We’re proud to announce that Digby Brown Solicitors and Pedal Power will be supporting the Awards; Digby Brown will once again present the Club of the Year Award, whilst we welcome Pedal Power who will have the honour of handing over the Female Rider of the Year gong.
Last year Falkirk Junior Bike Club scooped the coveted Club of the Year award, and this year three fantastic clubs have been shortlisted in Cumbernauld Centurions BMX Club, Elgin CC and Galloway Hillbillies.
The Centurions continue to lead the way for BMX in Scotland, producing top quality riders, with multiple inclusive club nights for all ages each week, as well as putting on numerous events from British to Scottish regional level. Not only that, but they work hard to ensure SIMD inclusion, and have made a concerted effort to grow their coaching pool to allow the club to continue to grow.
Elgin have supported a significant growth in cycling in Morayshire, providing an offering for all types of cyclist – newcomers via thriving Breeze and Guided Ride programmes, right through to race opportunities for those so inclined. Their ‘Power of the Bike’ week also caught the judges’ eyes, helping connect the cycling community in the north with the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
Meanwhile in the South West, the Hillbillies are one of our newest and fastest growing clubs, filling a much-needed geographical gap in the cycling landscape. In 2023 they put on national series road and MTB races, and engaged with initiatives such as Accelerate & Activate and Rock Up & Ride to help support and enhance their offering to members and would be cyclists.
The award for Female Rider of the Year saw fierce competition after an excellent year of racing from riders at the elite level.
Jenny Holl was on fire with Sophie Unwin on the tandem at the UCI Cycling World Champs in August claiming five medals on the track and road, including one of the moments of the Champs with the enthralling sprint gold – one of three won on the boards of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Katie Archibald extended her incredible record of European Championship victories in February claiming her record-breaking 20th title after three excellent golds in Switzerland. On home boards in August, Archibald rode to a magnificent gold as part of the Great Britain Team Pursuit squad to claim her fifth world title.
The madison is always one of the most exciting events to watch on the velodrome, and Neah Evans showed us why in an incredible performance with Elinor Barker that came right down to the wire in Glasgow, as the duo became the first British pair for five years to claim the rainbow jersey.
It’s been an excellent year for the Scottish men on the road, track and trails with excellent performances from Glasgow to Grand Tours, and three excellent riders are shortlisted for the Male Rider of the Year.
Alongside fellow Scot and Team dsm-firmenich rider Sean Flynn, Oscar Onley became the first Scottish developed rider to start one of the three men’s Grand Tours in August at La Vuelta. As well as claiming the stage one win in the team time trial, it was the crescendo to an excellent twelve months, which included top tens at the Tours of Hungary and Poland, as well as a third place at the CRO race where the former Spokes RT rider held his own against Jonas Vingegaard.
Charlie Aldridge’s incredible ride in Glentress Forest in August saw the Crieff rider claim the U23 World Cross Country title, three years after claiming the junior world title in Italy, whilst also emerging as one to watch at Elite level, regularly to the fore in World Cup events.
Winner of this award in 2022, Fin Graham had an incredible two weeks in August claiming no fewer than six medals including an excellent victory in the Men’s C3 Road Race in Dumfries, which has also been nominated for Moment of the Year at the Scottish Sport Awards.
The Braveheart Trophy is awarded to the best Breakthrough rider, the shortlist decided by our expert panel. Such is the talent in Scotland at the moment, the panel eventually settled on a shortlist of four!
Cameron Mason was first up, with his top 10 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships in his first year in the Elite category, whilst Anna Shackley offered up a double dose of medals on the road at the World and European Championships in the U23 category. Meanwhile up at Fort William during August’s madness, Anna-Louise Ferguson produced the performance of her career to capture a phenomenal fourth place in the Elite Women’s Downhill, with 19-year-old Phoebe Gale one place back in fifth, having scored a number of World Cup top 10s throughout the season to bolster her breakthrough year.
Last week we announced the shortlists in the other five categories and with some 150 nominations it was a near impossible task to narrow each category down to just three nominees, such is the impact our Scottish Cycling community has had this year.
First up was the Volunteer of the Year award, Diane MacIver, Kenny Steele and Mandy Watson all well known for their hard work in very different areas of the sport, Diane in the participation space in the north, Kenny as a coach and serial event organiser and Mandy as one of the most respected commissaires out there.
The Recreational Cycling Award sees a fantastic range of nominees, with Beth Hart from the Borders going up against Clyde Cycle Park and Elgin Breezers – there is no doubt all three have had a huge impact on the recreational side of our sport.
Our two coaching awards also see some familiar names on show. The Talent Coach of the Year sees Archie Johnstone, Paul O’Brien and Stevie Crowther all recognised for their work in helping ensure the future of our sport is as bright, if not brighter, than it is at present.
As for the Community Coach of the Year it was almost impossible to narrow it down to three, but in the end the panel decided on Jason Barnes from Glasgow Riderz, Falkirk youngster Morgan Pitcaithly and Orkney’s Pete Bentley.
Last but by no means least is Event of the Year, which again sees a nice mix of entrants. Galloway Hillbillies get their second shortlist spot for their brand-new road race, another new event in the Scottish Schools’ MTB Championships, which took place at Comrie Croft also makes the grade, whilst the Zetland Park Pump Track Series, which engaged a new audience through pump track racing is also in contention.
We can’t wait to celebrate all of these very worthy nominees on Saturday 25th November. All that is left to be done now is to buy a ticket to the event, and join us in raising a glass to celebrate their success.