Posted by Editor on 01/3/10
While we selected our Canadian Cyclist of the Year (and Decade) last month, we did not announce the winner of the Roger Sumner Award for the Best Newcomer of the year. The Roger Sumner Award is named after Dr Roger Sumner, who passed away in December of 2000 after being struck by a car while riding his bike.
Roger Sumner was highly involved in the development of cycling in Canada. He was a founding member of the first B.C. Bicycling Association, now known as Cycling B.C. He worked as a dedicated volunteer for many years, sitting on the Boards of the Provincial and the National Associations. He also contributed to many committees through the years, and realized one of his long time dreams when he became a national champion (Masters Road) in 1996.
An admired coach and respected competitor, Roger participated in numerous competitions as a true ambassador to cycling. Roger was particularly involved in encouraging the development of new riders. He was a mentor for many great Canadian cyclists, including Jocelyn Lovell, Alex Stieda, Sara Neil, Ron Hayman and Brian Walton.
For 2009, Canadian Cyclist has chosen the Canadian National Track Team as the winner of the Roger Sumner Award for the Best Newcomer. While Canada has certainly had track riders for many, many years (including numerous Olympic and world championship medal winners), it has not really had what could seriously be considered a team.
This past year has seen multiple world championship and World Cup medal performances in both individual and team events. In one year, the Canadian national track programme has gone from being a disparate group of athletes who come together for international events, to a functioning team that has a clear direction, goals and vastly improved morale.
We congratulate the athletes and staff of the National track team, and the Canadian Cycling Association for fostering the development of this programme.
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