Three cyclists claim top honours at SA Sports Awards

Cycling South Africa extends congratulations to Ernst van Dyk, Justine Asher and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio on their awards at the 2014 South African Sports Awards, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday, 30 November.

Ernst van Dyk was awarded Sportsman of the Year with Disability, while Justine Asher claimed Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio the Sportswoman of the Year award. All our winners, and those nominated, are great ambassadors for our country and for cycling.

Ernst van Dyk is arguably one of the world’s most remarkable Para-athletes. He is a previous Paralympian and World Championship hand-cycling gold medallist and is also 10-times winner of the Boston marathon in the racing wheelchair category. There are few athletes anywhere in the world with such sporting accolades to their credit. Van Dyk is the current national champion in the TT and road race disciplines, and he claimed the World Championship road race title in an epic sprint finish in the US in September. He then went on to finish a very close second in the New York Marathon in early November.

Ernst van Dyk. Photo credit: GreenvilleSC2014.com

Ernst van Dyk. Photo credit: GreenvilleSC2014.com

Justine Asher has been a handcyclist for just on two years but has, in this short space of time, set the bar high on the international stage and established herself as one of the world’s top competitors in the women’s H2 handcycling class. Asher’s 2014 season got off to a strong start with gold medals in her UCI Road World Cup races. She has been awarded the UCI World Cup leader jersey in her category in 2013 and 2014, and claimed the SA National Championship titles in TT and road race in February, as well as first places in the 2014 UCI World Champs TT and road race events in USA in September. On Monday last week, Asher also won the Spar gsport Athlete of the Year with a Disability award.

Justine Asher. Photo credit: Mylene Paynter

Justine Asher. Photo credit: Mylene Paynter

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio’s cycling career has progressed immensely in a relatively short space of time. Her professional career began in 2008 and she qualified for, and competed in, the London 2012 Olympics. Pasio made the nation proud with a bronze medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. She also competed in the Giro Rosa earlier this year, claimed the National TT and road race Championship titles, and won the inaugural Unite4Mandela cycle race, beating multiple world champ and Olympian Marianne Vos. Pasio’s 2014 achievements include finishing 2nd in the one-day Cup, GP Le Samyn, early in the season, 4th overall in the women’s Tour of Spain, and secured a top-five finish in the Flèche Wallone Féminine 2014 World Cup race. Last week Monday, Pasio won the coveted 2014 Spar gSport Athlete of the Year award.

 
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Photo credit: Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Photo credit: Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA

 

Cycling South Africa’s President, William Newman, said: “Having five nominees at the Sports Awards was a huge achievement for our riders indicating the great success we have had this year. Winning three awards further illustrates the wide recognition and acclaim cycling experiences. 2014 has been a great year for Cycling South Africa underscored by the phenomenal results achieved by our riders with the related recognition. Cycling South Africa is experiencing unprecedented success and recognition and these awards will further cement the standing of the National Federation in the country. This will inspire our youth to become involved in this wonderful sport of ours.

I congratulate all our winners and nominees on their great achievements. They have done Cycling South Africa extremely proud.”