Posted by Editor on 12/23/08
Svein Tuft & Catharine Pendrel Picked as Canadian Cyclists of 2008
Svein Tuft of Langley, BC and Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops, BC were chosen by thousands of cycling enthusiasts as the top Male and Female Canadian cyclists for 2008 after one week of voting on CanadianCyclist.com. Now in their 12th year, the Canadian Cyclist of the Year Awards are recognized as the premier cycling awards in Canada.
Pendrel, who finished second in the season-long World Cup of mountain bike racing and was fourth at the Olympic Games in the Cross-country, finished marginally ahead of defending award winner Marie-Helene Premont of Chateau Richer, QC. Premont, who won the World Cup overall title, took a higher percentage of first place votes, but Pendrel's stronger ranking in second and third place voting gave the New Brunswick born rider her first title. National road champion Alexandra Wrubleski of Regina, SK finished third.
Pendrel, reached at her home, commented: "It feels greated to be voted Female Rider of the Year for 2008. It was a big year [for Canadian women], with a lot of great performances by women on the road, track and dirt. This was definitely my best season yet. I'm looking forward to another great season in 2009 with my Luna professional team."
Tuft, the defending men's award winner, took more first place votes than his four competitors combined, after a stellar season that saw him win the silver medal in the Time Trial at the Road World Championships, and finish seventh in the same event at the Olympic Games. Tuft was subsequently signed to the U.S.-based Garmin-Chipotle professional team, and is scheduled to ride the Tour de France in 2009. Canadian national mountain bike champion Geoff Kabush of Courtenay, BC was distant second, with Tour de France competitor Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria third.
Tuft and Pendrel each took further honours in the Best Individual Performance category, with Tuft's silver medal at the Road World Championships selected by voters as the top ride of 2008. Pendrel's fourth place finish at the Olympic Games finished second, and Tuft's Olympic seventh place was third. Due to the large number of strong Canadian performances in 2008, this year Canadian Cyclist is selecting three Canadian Cyclist Individual Performance Awards.
Canadian Cyclist also selects a winner each year for the Roger Sumner Award, for the Best Newcomer to the sport. For 2008 we have selected Canada's newest track star - Tara Whitten of Calgary, AB, who took four medals (one silver and three bronze) in World Cup competition this season.
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