Written by Don Hamstre and several other writers
‘Did I really promise to organize an Awards Gala again this season? In what kind of state was I when I did that?’
It was not a good morning for me just over a month ago. I didn’t know what location to book, I didn’t know which hotels to reserve for all the nominees, their teams, and their families. And most important of all, I did not want to spend the money that is required for such a festivity.
But then, my new social media trainee came up with the best idea of her life. ‘Why don’t you organise the Awards Gala online? There is a great online meeting service called OCM Team Buzz, where you can easily share video’s, and meet up with people all over the world, even if they have awful internet. Even Germans will be able to join!
So then I made up some sort of an excuse for not being able to do the Gala live, and somehow managed to convince all the others that it was in their best interest not to eat on my expenses for an entire night.
And now, the night will soon start. Time to open the meeting!
Don (D): ‘Hi to all and Welcome to the OCM Awards Gala, online version, brought to you by OCM Team Buzz!
I know this might feel a little weird to you all, but I am sure we will have a great night. Or at least those of you who win will!
I will now give the world to our great reporter Twan, who will present the first Award of the night.’
Twan (T): ‘Thank you, Don. It is indeed weird to do this awards ceremony in a Team Buzz-meeting, but it is cool to see everyone still dressed up in black tie this evening. First up…’
«mumbling in the background» «sound of beer bottle opening» …
T: ‘Wronskian, please turn your mic off for now, pal’
«the mumbling suddenly cuts off due to someone discovering how a mute button works»
T: ‘First up is the Award for Best U23 rider. The U23 circuit has proven to be a perfect stepping stone for stars like Isaac Houston and Hermano Montenegro. Big shoes to fill for one of the nominated youngsters. But I am sure our winner will live up to his promise. He is a versatile sprinter, very capable of competing on both the flats as well as the hills and climbs. He won 2 races in his category last season, but already proved to be capable of getting a top 9 in division 3 last season. Please give it up for: Ludomir Gawro?ski!
Ludomir, I know your English is not perfect, but do you have a short reaction for our audience?’
"Thank you. I will be star. Now have beer."
T:’Wise words, thank you Ludomir. Enjoy the celebrations and good luck in your future career. Don, back to you!’
D: ‘Thanks so much Twan, I think it is time to turn your microphone back on now wronskian!’
«after a slightly awkward 40 seconds of silence»
‘Wronskian (w): Ehm, yes, thanks Don, I think I have a bad connection, hahaha… Any way, I will present to you the results of the Sieuwerd Schimmel Trophy for Best Cobbler. There is one rider and one team that have dominated Division 1 cobble races in Season 57, and, consequently, they have also dominated the Best Cobbler Trophy vote. Without further ado, with 49 votes out of 52, and little room for surprise, the winner of Roubaix Classic, Astana GP, podium in Tweedagse van Antwerpen and Antwerpen - Huy, and winner of 7 additional Division 1 races ... Benjamin Fontes! The digital floor is yours Benjamin!
Fontes: Thanks, that couldn't have been possible without the support of my team mates and my manager Doctor Love, this award was the last thing missing in my palmares :)
Also, it’s Benjamim by the way, but no worries, you’re not the first to make that small mistake. ;)
w: Kudos to Vidar Kleven and Amare Maharjan, 2nd and 3rd respectively, for being able to snatch votes in front of such a season from Fontes!
D: Very well deserved, and not the last time we will see Benjamim being nominated tonight. So he better not start partying too hard yet! Which category is next wronskian?
w: ‘The Jan-Joost Dussel Trophy for Best Sprinter, always a controversial one. Despite the valiant effort of Clyde Pugh in snatching AEK's ... err ... I mean ... Copa Salsa de Cali Cup, which granted him one single vote, despite the regularity of Kristiaan De Mayer in sweeping Division 1 non-trophy races, which granted him 11 votes, and despite the meritory exploits of old man Fabio Borges in 1st Division, who got 14 votes for it, the Jan-Joost Dussel Trophy for Best Sprinter goes to ... Douglas Brasil, with 24 votes! If trophies are made to measure exceptionality, Douglas' Season 57 was truly deserving of one, with 16 victories and 4 jerseys to his bag. Congratulations!’
