Sam Bennett won the International Performance of the Year at the Cycling Ireland Annual Awards for the second consecutive year on Saturday night.
The Cycling Ireland Awards Evening saw members of the cycling community recognised in 13 categories, both participants and volunteers, across the various cycling disciplines.
Bennett notched up 13 wins this season including on stage 3 and stage 14 of the Vuelta a España. His stage 3 victory was enough to see the Carrick-On-Suir rider claim the green jersey while compatriot Nicolas Roche wore the leader's red jersey.
Among the recipients of the Special Achievement Awards was Katie-George Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal. The paracycling duo claimed their fifth World Title, with Gold in the time trial at the Road World Championships and added a Silver medal in the Road Race. Their attention now firmly focused on adding to their impressive medal haul at Tokyo 2020.
Lara Gillespie of Scott Orwell Wheelers was another rider to receive a Special Achievement Award and was named Female Rider of the Year. Gillespie won Bronze at the Junior Track World Championships and three Silver medals at the Junior Track European Championships.
Cycling is blessed with countless dedicated and committed volunteers. Among these is Phil Skelton who was instrumental in the introduction of new ‘dangerous overtaking of a cyclist’ legislation. Skelton has been a driving force behind making our roads safer for cyclists and rightly deserves the award for Outstanding Service to Cycling.
A full list of winners is available below:
International Performance of the Year
Sam Bennett - 2 stages at the Vuelta a España
Special Achievement Awards
Lara Gillespie - Bronze at the Junior Track World Championships and three Silver medals at the European Track Championships
Katie-George Dunlevy & Eve McCrystal - Triple World TT Champions
Ronan Grimes - Silver medal in the Scratch Race in the Paracycling Track World Championships
Greg Swinand - World Masters 50-54 Time Trial Champion
Lydia Boylan - Silver Medal in the Points Race in the UCI Track World Championship
Mark Downey - Bronze Medal in the Points Race in the UCI Track World Championship
Sam Bennett - 2 stage wins at the Vuelta a España
Leah Maunsell - 2nd in the U21 Enduro World Series
Cycling Ireland Volunteer of the Year - Dany Blondeel - Ards Cycling Club
Cycling Ireland Female Rider of the Year - Lara Gillespie - Scott Orwell Wheelers
Cycling Ireland Male Rider of the Year - Conor Hennebry - Dan Morrissey-MIG Pactimo
Cycling Ireland Club of the Year - Bray Wheelers
Cycling Ireland Leisure Event of the Year - The Reservoir Dog Sportive – Reservoir Cogs
Cycling Ireland Competitive Event of the Year - National Road Championships - Foyle CC
Cycling Ireland Club Coach of the Year - Hugh Byrne – Sundrive Track Team
Outstanding Service to Cycling
Dr. Tom Daly - Historical Archive of Cycling in Ireland
Phil Skelton – Introduction of dangerous overtaking legislation
Hall of Fame
Cycling Ireland National Road Series – Men
Conor Hennebry - Dan Morrissey-MIG Pactimo
James Curry - Dan Morrissey-MIG Pactimo
Darnell Moore - Team Caldwell Cycles
Cycling Ireland National Road Series – Women
Katharine Smyth - Ballymena Road Club
Maura Claffey - UCD Cycling Club
Agnieszka Wozniak - STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team