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by Shane Stokes
November 18, 2017
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Having won two stages plus the green jersey in the Tour de France, Michael Matthews was given the prestigious Oppy medal and trophy at the 2017 Cycling Australia awards on Friday. The 27-year-old sprinter was named 2017 Australian Cyclist of the Year and was also voted the 2017 JLT People’s Choice Award winner by thousands of Australian cycling fans. He wasn’t at the presentation, but spoke to the crowd from his European base in Monaco.
“It is a huge honour in Australia to win the Oppy,” the Canberran said. “It is something I have been dreaming about since I became a cyclist. It is an unreal feeling (to win all three). I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but it is a reminder for me that it was a big year for me and Australian cycling.
“It means a lot that I can be among other excellent Australian cyclists who have won this award.” Matthews also helped his Team Sunweb squad to world championship team time trial success, and was third in the men’s road race.
Katrin Garfoot (Gold Coast CC/QLD) won her third consecutive female Road Cyclist of the Year award, having become just the second Australian female cyclist to win World Championships medals in the time trial and road race in the same year. The Gold Coast Cycling Club member, riding for Orica-Scott, also claimed both the road and time trial national crowns.
The Track Cyclists of the Year awards went to Cameron Meyer (Midland CC/WA) and Stephanie Morton (South Coast CC/SA). David Nicholas C3 (Mackay CC/QLD) was named the male Para-cyclist of the Year for a second time. Carol Cooke T2 (St Kilda CC) took a third women’s award. The BMX awards went to Caroline Buchanan and Logan Martin, while siblings Michael and Tracey Hannah took the mountainbike awards.