Brasil: ‘Thanks, I enjoyed Season 57 accolades so much, and this award is the cherry on the top. Now I joined a rider union and I've learned a thing or two about labour exploitation, so I guess I won't ride so many races in Season 58, yet I still hope to keep winning them!’
w: ‘sure, rider rights, that has always been a topic of the utmost concern for our community, right Rustgold?’
D: ‘I might have joked about Germans having bad internet connection, but expecting an Australian to be able to follow an online meeting is a little too much to ask, hahaha!
Thanks wronskian for your stats and interviews, time for our next reporter, Peter Marcelo, to take the spotlights!’
Peter (P): Thanks Don, of course it is the riders nominated for the Gregory Levis Trophy for Best Time Trialer that deserve the spotlight most!
Well, after the votes came in, it became clear that Season 57’s best time triallist, by a comfortable margin, was Team Chilli’s World Time Trial Champion Xavier Izzard. He comfortably defeated Paul Sa’u, Ayele Kiriu and Bjornar Fjeld, taking 45 of the 51 votes in the category. Just after he flew home from Belgium, after Tweedaagse van Antwerpen, I spoke to him on the Taipei riverfront and recorded this interview.
«video starts playing»
P: ‘Xavier Izzard, congratulations on being voted the best time triallist of season 57. How does it feel?’
Xavier (X):’ I’m so happy. This is the finishing touch to an awesome season and I couldn’t be prouder.’
P: ‘How do you plan on celebrating?’
X: ‘I’m not certain yet, but it gives me motivation to win again soon!’
P: ‘How do you rate your chances of emulating your victory this season?’
X: ‘Highly. I already have one result, but I won’t get complacent – I want to win!’
P: ‘Xavier Izzard, thank you.’
D: Nice video Peter! I hope you don’t expect me to pay for those travel costs though! Where did you go for the Truman Vancil Trophy for Best Hiller?’ Oh, I see you already started the next vid..
«video cuts off Don»
‘P:Byttingvik’s Thomas van den Plas has been voted season 57’s best hiller. The Belgian beat fellow nominees Carl-Henrik Fjorside, Nicolau Oliveira and Douwe Bruin to the honour. I have caught up with him at Oslo’s impressive Akershus Fortress, overlooking the harbour.
P: Congratulations on being voted season 57’s best hiller, Thomas van den Plas!
THOMAS (TH): Thank you! I’m so thrilled with this honour; I can’t wait to find a place for the trophy at home!
P: How does it stand among your career achievements so far?
TH: Right at the top! There is always tough competition for this award, so I’m really happy to receive this award.
P: How good are your chances of a repeat win?
TH: We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m fairly confident that I can do well again this season.
P: Thomas van den Plas, thank you.’
D: Nice one again Peter, make sure to shoot your next video in Oslo at the Vigelandsparken, hehehe.
Better not to let the nominees from our next category see that though, because it’s time for dustin to introduce our youngsters!
Dustin (Du): Thank you Don, I will now present the results of the Award for Best Young Rider
And the nominees are ... Ciceron Guinassi from Cotopaxi, Amare Maharjan from Alpine, Douglas Brasil from Time Indaiatuba and Wout Pierewaaijer from peddelen. Do you have anything you want to say guys?
Douglas: "Hello Ciceron, how is it going?" Ciceron: - - - Amare: "Ciceron, are you there?" Ciceron: - - - Wout: "Ciceron, you know, it is nomination day, what's happened?" Ciceron: - - -
Amare: "Wout, how is it going with you? Greetings out Calpe." Wout: "How is that possible, me too in Calpe, not yet seen you, I am on the north side of Calpe, shall we train together?" Amare: "Good idea, but first recover a bit." Wout: "Douglas, what a great season did you have, amazing." Douglas: "Yes, indeed, it was really great, totally not expected. I am also in Calpe, team
building, unfortunately I can not train with you guys, a busy team program." Amare: "Ha ha, all in Calpe, all nominate, shall we search Ciceron, he must be here somewhere, ha ha." Amare: "How is it to be in Brasil team Douglas?" Douglas: "great, really great, that's why that great results."
