cycling utah Oct/Nov. 2000
By Robert L. Truelsen
Well, it's that time of year again. Time to point our finger at participants and say "Hey, you're pretty darn good." All kidding aside, every year there are many riders who deserve recognition for their efforts. This year is no exception.
And now for something completely different.
We've decided this year to recognize someone who doesn't really race any more, but he used to. Fact is, he's really an important cog in the sport of bicycling in Utah. Cycling Utah's Cyclist of the Year is Gary Bywater.
Gary has been a fixture in race officiating for years. Fact is, he's part of a family team of race officials. At his side at every race is his wife Louise. So really both are our Cyclists of the Year. The Bywaters devote a lot of time and effort into putting on great races. They are real pros at what they do. Cycling Utah and the cycling community thanks you for your efforts.
Male Road Rider of the Year
Some wines get better with age. That old adage applies to Cycling Utah's Male Rider of the Year Dirk Cowley.
Dirk earned the Stars and Stripes jersey as National Champion in the Masters 45-49 criterium. Part of a 3-man break, Cowley turned on the afterburners to claim the victory.
Dirk also travelled to the Masters World Championships in Tirol, Austria on August 26 and finished fifth in the 116 km road race in the 45-49 year category.
It's noteworthy to mention that he has a full-time job and heads the Utah Cycling Association (UCA) as well as represents the USCF in the district. Does this guy have any spare time?
Female Road Rider of the Year
There's been a resurgence of women's road racing in Utah in recent years. Our Female Road Rider of the Year has been rubbing handlebars in races during this surge.
Daphne Wilhelm has been successful in mountain bike racing and now she uses her talents on the road.
Can you say National Champion? You can. Good, because she is one. Daphne went to the USCF Masters National Championships in Linton, IN in July and claimed the Stars and Stripes jersey in not one but two races: the time trial and the road race.
To be a double winner at Nationals from a small district like Utah is a great accomplishment. Congratulations Daphne, you're Cycling Utah's Female Road Rider of the Year.
Male Mountain Bike Rider of the Year
The mountain bike racing season is a long one. It begins in March and continues through September. If you don't think mountain bike racing is tough, you haven't raced a mountain bike. Why do you think they have suspensions? Our trails dole out a lot of abuse and you have to be tough enough.
All racers agree Bart Gillespie is tough enough. Right now he's perfecting his cyclocross skills and he's good at that too. Ask around.
Bart was tough and consistent. He took top honors in the season-long Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series put on by Ed Chauner. Our hats off to Bart, Cycling Utah's Mountain Bike Rider of the Year.
Female Mountain Bike Rider of the Year
Sally Warner met the challenge of the Intermountain Cup Series head on and won. Going into the final race of the season she calculated that she needed to only finish fourth to claim the overall title.
Apparantly, fourth place just wasn't good enough for her. She rode away from the other women in the race to claim the final race. Now that's icing on the cake.
The more technical the better for the New England native. Sally excels on rocky, technical terrain, the kind of terrain she was used to riding back home. What she may have lost on the climbs, she easily gained back on the descents.
Congratulations Sally, you're Cycling Utah's Female Moun-tain Bike Rider of the Year.
Event of the Year
We usually categorize the bicycling events and extend kudos to those which stand out.
To reinforce our "something completely different" approach this year, we're recognizing all of the weekly race series that are available to all cyclists in Utah and Idaho.
For the year 2000, Cycling Utah's Event of the Year goes to:
RMR Criterium Series
DMV Criterium Series
Saltair TT Series
Utah Cyclocross Series
Canyon Park Series
South Mountain Series
and to the promoters and sponsors of each:
Utah Cycling Association
Scott Miles/John McConnell
Like Gary and Louise Bywater, Utah's race series are important cogs in the Utah bicycling community. Just think what the racing would be like without these terrific events to fill our training and race schedules. How many of you got your first race experience at one of these events? We know. There are a lot of you out there.
To the tireless commitment and dedication to the sport of bicycling, Cycling Utah and the bicycling public thank everyone involved in our race series.
We would be remiss to not somehow mention the great efforts of other race series in Utah, Idaho and surrounding states. Although these series are not entirely weekly, they do provide plenty of racing for us.
Cycling Utah recognizes the efforts of Ed Chauner and Ron Dillon (and all those involved behind the scenes) in putting together great race series, the Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series and the Wild Rockies Unplugged Mountain Bike Series respectively.
Without the organizational abilities of these two promoters, the race community would be scrambling for events.
The year 2000 has been a great ending or start of the millenium (depending on which side of the argument you support). Whatever! It was a great year of cycling. Let's see to it the next year and beyond lives up to the spirit of this one. Ride On!