting, but former CC Awards winner Alison Sydor (2000) gained rapidly in the final 48 hours, finishing with 31% of votes cast, to Hughes' 35%. Last year's winner Lyne Bessette finished third with 24% of the ballots.
Thanks that is great news, I did not know I was nominated for this! When it is winter I forget I am a cyclist, and summer I lose touch completely with the speed skating world. I feel really fortunate to do both, and am really motivated for this skating season as well as the World Championships in Hamilton next year. The course goes almost right by my old neighborhood! So thanks to everyone who voted for me- it is an honor. With so many amazing female cyclists in Canada it is a pleasant surprise to receive this award.
Canadian Cyclist of the Year - Individual Performance: Charles Dionne
The race for the Individual Performance award was almost too close to call, with Dionne prevailing over Roland Green by a mere 7 votes! Dionne won for his electrifying win before half a million spectators at the San Francisco Grand Prix, beating Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in a breakaway sprint. Green was recognized for his second consecutive world title, won under the most horrendous conditions imaginable, while Mark Walters took third place in voting for his sprint victory in the US Pro Championship.
Canadian Cyclist of the Year - Readers Choice: Dustin Adams
This new award came about partially because of the write-in campaign to get our winner on the ballot for the CC Awards! When we did launch the Readers Choice Award, over 30 different names were submitted, but the overwhelming favourite was downhiller Dustin Adams, who had a breakthrough year in 2002, finishing 4th at the Telluride World Cup (the first Canadian to make the DH World Cup podium in quite a few years), and third overall in the Norba DH standings. He was also the top North American man at the World championships, and repeated as national champion. Dustin's name appeared on 60% of the ballots, with national road champion Andrew Randell second (7%) and national cyclo-cross champion Roddi Lega third (5.5%).
I would just like to thank Canadian Cyclist for being so open and creating an award where anyone who rides a bicycle can be nominated. I would also like to thank everyone who supported me throughout the year, it was a great season for me and I couldn't have done it without out all my sponsors and supporters as well as my lovely coach Nelly Dever. Last but not least I must thank the person who goes by the name "Redline" for creating some great controversy and making this all happen, Cheers dude!
Thanks again to everybody! I look forward to representing Canada in future Downhill competitions!
Canadian Cyclist of the Year - Roger Sumner Award: Max Plaxton
Two years ago, we renamed our Best Newcomer Award the "Roger Sumner Award", in memory of Dr Roger Sumner, a tireless supporter of cycling, who was tragically killed while riding his bike on December 10, 2000. Roger was particularly dedicated to finding and encouraging new riders. This award is presented on the occasions when we feel there is a suitable candidate (no award was presented in 2001).
Max is a Canadian junior who took up cycling while living in Spain with his family. After moving back to Canada in late June, he finished second at the Mont Ste Anne Junior World Cup Challenge, won the same event at Grouse, won the national junior cross-country title and was a member of the world champion team relay squad! He was in the medal hunt at the Worlds in the cross-country until a flat tire put him out of the race. He finished off the season with a second place in Santiago, Chile, at the Pan American Mountain Bike Championships.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the voting. The depth of talent in Canadian cycling is such that everyone who was nominated deserves our recognition and congratulations.