2011 Rider of the Year Awards

At the year party this past Monday hosted by Jolly Pumpkin, the 2011 Rider of the Year Awards were announced. These annual awards recognize the performances, improvement, leadership, and/or service that various members make to the club or cycling in general. The categories allow us to recognize efforts in different areas, but the awards may not be earned specifically for performances in that area. This year's award winners were:

Junior and Woman: Hana Berkooz
She traveled across the country to race probably more than any other club member with stops in Vermont, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Georgia before heading to eastern Quebec. This included top 20 performances at Junior Nationals and an invitation to race with a team from the Midwest at the Tour de Rimouski.

Masters: Rich Stark
All year long Rich showed his strength on the single speed when he wasn't flexing his muscles on the regular road bike. He started with a win Paris-Ancaster in March and Tailwind series winner--both in single speed. But his continued presence and guidance as a ride leader and mentor to many is always greatly appreciated.

Category 5: Tom Wilk
Showing the determination and persistence needed to improve as a bike racer, Tom began his first season of bike racing and went on to be the most prolific of the cat. 5 riders at races, moving up to a cat. 4 before the end of the season. We had some other excellent performances from our cat. 5 riders but none showed the racing desire all season long like Tom.

Category 4: Colin Hebert & Will Cawthorn
Both Colin and Will were solid performers all season long! It was hard to separate these two--only one place apart in cat. 4 rankings in the MBRA series, and both rode strong all year. Both were deserving of the award, and it's unlikely you'll see them in a cat. 4 race much longer.

Cyclocross: Rob Pulcipher
While you could debate which category Rob should have won this season, his big contribution to cycling in the area wasn't in question. He organized the first edition of the CXpreX clinic that introduced cyclocross to many in the Ann Arbor area this fall and helped a bunch of others polish their skills. His book, Dirt Road Washtenaw, was a big factor in drawing the Tour of Washtenaw race to our area.

Special mention: Dave Vannette
Dave left Ann Arbor for the greener pastures of California's Bay Area, but not before making some great contributions with finding sponsors and directing the Cone-Azalia Classic Road Race in 2011. Thanks much, Dave!