Geraint Thomas with another trophy from a memorable year.

Geraint Thomas Leads The Way As Welsh Cycling’s Outstanding Achiever

Geraint Thomas has capped the most memorable year of his career by being honoured with a new award at Welsh Cycling’s annual celebration.

The Tour de France winner was named the first recipient of the organisation’s Outstanding Achievement category at the 2018 Litelok Welsh Cycling Awards on Saturday night.

Thomas, who is currently in the USA and was unable to attend the ceremony at Cardiff’s Mercure Hotel, became the first Welshman to win the tour this summer, sparking a wave of national pride and celebration.

The Team Sky rider won two mountain stages at the tour in July before storming to victory in succession to teammate Chris Froome.

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He was then given a hero’s homecoming event in Cardiff, before spending much of the rest of the summer rubbing shoulders – at their request – with the likes of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Arsene Wenger.

There has only been one slight blot on the landscape. Earlier this month, Thomas’s Tour de France trophy was stolen from The Cycle Show in Birmingham.

But that aside, it was has been a torrent of good news and worldwide publicity for the rider who began it all with Maindy Flyers, after arguably the greatest single accomplishment in Welsh sporting history. So, it was hardly surprising his own national governing body felt moved to mark the year with an inaugural award.

 

The 32-year-old – who signed a new contract with Team Sky in September – accepted the award in a pre-recorded link and said: “It’s a massive honour to be presented with the Litelok Outstanding Achievement Award.

“I just want to say a quick congratulations to everyone else who has won an award and been nominated tonight.”

Elinor Barker also went head-to-head with talented riders Jon Mould and Stevie Williams to win the Elite Performer of the Year Award for her consistent performances and gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year.

Barker – whose sister Megan won a silver medal at the weekend at the Tissot UCI Track World Cup series – was unable to attend as she is preparing for round two of the World Cup series in Canada next week.

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Her father Graham received the award on her behalf and she said: “I’m really happy and honoured to accept the award and glad my dad could make it to pick the award up!”

The Lifetime Contribution to Cycling in Wales Award was given to John Richards of Blaenau Gwent CC, a man acknowledged as the visionary for the Junior Tour of Wales, a Welsh event that has seen many riders go on to the professional arena.

Richard Hopkins, current Junior Tour of Wales organiser, invited every Junior Tour of Wales rider in the room onto the stage to celebrate John’s win – and over 17 riders including, Jon Mould and Stevie Williams, took to the stage.

The Awards Winners of the evening were:

Sweetspot Volunteer of the Year 2018

Jo Phillips, Maindy Flyers

Runners up

Ian Fennel, Welsh Cycling Downhill Commissaire

Steve Gabriel, Cardiff Social Cycling

Frog Bikes Coach of the Year 2018

Michael Tarling, West Wales Cycle Racing Team

Runners up

Zoe Briffett, Whitchurch Cycling Club

Hayden Jones, Wrexham Road Club

Capitol Skoda Newport Club Cyclist of the Year 2018

Richard Smith, Action Bikes

Runners up

Kristian Bond, Ystwyth Cycling Club

Sacha Baber, Bike Doctor

HSBC Go Ride Club of the Year 2018

Whitchurch Cycling Club

Runners Up

Gower Riders

Hafren Cycling Club

West Wales Cycle Racing Team

Primal Club of the Year 2018

Bike Doctor

Runners Up

Whitchurch Cycling Club

Caerphilly Cycling Club

Ystwyth Cycling Club

Colin Thornton Memorial Junior Performance of the Year 2018

Joe Beckingsale, Abergavenny Road Club

Runners Up

Imogen Morris, Gower Riders

Zoe Backstedt, Maindy Flyers

SD Sealants Elite Performance of the Year 2018

Elinor Barker, Wiggle High 5

Runners Up

Stevie Williams, SEG Racing

Jon Mould, JLT Condor

Kilsby Williams Lifetime Contribution to Cycling in Wales Award 2018

John Richards, CC Blaenau Gwent

Runners Up

Jason Carpenter, Ramp World

Andrew Barnwell, Clwb Beicio Mynydd Dyffryn Conwy

Litelok Outstanding Achievement Awards 2018

Geraint Thomas MBE Team Sky

As well as the presentation to outstanding winners on the night, Welsh Cycling held an auction to celebrate Geraint Thomas’s success.

A Geraint Thomas-signed and framed yellow jersey was auctioned with a certificate of authentication along with a Litelok and a Frog Bike signed by Geraint.

Just under £3000 was raised for a new Welsh Cycling Trust that is being developed to support riders who may be restricted due to financial or social circumstances.

 

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