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The VeloVeritas Awards for 2021


Yes, we know, it’s been done to death but it is the Festive Season so it’s time for this kind of thing, the ‘VeloVeritas 2021 Awards.’ 

Lassies first…

* * *

Young Scottish rider of the year

Anna Shackley. A contract with SD Worx, Olympic selection, the British u23 Individual Time Trial Champion and fifth in the British Road Race Championships.

Not a bad old year for the 20 year-old. 

VeloVeritas Awards
Anna Shackley. Photo©SDWorx/Luc Claessen

* * *

Scottish cyclist of the year

Katie Archibald. No explanations required for that one, save:

  • 2nd in Olympic Games, Team Pursuit.
  • 1st in Olympic Games, Madison. 
  • 1st in European Championship, Omnium.
  • 1st in European Championship, Madison.
  • 1st in European Championship, Scratch. 
  • 3st in World Championship, Team Pursuit. 
  • 1st in World Championship, Omnium. 
  • 3rd in World Championship, Madison. 
  • 2nd in World Championship, Points race.
VeloVeritas Awards
Katie Archibald. Photo©SWpix

* * *

International track cyclists of the year

The endurance crown has to go to aforementioned Ms. Archibald.

As far as sprinters go, we think that Germany’s Ms. Lea Sophie Friedrich is a safe bet for that one with:

  • 2nd in Olympic Games, Team Sprint.
  • 1st in European Championship, Keirin. 
  • 2nd in European Championship, Team Sprint. 
  • 2nd in European Championship, Individual Sprint. 
  • 1st in World Championship, Team Sprint.
  • 2nd in World Championship, Individual Sprint. 
  • 1st in World Championship, 500 m TT 
  • 1st in World Championship, Keirin.

… and she’s 21 years-old.

VeloVeritas Awards
Lea Sophie Friedrich. Photo©RND

* * *

International road cyclist of the year

Annemiek Van Vleuten [Movistar & The Netherlands] world ranked number one with 13 wins including Flanders, Donostia and the Tour of Norway.

Annemiek Van Vleuten. Photo©Getty

Honourable mention to World Ladies Hour Record Holder, Jos Lowden.

VeloVeritas Awards
Joss Lowden. Photo©Tom Griffiths

Moving on to the Laddies:

* * *

Young Scottish riders of the year

It had to be a joint award with Calum Johnston grabbing himself an elusive ProTeam contract with ‘cult’ Spanish team Caja Rural and Cameron Mason taking a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup victory.

Calum Johnston. Photo©Oskar Matxin
VeloVeritas Awards
Cameron Mason. Photo©SWpix

Great to see young Scots, ‘just doing it!’ 

* * *

Scottish rider of the year

Jack Carlin. There was a time when a British Olympic cycling medal of any colour was big news.

But since Beijing 2008 we’ve become so used to British track cycling medals that unless they’re gold, well…

This gentleman came home from Tokyo with a team sprint silver and individual sprint bronze to little fanfare.

CHAPEAU! we say.  

VeloVeritas Awards
Jack Carlin. Photo©Will Palmer/SWpix

We move on to the international stage now…

* * *

Domestique of the year

Tim Declerq [Deceuninck QuickStep & Belgium]. Not for nothing is he known as, Tim The Tractor – ploughing away at the head of affairs for hour after hour. A remarkable big man.

Tim Declercq hollers in the radio to his teammates to “WAIT!” at the Vuelta a couple of years ago. Photo©Martin Williamson

* * *

Manager of the year

Patrick Lefevere. I’m reminded of the nervous young journalist who asked Jerry Lee Lewis if it was OK to mention the rock & roller’s brushes with the law; ‘say what you want son but just don’t spell my name wrong!’

The Belgian is intelligent and shrewd with much of what he says simply designed to stir up controversy and keep his and his team’s name in the media spotlight.

Answers on a post card please to these questions: ‘if he’s such a horrible man how come he inspires such loyalty and has riders clamouring to join/re-join his team? – and name me one rider who has done better since leaving his organisation?