Continued success of women's cycling helping inspire females to ride their bikes
British Cycling's record breaking Olympic Team Pursuit trio of Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, and Paralympic champion Sarah Storey OBE, were honoured at the Sunday Times' Sportswomen of the Year Awards in London.
The Team Pursuit trio said they were 'really honoured' to receive the Team of the Year award, while Storey said her Paralympian of the Year award came as a 'lovely surprise.'
On being named Team of the Year, the Team Pursuit trio said:
"We're all really honoured to receive this award and it's just been the best year possible for us. We broke the World record six consecutive times and then became World and Olympic Champions in the space of a few months. To win in London in front of a home crowd with millions watching on TV was absolutely incredible."
Paralympic champion, Sarah Storey OBE, said:
"I never expected I'd win the SWOTY Paralympian of the Year Award so it came as a lovely surprise. I first won it back in 1992 after the Barcelona Paralympic Games, which makes me feel really old! I was gutted I couldn't make the awards ceremony as I'd been ill, so thank you to Tanni Grey-Thompson for accepting it on my behalf."
British Cycling's President, Brian Cookson OBE, said the award is recognition of a new era for women's cycling:
"It's fantastic that these brilliant women have been recognised for their amazing achievements and they should be incredibly proud in what has been a remarkable year for our female cyclists.
"Alongside the other extraordinary achievements this year by female riders including Victoria Pendleton MBE, Lizzie Armitstead and Lucy Garner, women cyclists are at the very forefront of British sport, and their success is inspiring women across the country to get on their bikes."
As a result of the success of the GB Cycling Team and initiatives like Breeze<http://www.goskyride.com/Breeze/Index> - British Cycling's network of bike rides for women - 54,000 more women are cycling now than were this time last year. Organised and led by female 'Breeze champions', fun and free bike rides are taking place throughout the autumn all over the UK on local, accessible routes in small friendly groups.
The Team of the Year award also comes just a few days after it was announced that Trott, King and Rowsell will join the newly established DTPC Honda Dream Team Professional Cycling Team. The British registered team will be a new addition to the UCI calendar, and has received financial backing from Bradley Wiggins CBE through the Wiggo Foundation
photos Janos Schmidt