Special Cycling News for December 6, 2003
Michael Rogers is Australia's top rider for 2003
By Karen Forman in Sydney
Canberra rider Michael Rogers is the Australian Cyclist of the Year for 2003. The 23 year old was awarded the Sir Hubert Opperman Medal after being named the 2003 BMC Software Australian Cyclist of the Year during the awards ceremony at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome on Saturday night. Rogers, who rides for the Quick.Step-Davitamon professional team, was also named the Ride Cycling Review Men's Road Cyclist of the Year.
On the podium in front of a highly supportive crowd at the gala presentation dinner, Rogers, who this year became the first Australian to claim a medal in the elite men's road time trial with silver at the World Championships in Hamilton, Canada; claimed overall honours in the Tours of Belgium and Germany and in the French Route du Sud; won the individual time trial stages of both the French and German events; claimed the points jersey of the Route du Sud and finished his debut Tour de France as the highest placed Australian in 42nd overall, was modest and gracious.
"What can I say but thanks," he said. "It has been a fantastic year, not only for me but for Australian cycling. For Australian cycling in general. There have been some great people behind the scenes who should have a piece of this medal, too. I wish I could chop it up into a thousand pieces and share it all around."
Rogers paid tribute to his family, coach Shane Bannan "who has been on the receiving end of a lot of phone calls", coach Brian Stevens, Dave Martin "and a lot of people who have given their time."
The young rider, who is now setting his sights on the Athens Olympics, won the top award after being named the Ride Cycling Review Male Road Cyclist of the year.
Rogers said his first Tour de France "was a very stressful couple of weeks. I hear all the stories among the other riders in the team and then when you get there, it's like a city, a 12km stretch of people and stuff. Even in the morning my ears were still ringing (from the sounds of the crowd)."
Rogers was up against stiff competition for Australian cycling's top prize. His fellow finalists in the men's road cyclist of the year category included Victorian Baden Cooke in recognition of his first overall sprinter's green jersey classification in the Tour de France, his win in stage three (also two seconds and one third in the TdF, stage nine win in the Tour of Switzerland and stage one and four wins in the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under; and NSW rider Bradley McGee in recognition of his TdF Prologue win, spending three days in the leader's yellow jersey TdF and stage eight win in the Tour of Switzerland time trial.
The Cyclingnews.com Male Track Cyclist of the Year category was won by South Australian Luke Roberts for his team pursuit world championships win, world record team pursuit, second in the individual pursuit world championship, and his individual pursuit win in round three of the Track World Cup. He said the teams pursuit result had been outstanding but the individual pursuit result had been awesome as well.
"Getting the gold medal was our first priority but getting a world record was at the back of our minds," he said. "By Athens we could be pushing .55 even."
Finalists included Jobie Dajka of South Australia in recognition of his second place in the keirin world championship, second in the sprint world championships second, and overall victory in the 2003 International Keirin Series (Japan). Shane Kelly of Victoria was considered for his 1km time trial world championship victory, his fastest time ever by an Australian at sea level and his 1km time trial win at the Sydney Track World Cup.
Katie Mactier of Victoria won the Cyclingnews.com Female Track Cyclist of the Year Award for her individual pursuit world championship win in the fastest time ever by an Australian, her individual pursuit Oceania and Australian Championships win, and her second place in the UCI Women's Road World Cup in Geelong.
Finalists in this category included New South Wales rider Rochelle Gilmore for her second in the scratch race world championships, her win in the team sprint at the Sydney Track World Cup and her scratch and points race win at the Australian championships; and Anna Meares of Queensland for her keirin world championship second and her wins in the keirin, flying 200m, 500m time trial and team sprint at the Australian championship. Referring to the American visa delay which allowed her to race at the Australian track championships - and win - while she was waiting to join Saturn in the US, Mactier said she had had "a fairytale year". "It was an extraordinary turn of events, looking back on it, which can only be great," she said.
The Ride Cycling Review Female Road Cyclist of the Year was Sara Carrigan of Queensland for her Australian road time trial championship, her fourth overall in the UCI Women's Road World Cup Series and her win in the UCI Women's Road World Cup at Geelong.
