Thanks for waiting. This post took a long time to make (I got really distracted on Monday night). I hope you enjoy these awards...and remember, there are many more to come.
Most Improved: Taylor Skinner. Who could have predicted the Anthem native's meteoric rise from Cat 5 to Cat 3. After serving as the newbie rider of the junior field in 2010, Skinner won 2 state championships.
10-14 Aged Rider of the Year: Dominic Suozzi was a pleasant revelation this year. He won several state championships and was the only Arizona junior to place on the podium of Nationals (he took fifth in the criterium).
Best Crit Racer: Some call him "Big O" or "O Dog", but most refer to him as Owen Graves. Big O got second at the State Crit Championship (17-18), and placed 11th at Crit Nationals. He is one of the danger men in the Cat 3s.
Best Time Trialer: Michael Dziedzic capped off his Summer campaign with a win in the State Time Trial Championship. It was a fitting end to his junior career.
Best Mountain Goat: Statistically, Nathan Franklin went to town on the uphill variety. He won two monuments: Mt. Lemmon and Mt. Graham. Furthermore, he went pretty fast.
Most Consistent: Kenny Polley was always there this year. He placed on the podium of every single individual state championship this year (Crit, Road Race, Time Trial, Hill Climb) and scored 2nd place in the prestigious Tucson Bicycle Classic.
Best Team: I think El Grupo is a good pick for this. They won the team time trial, which was very impressive. They participated in Valley races, despite their Tucson base. All in all, they were a well-ordered unit.
Junior Rider of the Year: Nobody raised eyebrows quite like Danny Eaton. Essentially, he was all of these awards rolled into one (except for "Best Team" and "10-14 year old"). Daniel made a big splash nationally, getting top 10s at Nationals and Europe. He had a year that most kids can only dream about having.
40-44 Rider of the Year: Am I being cliche in naming Paul Thomas? He did some incredible things this year; he won VOS in the Cat 1 category (big pizza-killing deal), hung with the big dogs at Leadville, and rolled a 1:31 at Graham. Big time stuff.
45-49 Rider of the Year: Jim Silverman won took the points series by a good margin. I don't want to be a stickler about points, but I think they really indicated his performance. He won the State Crit and took 3rd at the State Road Race.
50-54 Rider of the Year: Keith Brodhagen rode very fast this year. He cleaned up in the 50+ category and rode some storming time trials.
55-59 Rider of the Year: Obviously, you can tell that I'm not an expert on masters racing. I went to the points for answers and saw Dave Bixby. He really pounded the competition with twice as many Copper Cup Points. Plus, he has a fearsome reputation.
60+ Rider of the Year: Who else but Franz Hammer? He's a living legend. That's all that can be said.
Junior Woman of the Year: It was painful for me to decide between Lizzy Caputo and Kendra Wiebers. In the end, I chose Kendra Wiebers because she seemed to have Lizzy's number when they went head to head. They battled tooth and nail for the Copper Cup; I give them my props.
Cat 1-3 Woman of the Year: I guess I am biased towards climbers, but I feel justified in picking Anna Sanders. She pizza-killing FLEW up the hills this year. She took some great wins this year, including a stage at TBC, South Mountain, Lemmon, and the State Road Race.
Best Team: I give it to Trisports. Jobing.com did some good things this year, but they never gave me the sense of domination that Trisports gave me. Cara Bussell won some race for Trisports, and Sanders did her thing.
Men Cat 4
Best Crit Racer: Gabriel Santoyo. Good grief, I'm glad I didn't have to race Cat 4 this year. Santoyo is scary fast. No, really, he is so fast that he scares me.
Best Time Trialer: Nate Davis. I think when you get the 3rd best overall time at the State Time Trial (55:14), you have a good argument on your side.
Best Mountain Goat: Nate Davis. I also think that when you crush Mount Graham the way he did, you ought to consider upgrading...to Cat 2.
Most Consistent: Jake Spelman. I'm giving this one to my old compatriot. He's been up there in the 4s all year. He got seven top 10s and three 11th places. That's pretty consistent.
Best Team: I think this award was up for grabs between Bhaus, DNA, and Trisports. Each of these teams faded once the spring season ended. Bhaus won lots of races because of Santoyo and huge numbers. DNA was pretty consistent, but didn't necessarily lay the smackdown everytime. Trisports killed it at TBC and Colossal, but they all upgraded. I'll give the award to Bicycle Haus. It was a hard fought victory.
Men Cat 3
Best Crit Racer: Thomas Collins, in my opinion, was fairly devastating in the crits this year. He took 2nd at UofA and Old Pueblo (two of the hardest crits) and 4th at the State Crit Championship.
Best Time Trialer: Matt Duke won every time trial he entered this year. The last one he entered was the State Championship. He is state time trial champion.
Best Mountain Goat: Let's give some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Mike Radcliff. This year, he went up hill quite quickly. At Mt Lemmon, he beat out Alan Brown and Nathan Franke (two fearsome climbers). He solidified himself at the State Road Race, crushing everyone that got in his way.
Most Consistent: Scott Wall was always there. He was actively involved in the crits. As the season went on, he got better at climbing, and actually got 2nd at the State Road Race.
Best Team: Trisports had the personnel to get the job done. Their performance in the State Road Race was very impressive.
Cat 3 Rider of the Year: Mike Radcliff. End of story.
Men Cat 1/2
Best Crit Racer: I give this one to my neighbor Marcus Hayward. He was an absolute revelation rider this year. He won the State Crit for Cat 2s and podiumed in several Pro 1/2 races.
Best Time Trialer: Paul Thomas gets this one, considering that he won the State Time Trial and was a member of Rideclean's amazing team time trial.
Best Mountain Goat: Dave Glick, obviously. He really really killed Mt Graham.
Best Team: With Aten, Jondall, McCabe, Don, Swanson, Schreiber, and many more talented riders, Landis-Trek cleaned up fairly well this year. But as I reflect on the season, I have to give the title to Rideclean. I just have to. They came away with some big wins, including VOS and the State Crit.
Cat 1/2 Rider of the Year: I saw a lot of hope in George Cyrus. He won the circuit race in Flagstaff and smacked people around at South Mountain. I see great things.