Du: ‘Silence please ... silence ... ... 'The Award for Best Young Rider' goes to ... ...
... ... ... Douglas Brasil ... congratulations!’
D: ‘Can somebody please make sure those guys stay muted? This is an Awards Gala, not a Kindergarten! Time to get some grown ups here dustin, let’s go the the veterans! (and also can someone please check if Ciceron is ok?)’
Du: And the nominees for The Ian Defley Trophy for Best Old Rider are ... Leroy Jonker, 36 yr from PJMcycles, Alípio Almada, 36 yr from Yuri SuperTeam, Fabio Borges, 36 yr from Team AEK and Iwo Soko?owski, 36 yr from Team Celeste.
Do you guys have anything you want to say to the crowd here?’
Iwo: "Alípio, are you there, what are you doing." Alípio: "Yes, I am here, at the moment I have a break with my family for a short holiday in the region Alentejo where i was born. Fabio: "Hey Alípio, no training?" Alípio: "Not yet, next week I start again". Leroy: "How is it to work with Yuri as manager?" Alípio: "Good, really good, we understand each other, it is an
advantage to work with someone from your own country."
Alípio: "Fabio, what do you expect from the nominations?" Fabio: "I hope I have understand you well, a lot of noise here at Bogota El Dorado Airport, I had a good season, not my best season, but good enough to have chance for win the award." Iwo: "Fabio, what was most important for you last season?" Fabio: "Not difficult second place sprint classification Vuelta de los Castillos." Leroy: "Is it difficult to be with so many good sprinters in the team?" Fabio: "Sometimes it is an advantage, sometimes a disadvantage, I have to live with it."
Fabio: "Leroy, what are you doing?" Leroy: "I am training on my bike near Willunga Hill, now I stop for a while to follow the nomination." Alípio: "Leroy, are you go retire?" Leroy: "Whay you think about, no not at all. Iwo: "Hy brother, when I do see you again?" Leroy: "I don't know."
Alípio: "Iwo, are you in Warschau now? Iwo: Yes, I drink some in a cafe here with some friends." Fabio: "Ha, ha, now I know you, drink some ..." Iwo: "Yes, some, go train a bit tomorrow." Leroy: "Shall I come to train and drink a bit?" Iwo: "Good idea."
Du: Please, stop chatting, I have a Trophy yo present. Silence please ... silence ... ... 'The Ian Defley Trophy for Best Old Rider' goes to ... ...
... ... ... Fabio Borges ... congratulations!’
D: Well, that will teach us for letting the riders talk freely I guess.. Thanks dustin for keeping your patience so well! Luckily for our piece and quiet, we now have a recorded video by MW, presenting our next two awards!
«video starts playing»
MW: ‘I recently joined an OCM Team Buzz meeting from teams and riders of OCM that spoke about successful training programs.
I had the luck to interview 2 successful riders who won an award in S57.
The first rider is Vidar Skaug. A 25yo rider who won the Eleonor Berka Trophy for Best Downhiller.
MW:"Hi Vidar. You came to team Rabobank ProCycling a few seasons ago as an unexperienced rider. You can say the training program was good for you?"
Vidar: "Yes manager Fabian Cancellara motivated me very well and I kept winning and winning my downhill races".
He said with a big smile.
"It resulted in a trophy. I think this wasn't the last we saw from you?"
"Now I will try to defend my trophy in S58. It will be difficult but everything is possible."
MW: "Congrats with your trophy and thank you for this interview!"
The second rider I was lucky enough to interview is Douglas Brasil. Also a 25yo rider who won The Eliás Márquez Trophy for Best Tour Rider in S57.
