Date: Tuesday, 23 May 2017

There was success for Cycling Southland at the Cycling New Zealand awards dinner in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Tour of Southland was named the Event of the Year, Steve Canny received the Services to Cycling award, while World Championship winning men's sprint trio of Sam Webster, Ethan Mitchell and Southland's Eddie Dawkins won the prestigious Malayan Cup.

Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Tour of Southland, which is the leading multi-stage cycle event in New Zealand. 

The 2016 Tour of Southland near Springhills, with winner, in the yellow tour leader jersey, Aaron Gate in centre.

The race attracts a maximum field of 120 riders, including 35 international riders.

According to Tour director Bruce Ross, for the 60th Anniversary Tour of Southland to be awarded the event of the year for 2016 was a great honour and one that Cycling Southland was extremely proud to accept.

"The Tour of Southland is successful because of a huge team effort," he said.

Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton accepted the award on behalf of Ross, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

"It was pretty cool to be able to see Cycling Southland so well represented again and it was particularly pleasing to have the SBS Bank Tour of Southland win that award," he said.

 "An unbelievable amount of work went in to the planning and preparation for last year's race, which was the 60th anniversary, and while it's a team effort, it's really Bruce who ensures the race is so successful."

"The award is a great acknowledgment of the work he does, along with his wife Pam and family."

The 2017 Tour of Southland starts on October 29, with another strong field expected, with experienced Kiwi rider Greg Henderson set to return to New Zealand for his final race before retiring.

Canny received the Services to Cycling award in acknowledgement of his involvement with the construction of the SIT Velodrome and his service to the sport..

He is stepping down from the Cycling New Zealand Road and Track Council, which he has been involved with for about a decade, including a year-long stint as president.

"Cycling Southland is indebted to the work that Steve has undertaken for almost two decades for the club and the sport of cycling in the province," Hotton said.

"A life member of the organisation since 2006, he was an important and influential member of the executive board for 17 years, holding the president role for nine years and as such was driving force behind the construction of the SIT Velodrome, the first indoor velodrome in New Zealand, which opened in May 2006."

He was also chairman of the 2012 Junior Worlds company, which organised and ran the successful 2012 Junior World Track Cycling Championship in Invercargill.

Canny has also been heavily involved in cycling nationally and in 2005 was presented with the Malayan Cup, awarded to an individual for outstanding services to cycling in New Zealand, which is the same cup presented to the national men's sprint team on Saturday.

"The vision Steve has shown and the passion for the sport, both in Southland and nationally, is highly regarded. He has worked tirelessly on projects that will continue to bring benefits to the sport in Southland and around the country for years to come," Hotton said.

Meanwhile, the dates for the 2018 Elite and U19 Track Cycling National Championships and Age Group Track National Championships have been confirmed.

The elite and U19 event will run from February 21 to 25, while the age groups go from March 7 to 11, with both meets at the SIT Velodrome in Invercargill.

Article courtesy Stuff

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