Two para-cyclists and a cyclist honoured at the South African Sports Awards
Up against athletes from other sports, Ernst van Dyk, Justine Asher and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio received the honours at a ceremony in Sandton.
Ernst van Dyk was awarded Sportsman of the Year with Disability and was also nominated alongside able-bodied athletes for Sports Star of the Year. The powerful hand-cyclist is South African time trial and road race champion and 2014 UCI World Champion in the road race. He won Paralympic gold in the road race in 2008 and silver in London 2012.
A hand-cyclist for just two years, Justine Asher is South African national champion and UCI World Champion in the time trial and road race as well as the winner of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in 2013 and 2014. She won Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability Award.
At the same awards ceremony South African cyclist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, national champion and bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, won the Sportswoman of the Year award.
UCI President Brian Cookson said the three awards were a fitting recognition for three athletes who had achieved tremendous results throughout the year.
“Cycling had five nominations at the 2014 South African Sports Awards and three winners,” said Mr Cookson. “I congratulate these athletes and also pay tribute to Cycling South Africa and its President William Newman for their commitment to our sport and in particular to their hard work in developing para-cycling which is definitely starting to gain the recognition it deserves.”
Meanwhile para-cyclist George Bouska won the prestigious Czech Cycling Federation’s 2014 King of Cycling award for para-cyclists after winning gold in the time trial and bronze in the road race of the C4 category at the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships.