Cycling Weekly Awards 2021

Celebrating the best in road cycling - powered by Zwift

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The Cycling Weekly Awards 2021 winners will be announced daily from Monday December 6 - keep an eye on the website and our social media channels for daily video reveals of all the winners!                                                  

2021 was another exceptional year for cycle sport as young, multi-talented riders on the international scene continued to rip up the rule book written over the last decade and change the way races are run. 

We had the 2020 Olympics a year late where team GB enjoyed success across the board, a first women’s Paris Roubaix, record breaking rides and some incredible young British talent breaking through. 

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve also witnessed how resilient, and adaptable grass routes cycling is in the UK, as clubs and volunteers have achieved incredible things despite lockdowns and restrictions. This week we're celebrating all that is great about road cycling at the end of another wonderful season.

This year both the Outstanding Achievement and International Rider of the Year awards were chosen by you, the rest were awarded by our judges.

Hannah Walker

Former pro, turned commentator and team press officer, Walker has a unique insight into the sport courtesy of her varied roles. 

John Herety

A top amateur in his day, Herety is known for his no nonsense approach that has resulted in countless race wins and national titles throughout his years as a pro team manager in the UK.

Simon Richardson

The editor of this magazine has been reporting on the sport domestically and internationally for the last 20 years. And he still races himself from time to time.

Lifetime Achievement - Keith Lambert

From pro rider, to team manager, founding member of the Rayner Foundation and mentor to a generation of talented young British riders, few people have had a bigger influence on the British cycling scene than Keith Lambert.

2021 Male rider of the year - Mark Cavendish

In October last year Mark Cavendish was in tears at the end of Ghent-Wevelgem at the realisation that the race could be the last of his career. By that point he didn’t have a contract to stay at Bahrain Victorious or any other offers on the table. Fast forward one year and, when we speak to him, he was still yet to sign a contract, but after taking his Tour de France stage tally to 34 this summer, there was little concern about the season ahead.

2021 Female rider of the year - Katie Archibald

Olympic, world and European titles, Katie Archibald is becoming the world's most dominant track rider. Now she wants to take it further, with her eye firmly on the Paris 2024 omnium spot. The only problem is, she'll have to take it off her friend and teammate Laura Kenny.

2021 Indoor Inspiration - Craig Needham

Craig Needham hosts regular rides from his home in Cairns, Northern Queensland that bring together not just Aussie triathletes, but now people from all over the world. He was nominated for this award by multiple riders who although have never met him IRL (in real life) have become a firm part of this supportive and welcoming community.

2021 Outstanding Achievement - Josh Quigley

"That's amazing. I wasn't expecting that," says Josh Quigley when we called him to tell him his seven-day distance record had been voted Cycling Weekly's Outstanding Achievement of 2021. 

"I never thought I'd say this, but in a lot of ways I miss it," he says of the week he spent hammering up and down the A93 between Peterculter and Ballater in Aberdeenshire, eventually amassing 2,179 miles in the seven days and setting an official Guinness World Record.

2021 Domestic Rider of the Year - Abi Smith

In one short season our Domestic Rider of the Year, Abi Smith has domestic victories and notable international results, taking her from a novice to top 20 results in the WorldTour. All in her first year as a senior.

2021 International Rider of the Year - Tadej Pogačar

If Tadej Pogačar had finished his season this year in April, he could still have walked away happy, such was his win-rate, with two stage race wins at Tirreno-Adriatico and the UAE Tour, getting on the right side of his team sponsor from the off, at the underlined by victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. To be frank, had he fully pulled the plug on his career at that point, still aged just 22, he could call it a roaring success by any reasonable objective measure. 

Hannah Walker says

"Back to back Tour de France victories along with six stage victories at just 22 means you can’t look past Tadej Pogačar for this award. Adding Tirreno Adriatico, Olympic Bronze and two monuments? A rider of this calibre doesn’t come round often. We are witnessing greatness."

2021 Club of the Year - Falkirk Junior Bike Club

Five years ago Fraser Johnston, frustrated by the lack of clubs available for young riders to join, decided to do something about it. He set up the Falkirk Junior Bike Club and organised its first session at a local school. “There was one aim for the session.” he tells us. “For the kids to want to come back the following week. It had to be fun.”

Read more about the Falkirk Junior Bike Club

John Herety says

"No complaints with this approach to getting youngsters involved in all aspects of cycling. Well done Falkirk Junior Bike Club!"

2021 Rising star - Zoe Bäckstedt

Zoe Bäckstedt's list of wins from 2021 would be impressive had they been amassed by a whole nation. The fact they're from a single rider, doesn't just single her out as a talented young British rider, but as the standout female rider of her generation. 

Read more about her season and why she won this award here....

Hannah Walker says

"Three times European champion on the track, world road race champion and European cyclo-cross champion, multi-disciplined Zoe is a rising star who arguably has already risen."

2021 Local hero - Chris Jones

“Fun, friendship, fitness, those are the core values. It has got to be enjoyable. It’s not about championship jerseys or achievements. Everyone will achieve something at some level it's about recognising it and rewarding it,” says Jones about his work with the junior section of the North Cheshire Clarion.

Read more about the incredible work Chris does.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.