MW: "Hi Douglas. Congrats with your trophy. You dominated in the tours of division 3. Ready for the higher divisions?"
Douglas: "That would be amazing. I'm very proud of my results in S57."
"It isn't easy to make Hadley Childers forget, but I hope my manager Jime is very proud of me."
MW: "I think he is. You proved the training program of Time Indaiatuba is very successful.".
"Are you happy to ride in a team of only riders from Brazil?"
Douglas:"Haha it is in my name so yes. We all understand each other very well and I like it."
MW: "Thank you for the interview and good luck with the rest of your career!"
D: Thanks to MW for your lovely video, amazing what you can put together with some good editing skills, I noticed Vegard Skogen in the background of one of your interviews and even he looked pretty!
By the way, to save on time a bit, Douglas Brasil has also won The Award for Best Rider Outside Top Division! Apologies to the rest of the nominees there, but we really do have to keep the show rolling, so no time for you.
Time to move to my Canadian reporter, how are you doing paceuts?
paceuts (p): I’m doing well Don, and what’s even better is that I can give you the results of The Sterling Dorsher Trophy for Best Climber!
With just under half of the votes, the winner of this category was also the rider with the most points: Lasse Sunde!
Lasse, do you have some words to share with us!
Sunde: "I am super honoured to win the Best Climber award for season 57. I'd like to thank my manager and my team for the amazing support. Congrats also to the four other candidates: there's a reason they all received votes - they each had remarkable results this season"’
p: Thank you Lasse, back to you again Don!
D: Thank you paceuts, and now we move on to.. Wait, someone just started shouting in my earpiece…. Hmmm, really? Well, that is unexpected, but apparently Frank Holwerda has a surprise for us::
Frank: We have a live connection with Eric Brink who won the Best Flat Road Rider award!
I sent my best reporter there, and that is totally not a way to let her do all my work!
Interviewer: Hi Eric, good to see you, where are you now?
Interviewer: Eric, you are still muted.
Eric: Oh, sorry, I am still in Québec where I raced against the best Flat Road riders there are, but I will leave soon to the USA to take on some highways.
Interviewer: Congratulations with the award! You really love the flat roads don’t you.
Eric: Yes, it is amazing to beat Braith Rixon in the competition and for the award. It still feels like I am dreaming. That last race of the season where it all happened was just magic.
Interviewer: Good, good. Hey is your manager around somewhere?
Eric: Yeah sure, let’s see if I can get him away from the Excel with all the Dutch riders.
Eric: He says he has no time. He is tweaking the formulas to see who should be captain in Bukarest – Sinaia (WT)
Interviewer: Oh allright, well congratulate him for me then with winning the award for Best Young Team of the Season!
Eric: He says: ‘Tell her I said I am honored to be a part of that impressive list of previous winners. The road to the top is still long, but this achievement shows my team is on the right track. This will not be the last you hear of me, hopefully!
Interviewer: Hmm okay that is great. Good luck to both of you this season!
D: I like your style Frank, always good to let your co-workers do all the work! Now let’s go back to paceuts again, who will lead us into the great World of WT racing!
p: Yes Don, welcome to the magical world of The Award for Best WT Rider!
It was a question of quality or quantity for this award, with the two favourites being climber Toller Peter, who scored on five separate occasions but never won, and sprinter Digenova, who had three podium results including a victory. In the end, the Italian fast man won by a larger margin than some expected, with a whopping 29 votes.
p: "Gaetan, how does it feel to receive the Best WT Rider award for Season 58?"
Geatan: "Honestly, it feels really amazing. This was probably one of my last chances to win this award, and I am so happy to be recognized. Italy had a great season, finishing top 5, and I hope we will keep moving up!"
