We thought it best to sign off 2016 with our Awards for the year. We’ve taken everything from moment of the year to best young rider, king of the mountains to – of course- our rider of the year accolades. Part 1 sees us take on moment of the year, team of the year and our best young rider.
Moment of the Year – team sprint silver
It seemed inevitable that the Olympics would feature somewhere in our RoadCycling awards, and unsurprisingly Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins were always going to be front and centre of memories there. They were outstanding, Olympic record breakers, and every bit champions; pipped at the post by the Great British team. The final between them was brilliant, but that’s not our moment of the year.
That came in the post-race interview where our Kiwi trio were thrust in front of the microphones and faced with the task of reflecting on their performances. One by one they expressed their absolute heart felt pride to be riding with the other two members in their team, but it was the words of Sam Webster that stay in the mind, “We’ve won the silver medal. We didn’t get gold but we’ve won this,” he said. Quintessential professionals.
Team of the Year – Mike Greer Homes Womens Cycling
2016 has been a great year for domestic cycling. There has been so much forward momentum by so many teams budding young and thriving talent. Team Skoda Racing and Mike Greer Homes have been at the forefront of this, with their influence on the New Zealand cycling scene not dissimilar to the way Avanti IsoWhey Sports have operated in years gone by across the ditch. They have championed young development so well between them, with the results speaking for themselves.
This year’s team of the year goes to Mike Greer Homes Womens Cycling. They have championed young and emerging cycling talent this year, but it’s the way that they have sent a number of riders on to the next stage that got us. Amanda Jamieson will spend next year racing for the Maaslander Veris CCN Team, and will be joined by Sophie Pulford in 2017. Michaela Drummond too will be heading abroad to ride for the Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling team. The temptation with such talented riders would be to try and keep hold of them, but MGH have raised them up and sent them out to new horizons. Far from weakening them though, the team have brought on a strong contingent in their stead. Watch out for this team to further establish themselves as champions of NZ’s women’s development scene.
Best young rider – Hamish Schreurs
At the end of the 2016 season Hamish Schreurs became one of a handful of riders to sign up for a top flight professional contract. Joining the Israel Cycling Academy was a move that came at the end of what can only rightly be described as a quite brilliant 2016 season. He was one of our 20 Kiwi moments that made 2016 and with good reason. He very nearly won Paris-Roubaix espoirs, one of our enduring memories of the year; while he won the Carpathian Couriers race.
All this as part of a massively talented Klein Constantia team. The trouble with there being so many talented riders in the same team is the ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ thing. But at Klein Constantia it seemed to work. Schreurs took three of the 17 victories that went the team’s way – there were seven of the team taking wins between them – as well as being crowned U23 National Road Race champion yet again. Only injury interrupted his season, forcing it to end prematurely, and be absent from the New Zealand squad tackling the UCI World Road Championships. We look forward to what 2017 brings for the youngster as he steps into ProContinental ranks for the first time!
Coming up: King of the Mountains, Coach of the Year, Rider of the Year, People’s Choice Awards