Mindy McCutcheon is Cycling Utah’s Rider of the Year

For a state of only about 3 million people, Utah has incredible opportunities to ride on dirt and on road, a huge proportion of cyclists, and thus a huge pool of talented cyclists of all types. Each year, Cycling Utah recognizes the best of the best with our Rider of the Year Awards.

Mindy McCutcheon is Cycling Utah's 2016 Rider of the Year. Photo by Dave Iltis

Mindy McCutcheon is the racer’s racer. She competes across many disciplines – road, cyclocross, mountain, and gravel – and wins races no matter what kind of bike she is on. This year, she rode for Canyon Bicycles – Shimano, and later on Visit Dallas – DNA Cycling. She started 2016 by winning the Masters 30-34 Cyclocross National Championship. Then onto the road bike, where she had 7 wins in races including East Canyon, a sweep of the Bikes for Kids Stage Race, and the Sugarhouse Crit; and a third place in the super tough Gila Monster stage at the Tour of the Gila. Next up, mountain. She won the ICup at Draper. In mid season she was offered a pro contract with Utah based Visit Dallas. Then followed that up with a hard fought win at the Crusher in the Tushar, one of the toughest races around. In her first pro road race with DNA, the ASWB Boise Twilight Criterium, she launched a last lap flier and was caught at the line, but finished second nonetheless. From there, it was off to Europe with the Visit Dallas/DNA team. In the fall, she tore up the local and regional cyclocross scene, with wins in several UTCX races as well as in the US Open of Cyclocross, and numerous other high placings. She has had an incredible season, and Mindy McCutcheon is our Overall Rider of the Year.

Cortlan Brown (Canyon Bicycles – Shimano) had a great season racing locally and regionally. The all-rounder won the UCA Season Points Series with wins in the Tour del Sol, Bear Lake Classic Road Race, Bikes for Kids Stage Race, Porcupine Hill Climb, and the Bountiful Criterium. He followed that up with a win in the Steamboat Stage Race. Cortlan Brown is our Male Road Racer of the Year.

Mary Emerson (TOSH Cycling) had a breakout year. She won the overall Utah Cycling Association points series with wins in the Bear Lake Classic, Ghost Town Omnium criteriums, the Sugarhouse Crit 44+ state championship. Additionally, she won stages in the category 3/4 field in both the Tour of the Gila and the Cascade Classic. Mary Emerson is our Female Road Racer of the Year.

Lia Westermann had a brilliant year on the mountain bike. The superfast 17 year old led the Scott Enduro Cup Series in the Pro Category! through three races, and ended up finishing second overall after an untimely flat tire in the finals at Deer Valley. Earlier in the year, she won the national title in the Dual Slalom in the junior category, and followed that up with a second championship in the Enduro, and a silver in the Downhill. Lia Westermann is our Female Gravity Racer of the Year.

Joey Foresta keeps getting faster. This year, the 14 year old won another National Championship in the Downhill, along with six other gravity races. In addition, he turned pro in the Dual Slalom, and finished second at the Sea Otter. Joey Foresta is our Male Gravity Racer of the Year.

Jen Hanks raced around the world in 2016. She started the season with a third place in the TransAndes with husband Shannon Boffeli. Following that, a win in the Red Rock Rampage ICup, and later a win in the Wasatch Back 50, and the Tour des Suds. Her season rounded out with third place finishes in the Pierre’s Hole 100 and the True Grit 50. Jen Hanks is our Female Mountain Biker of the Year.

Justin Lindine had a great season on the mountain bike with wins in the Cactus Hugger, Soldier Hollow, and Wasatch Back ICup races, as well as the True Grit 50, and had several other podiums along the way including a second place in the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Justin Lindine is our Male Mountain Bike Racer of the Year.

Jamey Driscoll took his racing to another level in 2015. The Park City resident won the Ogden CX elite race, followed by the US Open of Cyclocross, for a total of nine wins in elite races across the country. In addition, he finished second in the Pan-Am Continental Cyclo-cross Championships. Jamey Driscoll is our Male Cyclocross Racer of the Year (2015 season).

Katie Clouse keeps on winning, and winning, and winning. The junior phenom from Park City won at least 11 cyclocross races in the 2015-2016 season, in Utah, regional, and nationale events including the Junior 15-16 National Championship. Katie Clouse is our Female Cyclocross Racer of the Year (2015 season)

Little Red Riding Hood brings together around 3500 women each year to ride the beautiful roads of Cache County. The women-only event just celebrated it’s 29th birthday, and will be back again in 2017. The event raised $50,000 this year for cancer research, and has raised at least $400,000 over the years. Started in 1998 by Alice Telford, the ride is an institution in Utah and the west. Little Red Riding Hood is our Event of the Year.