Carrigan paid tribute to the World Cup race at Geelong, saying it was "a good race and it was great that the Women's World Cup could be held in Australia - that's really important."
Finalists were Olivia Gollan of NSW for her Australian Road Race Championship, her second at the Australian Road Time Trial Championships, wins in the overall and first stage categories of the Geelong Tour, overall and stage Trophée d'Or Féminine, France and overall in the Tour de Berne, Switzerland along with a number of minor placings internationally and within Australia.
The Male MTB Cyclist of the Year was Nathan Rennie of NSW for his overall win at the UCI MTB DH World Cup Series, sixth in the UCI MTB DH Rankings and a win, a second and two thirds in the MTB DH World Cup Series. Finalists in this category included Mick Hannah of Queensland.
The Female MTB Cyclist of the Year award was won by Katrina Miller of NSW for her overall win in the UCI MTB 4X World Cup Series, three wins and a second in the UCI MTB 4X World Cup Series and win in the UCI MTB 4X rankings. Finalists included Mary Grigson of the ACT and Tai Lee Muxlow of NSW.
The Disability Cyclist of the Year was Christopher Scott of Queensland for his four gold medals at the EPC Open European Championships in the 1km time trial; 3000m pursuit; team sprint and road time trial.
"It was a really special moment because one of the guys hadn't won a medal before," he said.
The current world record holder of the 1km Time Trial and 3000m Pursuit, he also won three gold medals at the Australian Championships in the 1km Time Trial; 3000m Pursuit and Flying 200m.Finalists in this category included Lindy Hou of NSW with pilots Toireasa Ryan and Janelle Lindsay and Janet Shaw of Western Australia and pilot Leeanne Manderson of Western Australia.
A special presentation was also made to Australia's teams pursuit riders who this year set a world record to win the gold medal for the second year running at the Track Cycling World Championships.
Other results from the night included:
SBS Television Cycling Coach of the Year: Ian McKenzie
Female Masters Cyclist of the Year: Kerrie Crisp
Male Masters Cyclist of the Year: Ron Boyle
Female BMX Cyclist of the Year: Tanya Bailey
Male BMX Cyclist of the Year: Wade Bootes
Bankstown Sports Club Junior Men's and Women's Cyclist of the Year (2200):
Female Road - Kate Nichols
Cycling Australia Event Merit Award: The Grafton to Inverell Classic
Ausport Volunteer Awards (2120):
ACT - Colleen Meadley
UCI Volunteer Awards (2120):
Nino Solari (SA)
Photographer - Mark Gunter
Past winners of The Sir Hubert Opperman Trophy/Australian Cyclist of the Year:
2003 Michael Rogers 2002 Robbie McEwen 2001 Stuart O'Grady 2000 Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory 1999 Anna Wilson 1998 Stuart O'Grady 1997 Henk Vogels 1996 Shane Kelly 1995 Darryn Hill 1994 Rod Evans 1993 Brad McGee 1992 Shane Kelly 1991 Darren Hill 1990 Rod Evans 1989 Martin Vinnicombe 1988 Barry Burns 1987 Neil Stephens 1986 Michael Lynch 1985 Laurie Venn 1984 Peter Besanko 1983 Garry Trowell 1982 Steele Bishop 1981 Peter Besanko 1980 Laurie Venn 1979 Peter Besanko 1978 Malcolm Hill 1977 Shane Bartley 1976 David Allan 1975 John Nicholson 1974 Laurie Venn 1973 Graham McVilly 1972 Graham Gilmore 1971 Graham McVilly 1970 Gordon Johnson 1969 Keith Oliver 1968 Ken Evans 1967 Bob Whetters 1966 Barry Waddell 1965 Ray Bilney 1964 Barry Waddell 1963 Ron Grenda 1962 Sid Patterson 1961 Alan Grindal 1960 Peter Panton 1959 John Green 1958 Russell Mockeridge
Images by John Veage
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