News – 2014 Welsh Cycling Awards


World Champion Manon Carpenter and Commonwealth Champion Geraint Thomas MBE were honoured at the 2014 Welsh Cycling Awards in Cardiff on Saturday

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News – 2014 Welsh Cycling Awards

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Manon Carpenter, Caerphilly, was awarded Elite Cyclist of the Year, sponsored by event supporting partner Griffin Mill, for her consistent high performance in the 2014 season. Carpenter won the UCI World Cup Mountain Bike Downhill Series, as well as the British National Downhill Series before being crowned World Champion in September.

Elite Cyclist of the Year Manon Carpenter

Photo: Huw Fairclough

“It’s really amazing, I was really nervous as I was against such tough competition and it is really nice to see Mountain Biking get recognised. Winning the world champions was a highlight of the year for me, I was happy with my performance that day, and it was a really close race. I’m looking forward to changing a few things over the winter and making some improvements, and really excited for next year!”

Cardiff’s Geraint Thomas was honoured with Outstanding Performance of the Year, sponsored by S & D Sealants, for providing Wales with its final gold medal performance at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Geraint stormed to victory in the road race, adding to his bronze medal in the time trial, and taking the cycling medal tally to five led to Welsh Cycling’s best ever performance at a Commonwealth Games.

The Lifetime Contribution to Cycling in Wales, sponsored by USN was awarded to Tudor Thomas of Bynea Cycling Club, Carmarthenshire. Tudor has given over fifty years of dedication to cycling including racing, event organising, marshalling, judging and commissairing.

“It’s tremendous to be awarded this tonight. I have put a lot of work into cycling, but I have enjoyed it over the years. As a competitor myself, it has been good. Even before the competing starts, as long as you enjoy cycling, that should come first, you will love cycling.”

2014 saw over 300 cycling events take place in Wales, all organised by volunteers who love the sport. Event Organiser of the Year was awarded to Bill Owen, for the British Road and Time Trial Championships which saw world and Olympic champions compete on the Monmouthshire roads. Simon Paton, British Downhill Series and Jo Phillips, Maindy Flyers British National Youth Circuit Series were both runners up.

Brenda Owen, Bill’s wife, collected the award on his behalf: “It’s very hard organising the festivals, and this year with the Championships we had four races over four days that was exceptional. But we got through it, and it was a great weekend, and I’m very pleased to collect this award again this year!”

Club Cyclist of the Year, sponsored by Cwmtillery Glass, was awarded to Graham Edwards, Abergavenny Road Club, who beat off competition from Richard Harris, Cwmcarn Paragon and Seb Frost, Team Skene. Graham helped Abergavenny RC develop its cyclo cross programme of activities, a great way for youngsters to get into cycle sport.

“It’s such a privilege and an honour to get this award, for doing something that I love. Bringing the National Trophy and British Cyclo Cross Championships to Abergavenny was to inspire another generation to get into cycling, and we achieved that as Becky James’ first race was a cyclo cross event at Abergavenny, and you can see where she has got to now. It’s just a pleasure to get an award for doing something I love so much.”

Abergavenny Road Club also won Club of the Year, for the second year in a row. The club has grown more since 2013 and claim 2014 has been their best year ever. Club Chairman, Owen Davies said: “This year was better than last year. Our club is going from strength to strength, and our membership has rocketed to over 260 people and we have members of our club who are world champions and represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games. This inspires our younger members, where there’s between 50 and 90 turning up on Saturday mornings at Abergavenny Leisure Centre. With a small town of just 10,000 people, it’s amazing to see how many people enjoy cycling. We are really pleased and chuffed to win again!”

Julia Allen from VC Melyd was presented with Coach of the Year, with Garrie Tillett and Stuart Meek, both Cardiff JIF runners up in the category. Julie has inspired more women to get involved in cycling through her coaching sessions, and has helped the club membership grow over the last twelve months.

“I was really shocked, as I have only been coaching since April, and when you see and hear what other coaches do it is awe inspiring. I’m really pleased on behalf of VC Melyd. It’s great to see the impact coaching has on other people’s lives. The ladies that have come through have been so nervous, but within six months they are out doing big rides and training and getting fit. It’s great to see the positive changes in their lives.”

Liz Slater was honoured for her commitment to officiating and volunteering with Services to Commissairing. A dedicated cyclo cross organiser, the Welsh Cyclo Cross League now in it’s tenth year, and a commissaire in road, mountain bike and cyclo cross there is rarely a weekend Liz is not involved in on event or another. Gary Lock, Cardiff Ajax, and Emma Tilston, Fibrax Wrexham Road Club, were both runners up in this category.

“It’s fantastic! I’m very grateful to those who nominated me and very proud to win this award. And to be presented by one of commissaire mentors, Colin Docker, it is even better. And I’m looking forward to commissiaring tomorrow at the Carmarthen Cross event!”

Manon Lloyd won the The Colin Thornton Memorial for Welsh Junior Performance. The Carmarthen cyclist achieved two European titles on the track this summer, and will race for Welsh Cycling’s Team USN this winter. “I wasn’t really expecting it; it was a bit of a shock! But I’m really happy. My junior career has been great, especially winning two gold medals at the Europeans and getting to ride with Team USN in Mexico earlier this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what my next season as senior rider has to offer!”

Commonwealth bronze medallist Matt Ellis won Paracylist of the Year, with Lauren Booth, Newport Velo Youth Cycling and Rhiannon Henry, Abergavenny Road Club runners up. Ellis won bronze at the Commonwealth Games, with tandem pilot Ieuan Williams who collected his award on the night.

“After training for two and a half tears with Matt and getting a bronze at the Commonwealth Games it really shows the effort we put in has been acknowledged and Matt has put a tremendous amount of effort in for a very long time, and he very much deserves the award.”

Unsung Hero of Cycling saw some strong entries from across Wales in many different aspects of the sport. Jason Carpenter, of Dragon Downhill and John Wheat of Newport Social Cycling Group were runners up in this category, with the Maindy Mums of Maindy Flyers Youth Cycling Club taking the award on the night.

The winners:
Services to Commissairing
Liz Slater, Dambusters (Llandrindod Wells)

Event Organiser of the Year
Bill Owen, British National Road and Time Trial Championships (Abergavenny)

Club of the Year
Abergavenny Road Club (Abergavenny)

Coach of the Year
Julie Allen, VC Melyd (Wrexham)

Club Cyclist of the Year
Graham Edwards, Abergavenny Road Club (Abergavenny)

Colin Thornton Memorial for Welsh Junior Performance
Manon Lloyd, Epic Cycles Scott women’s Racing Team (Carmarthen)

Paracyclist of the Year sponsored by Kilsby and Williams
Matt Ellis, Newport Velo Youth Cycling Club (Newport)

Elite Cyclist of the Year sponsored by Griffin Mill
Manon Carpenter, Madison Saracen (Caerphilly)

Outstanding Performance of the Year sponsored by S&D Sealants
Geraint Thomas MBE, Team Sky (Cardiff)

Unsung Hero of Cycling
The Maindy Mums, Maindy Flyers (Cardiff)

Lifetime Contribution to Cycling in Wales sponsored by USN (Ultimate Sports Nutrition)
Tudor Thomas, Bynea Cycling Club (Carmarthen)

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

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