D: ‘Always good to see my Italian brethren succeed. Somehow they weren’t nominated for our next category though, Mal, can you explain me why? Oh, you don’t care about my fake patriotism? Fair I guess…’
Mal: ‘Manager MoxRacing won the Award for Best WT manager of the season with a show of strength similar to that with which he brought Denmark victory in this
year’s World Tour, leaving contender Portugal 210 points behind. Denmark claims its third World Tour title after 17 years. Seeing as MoxRacing revived the elite nation from absence in the World Tour only last season, his award is not a big surprise. The manager, however, was understandably happy with the award:
Mox: "Thanks mates,- its a bit overwhelming. Thanks for nomination, and thanks for all the votes. First of all thanks to the managers, for keeping their danish nt-riders in such great race conditions, that we could end up winning the World Tour. I'm no Mourinho, I have to thank a very helpful community for answering everyone of all my questions on forum and pm. Putting all these pieces of useful information together, we could make this happen. Thanks for all the manuals and all the education on forum. Thanks to Jaroslav for giving me the right tools to recreate Denmark as a great cycling-nation, and thanks to Nick, Don and all the great people that keep this wonderful game running :)"
D: ‘Lovely Speech, very touching, etc., etc.
So how are we on time now BrokenChain? Oh, it’s already morning where you live? I guess that’s not too bad considering the time difference!’
BrokenChain (B): First for the Best Tour Team Award there was plenty of choice between teams. Our judges had decided to nominee 4 teams that together won an incredible 9 jerseys in season 57.
V02maXXers, who was nominated last season too, won Volta da Lagao dos Patos. Alpine won Germany Tour YC, Vuelta de los Castillos GC and the Tweedaagse van Antwerpen YC.
Spin Doctors won Cymru Taith and CyclingClubChomutov won the GC's and YC's of both the Edmonton Red Deer Tour and Giro di Montelbano.
It turned out to be a very close race. For second place, that is, as the winner was quite clear.
Ok, let's start reading out the results. Drum roll please!
2 Teams have tied for third place with 7 votes. Congratulations Lamme Frans of V02maXXers and Michael Danner of CyclingClubChomutov.
As said before it was a close race and with only 1 vote more, Oli of Spin Doctors takes the second spot.
That leaves Snowbear from team Alpine as the winner with a staggering 30 votes.
We are currently in contact, digitally, with Snowbear of team Alpine.
B: "Hello Snowbear, where are you now?"
Snowbear (S): "Hi BrokenChain, I'm hiking around the Fjords in beautiful Norway."
B: "Ah great, well I called you because you have won the Best Tour Team Award. How do you feel right now?"
S: "Wow, that is great. I'm very happy and would like to thank Diogo, Amare and Truman for their wonderful racing".
B: "Thank you for this first reaction and enjoy your hike! Goodbye."
B: Our next category has some things in common with the best Tour teams. Namely that many nominees are from one nation teams. For this award I should say all the nominees are from 100% domestic rider teams.
The award for one nation teams. Many of these teams are united in the Patriotic Union won a staggering 4 trophies and 20 jerseys together in season 57.
This season's nominees for the Award for Best One Nation Team are Willunga Hill, Holwerda Cycling, Goege Team and Time Indaiatuba.
Willunga Hill ended the season on rank 8 of OCM with 3367 points. Holwerda was also found in division one and won the Nederlandse Tour.
Goege Teaam won Vuelta a Valpraiso and the team of Time Indaiatuba followed the rise of Douglas Brasil who won 4 jerseys with 16 wins and 22 results.
Another thing in common is that the results for this Awards second place were very close too with a similar vote count.
Tied at 3rd place, here too, with 7 points. Time Indaiatuba and Goege Team!
Number two in our list is the Nederlandse Tour winner Holwerda Cycling.
And for our winner, who we will call, Willunga Hill, who won the vote with 29 points (who "forgot" to vote here guys?).
B: "Hello Operator, I'd like to call Coulter, Willunga Hill"
Operator: "Hello, this is the Australian operator. We can not find anyone named Coulter in Willunga Hill"
B: "Are you sure? I'm looking for the cycling team manager, top ten in the world"
Operator: "Ah, sorry mate. You will have to call to New Zealand to find him"
B: "Ok. Thanks, can you put me through?"