The Bonneville Cycling Club is on a roll. They are the best organized and dedicated touring club in Utah. This year, club members commuted a total of 15118 miles saving 13909 pounds of carbon emissions. Club members rode 217,815 miles this season and climbed over 6 million vertical feet in over 1000 club rides. Through their event, Little Red Riding Hood, they donated over $50,000 to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. They were also gold lever sponsors of the Utah Bike Summit and the Bike MS ride. The Bonneville Cycling Club is again our Touring Club of the Year.

The Corner Canyon High School Chargers won every race this year in the South Division of the Utah High School Cycling League. They followed that up with a win over North Division champions Skyline High School in the State Championships. Corner Canyon is our Mountain Bike Team of the Year.

Canyon Bicycles – Shimano won races this year. A lot of races. Their riders finished 1-2-3 in the UCA series in the Pro/1/3 men and second and third in the women’s 1-3 category. They also won the overall team competition in the UCA Series as well as the Utah Criterium Series. Canyon works hard to develop riders. They race locally, regionally, and nationally. Canyon Bicycles is our Road Racing Team of the Year.

Cycling is growing fast in Utah. There are more trail systems, bike lanes, and bike programs every year. This year, there were two people who made a huge difference with their work for better biking. Jen McGrath, a UTA planner, worked tirelessly, innovatively, and quickly to secure a trendsetting TIGER grant for Active Transportation (biking and walking) from the federal government. The $20,000,000 grant brings together several counties and other government entities on the Wasatch Front. With the matching funds required, the total impact of this grant will be $95 million for biking and walking over the next five years.

Jason Cowley has worked tirelessly to create trails in Pleasant Grove. The head coach of the Pleasant Grove Biking Vikings high school mountain bike team has been the guiding force behind the creation of the Valley Vista Trail System. He moved the idea through the city council, and with approval in place, construction began this year. Cowley has helped guide the construction as well in addition to countless hours of trail work. The system has 7 trails, and provides a place for community and the team to ride.

For their outstanding service to cycling in Utah, Jen McGrath and Jason Cowley are our Bike Advocates of the Year.

Dan Mortensen rides a GreenBike, all over Salt Lake City. This year, he (as of December 7), he has ridden 2358 miles on bike share, and has made 1568 trips. For his dedication to downtown commuting, Dan Mortensen is our Commuter of the Year.

Marci Kimball was diagnosed with a non-aggressive cancer in 2015. Following surgery in last November, Kimball got right back to training, with her season culminating with a win in Lotoja. Marci Kimball receives our Notable Performance Award.

Honorable Mentions:

Keegan Swenson for his second place in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Cross Country Championships and 4th in the American Mountain Bike Continental Championships in Argentina; and setting a record in the Park City Point to Point.

KC Holley (Kuhl Racing) for winning both the ICup XC series, and the ICup Endurance Cross Country Series.

Chris Holley (Kuhl Racing) for winning the Intermountain Cup Endurance Series this season with a win at Brian Head, and also finished second overall in the ICup’s cross country series. For his consistency throughout the season in races both short and long.

Katie Clouse for winning 4 National Championships in the Junior 15-16 field in Cyclocross, Cross Country, Short Track Cross Country, and the Criterium.

Cameron Hoffman for winning the Masters 35+ Points Race National Championship.

Bryn Bingham for five wins in Junior Gravity races.

Lori Harward and all of the volunteers involved for continuing to grow the Utah High School Mountain Bike League to be the largest in the country.

Bike Utah for launching a youth education program.

Logan Binggeli for his second place overall in the Pro Gravity Tour.

Alex Grant for winning Fat Bike Nationals.

Robbie Squire for winning Fat Bike Worlds and a top ten finish in the Tour of Utah.

TJ Eisenhart for his seventh place overall in the Tour of Utah.

Tanner Putt for winning a stage in the Tour of Alberta.

Bike Provo for getting Provo to Silver.

Rachel Anders and Haley Batten for racing in the World Mountain Bike Championships.

Stan Swallow (Team Endurance 360) for winning Masters National Championships (75-79) in the road race and criterium.

Lauren Bingham for winning 11 gravity races in the junior category, and the overall Pro Women’s category in the Mid-Week Cross Country Series.

Lastly, we received this great nomination for Hadley Peay, “Miss Hadley Peay of Lone Peak Mountain High School Knight Riders. Last year, Hadley (who is deaf) was learning how to shift a bike and struggled with basic skills in a parking lot. This year not only did she work and purchase a new bike, she dominated and won every race in her sophomore girls division. Lil miss Hadley (my nick-name for her) has come so far. She loves biking and works hard. She has the best attitude…always asking about strategy and always wanting to improve. She rides with a sticker on her helmet and a plate that says “deaf rider” but she has no limitations. As one of her coaches, I beam with pride at her success! Love this girl!”

And many, many others too numerous to mention for their great accomplishments on and off the bike.

Thanks for reading Cycling Utah and Cycling West. We are already looking forward to 2017!

 

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