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Oliveira and Rowse top of the pile

Riding high: top junior riders were recognised during the BBA’s awards presentation. From left, Peter Dunne, the BBA president, Alyssa Rowse, the female rider of the year Matthew Oliviera, the male rider of the year, Kaden Hopkins, the junior rider of the year, Fiona Miller, the racing committee chairwoman, and Ziani Burgesson, the most improved junior

Matthew Oliveira and Alyssa Rowse were crowned the Male and Female Riders of the Year as the Bermuda Bicycle Association recognised both competitors and officials during its awards presentation for the season.

The feature of the evening was the announcement of eight major awards for both service and achievement, with Terry Trott named the Race Official of the Year, Dave Collins the Race Organiser of the Year and Charles Thresh the Club Person of the Year.

Top rider awards went to up-and-coming riders Oliveira and Rowse who took home the top awards while Kaden Hopkins was the Junior Rider of the Year and Rose-Anna Hoey the Most Improved Adult Rider.

“Matt is our Male Rider of the Year for his amazing local season in 2016,” said Peter Dunne, the BBA president. “He won six of the ten road race series events and was on the podium for two others. His aggressive race style has him always looking to be in the break and making it stick.

“In addition to the series events Matt won his first Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race title, scooped the junior TT title, and was third in the road race championships. Unfortunately illness kept him from the Caribbean Championships where we are sure he would have turned in more impressive riding.”

Rowse, another teenager, also had an outstanding year on the bike and was presented with the female award.

“Without a doubt Alyssa has been the top-performing female cyclist in 2017,” Dunne said. “Pick a race that she enters and you will find that she fights all the way to the end, regardless of the competition.

“Alyssa finished second in the road race series in B this year, won the junior titles in time-trial and road race, was top female in Presidents Cup, and won the time-trial title for junior females in the Caribbean Cycling Championships in St Lucia.

“She capped the season with a fantastic performance in the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont, finishing second on GC, second in the criterium, second in the sprinter competition and second in the climbing competition. This was a great year for Alyssa and we look forward to many more in the future.”

Hopkins took the junior rider award after an outstanding season. “There are so many juniors who are achieving great things on the bike at the moment but we have chosen Kaden Hopkins as the award recipient this year,” Dunne said.

“Kaden won the road race championship title, was second in the time-trial championship, first junior male in the Presidents Cup, third in the road race series A category standings and, to cap the season, claimed the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships time-trial title in the 15-16 age group. For these results and a great attitude towards his sport we are pleased to present this Junior Rider of the Year Award to Kaden.”

Hoey, more known for her accomplishments as a distance runner, showed she has a knack for cycle racing, too, after an outstanding year on the bike.

“In a prior life Rose-Anna was know as a top road runner in Bermuda and we are pleased to see that she has made a quick progression in road cycling in 2016,” Dunne said. “She began racing in the spring as part of the novice women category and continued right through the summer and into the second half of the road season, quickly amassing enough series points to finish second overall in the women’s category.

“We look forward to her continued progress and a very competitive 2017 for Rose-Anna.”

Most improved junior rider was Ziani Burgesson, a “quiet force to be reckoned with” in the C category, said Dunne. “Though he only just turned 14, Ziani appeared on the C podium five times in 2016 and finished the season by winning the final race.”

Trott, Collins and Thresh were the unsung heroes of bicycle racing, volunteering their time on every race day. “Sometimes they are called even worse things,” Dunne joked. “But Terry brings a calm and logical sense to what can be a tough role.

“Dave [Collins] is being recognised for bringing cyclocross racing to Bermuda and developing new and exciting mountain biking championship courses. In both of these areas Dave has not only contributed new ideas but been willing to roll up his sleeves and chop things down.”

Thresh was recognised for his work as an official and was named as Club Person of the Year. “Charlie has been organising the race officiating for the last several years, working to convert racers into deep-thinking analysts of local competition, not a small task,” Dunne said.

“His work has greatly enhanced the racing experience for all, even those who fall afoul of the competition regulations. Charlie is stepping down from this position but has left us with a well-organised and educated cadre of officials.”