Operator: "Will do mate"
C: "Hello, Coulter here"
B: "Hi Coulter, this is BrokenChain. We had trouble finding you, where are you now?"
C: "Ah hello Bro. I'm Hiking around the Fjords in beautiful N.."
B: "Uh nevermind, this is getting confusing! Anyway I'm calling to tell you that you have won the OCM award for the Best One Nation Team! How do you feel about winning?"
C: "Sweet as, bro. I would've never expect that. I feel great about it!"
B: "Have fun the rest of your hike and thanks for this reaction"
D: Live calls can create chaos like that. At least we can be happy that they did not drop their phones into the Fjords when someone called them. I rarely get calls, so it always scares the life out of me!
I think we will go back to Twan now again, are you still there Twan?
T: Yes Don, I am here and ready to roll! Many awards have been handed out today, and we have seen many great riders. But only the very best will win The Äme Anderberg Trophy for Best Rider of the Season. Fabio Borges, last seasons' winner, and Steiner Bredesen, the 26 year old supertalent, will be very proud to be nominated but did not get enough votes this time. Then there is Douglas Brasil, who won basically everything he put his mind to, resulting in an amazing 18 wins. A great result, with which he rightfully got quite a number of votes. But it was not enough to win this award.
Without further ado, the winner of the Äme Anderberg Trophy for Best Rider of the Season is: Benjamim Fontes!
Benjamim, congratulations! I see that puts a giant smile on your face. I have only 1 question: 2 classics, 9 wins, all at the highest level, what is your secret?’
B:"I was lucky enough to be born with talent. And I have very talented riders surrounding me. Without them, I would not be here. Perhaps my real secret is to have fun, be positive and try to love. That is what I learned from my manager. Life is good!"
T: ‘Thank you Benjamim, and good to see all that cobbling is not affecting your love-life. Back to you, Don!
D: Well done for remembering his name Twan, and well done to Benjamim for staying sober for this long after winning his first Award earlier this evening!
So that leaves it to me to round up this event. I would like to thank all of the reporters tonight for their amazing, funny, and sometimes even professional performances. Thank you MW, Frank, dustin, paceuts, Mal, BrokenChain, wronskian, Peter Marcelo, and of course Twan. Your contributions are much appreciated!
Speaking of which, we also have a Community Contribution Award to hand out! Jime of Time Indaiatuba would have deserved to win, but since his rider Douglas Brasil won so much already tonight, I decided he wouldn’t get this one as well. The Erwinator of Silenzio deserved to win, but I heard he had said some naughty things to wronskian, so he will not win this season either. Alexander of Team Chili deserved to win, but he refused his award because someone else won The Award for Best Australian again. Luckily enough, Christian of Team WonderDee not only deserved the Award, but also got the most votes from the community. So the great designer of almost all that is pretty in OCM gets the recognition he deserves! Perhaps he can also design a trophy for this Award, because right now, all we have to give him is a piece of green paper. A very nice colour green though.
And now, ladies, gentlemen, others, it is time for the final Award of the night. It’s the Award for Best Manager of the Season. And this Award was incredibly closely contested this season. The top-3 are separated by just 3 votes! And the winner of the Award is….
Two people! Doctor Love and Jempie got the exact same amount of votes. This is the second time Jempie ties with someone for the win in this Award, so now he will finally get the other half of that Trophy! Let’s hope Doctor Love doesn’t want the same half, or tries to do a breakaway with the whole trophy!
Kidding aside, it is very nice to see that the manager who finished #1 in the overall rankings, and the manager who managed the #1 ranked rider, both get the recognition they deserve.
That’s all folks, time to close the meeting! Thanks to all for be….
«Don accidentally logs out himself already»
Ah, drat. Oh well, I guess they will know who I usually thank. Let’s hope everyone will be back next season!
This article could not have been possible without the awesome help from MW, Frank, dustin, paceuts, Mal, BrokenChain, wronskian, Peter Marcelo, and Twan. If you want to help write the Awards Article next season, it’s never too early to sign up!