Date: Saturday, 07 January 2012
Posted by: Cycling Southland

 

Keen-eyed readers will see the list of winners from last night's New Zealand track and road cycling awards bears little resemblance to the list I came up with earlier in the week writes The Southland Times' Nathan Burdon.

I picked two from five – not a ringing endorsement for someone who has aspirations of covering cycling at this year's Olympics – but in my own defence this year's gongs weren't that easy to pick.

My list earned a wry smile from New Zealand track head coach Tim Carswell, one of the award judges, at the Invercargill velodrome earlier in the week.

As a judge in the Southland sports awards I've been in a similar position of having to compare that orange with this apple.

It's a thankless task. Although sometimes, if you are lucky, something will give you a "thanks for nothing".

This year's winners are all worthy, no question about it, and it's a testament to the depth in New Zealand cycling that the men's road award was contested by stage winners on the World Tour and the men's track award was a toss-up between two riders who had won silver medals at the world championships.

Emerging talent winner James Oram's time trial silver was another great feat, but I can't get past the three medals Southland-based sprinter Steph McKenzie won at the junior world track championships last year.

Never mind.

Gordon McCauley's cult status in New Zealand cycling and the green jersey at the Tour of Southland wasn't enough to get him the People's Choice award, with Julian Dean a deserving winner.

I wonder if most New Zealanders realise just what Dean has achieved throughout his career.

He may end up not getting the full credit he deserves because most of his best work has happened in an opposing time zone and in a sport which doesn't involve an oval ball – a little like Wynton Rufer.

The big question, however, will be whether McCauley – who is on the countdown to his debut at Ironman New Zealand will still answer his phone as "the People's Champion".

Article courtesy of The Southland Times

 

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