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22 December 2023 / Cycling

Amanda Reid wins the 2023 AusCycling Cyclist of the Year Award

Cyclist on velodrome

SASI para-cyclist Amanda Reid has won the Sir Hubert Opperman Trophy for the 2023 AusCycling Cyclist of the Year.

Reid accepted the award on Thursday during AusCycling’s virtual awards ceremony.

The Guringai and Wemba Wemba is the first para-cyclist and first Indigenous Australian to win the award.

Reid, 27, joins last year’s winner Jai Hindley and Australian greats Cadel Evans and Anna Meares on the Oppy Medal honour roll.

It’s amazing to join the list of Australian greats and it’s not lost on me how special it is to be the first para-cyclist and first Indigenous Australian to win the Oppy,” Reid said.

There’s been so many amazing Australian para-cyclists that have come before me and some that are still my teammates, which makes all of this even more of an honour.

I hope this opens more doors for para-cyclists to be able to win this prestigious award, as well as turning more eyes to the success of Australian para-cycling.

Born with cerebral palsy and an intellectual impairment, Reid has never used her impairments as a barrier to her love for sport and began her journey to the top of para-cycling as a child competing in short-track speed skating.

Reid took to swimming as a teenager, competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the age of 15.

The 27-year-old turned her attention to para-cycling after the London Paralympics and won a silver medal in the women’s C2 500m Time Trial at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy – her first international medal on the bike.

Since then, Reid has rarely left the podium on the track, winning 10 world championships among 17 medals, five of which have come in her pet event – the 500m Time Trial.

It was in that event that Reid broke through on the biggest stage for para-cycling, winning gold in 2021 at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

In 2023, Reid won the women’s C2 500m Time Trial once again at the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow, breaking her own world record in qualifying in a time of 38.162 seconds.

Before winning the ARA Australian Cycling Team’s first gold in Glasgow, Reid had won bronze in the individual pursuit and recorded the second-best time in the flying 200m event, which placed her top of the omnium standings with only the scratch race remaining on the program.

With only a two-point buffer, Reid rode strategically in the scratch race and was pipped on the line for gold, but most importantly finished ahead of her Swiss rival to win her third consecutive women’s C2 omnium rainbow jersey.

It was amazing to be able race alongside the able-bodied athletes at the combined World Champs,” Reid said.

And to win my ninth and tenth para-cycling world championships was pretty cool, even though I just got pipped at the line for the scratch race – which is one I wanted back badly.

I’m pretty excited for 2024 and hopefully I can make selection for my fourth Paralympics.

I have a big goal to break the 38-second barrier in the 500m Time Trial and doing it in Paris or before that at the Rio de Janeiro 2024 Para-cycling Track World Championships in March will be a big accomplishment.”

The newest Oppy medallist won the honour ahead of an esteemed cohort of three other finalists.

Those finalists were fellow para-cyclist and H3 time trial world champion Lauren Parker, UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup winner and 2023 world championship silver medallist Logan Martin, and Australia’s first Vuelta a EspaƱa points classification winner, Kaden Groves, who won four Grand Tour stages this year across La Vuelta and the Giro d’Italia.

Marne Fechner, Chief Executive Officer of AusCycling, congratulated all the award winners, finalists and nominees of this year’s AusCycling Cyclist of the Year Awards.

In 2023, we’ve seen Australian cyclists and riders perform at their best all around the world to rousing success in all disciplines, and across all ages,” Fechner said.

Achievements such as Lauren Parker’s inspiring time trial world championship win in Glasgow; Logan Martin’s continued excellence at the highest level of BMX freestyle; and Kaden Groves’ accomplishments on the road, are all moments that make us proud to be Australian.

Amanda’s consistent track record of winning para-cycling world championships in the velodrome has always stood out as nothing short of incredible.

Since 2016, she has won 17 world championship medals on the track, 10 of which have been rainbow jerseys, with her latest two arriving during the new multi-discipline UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow.

Off the bike, Amanda is a trailblazer, a woman who is immensely proud of her Indigenous heritage and her countless breakthrough achievements as an Indigenous para-athlete.

She is a deserving winner of the AusCycling Cyclist of the Year.

The Sir Hubert Opperman Trophy has been presented to the cyclist of the year since 1958. The trophy, and the Oppy Medal, are awarded by AusCycling to the best all-round performing rider who also displays a high level of sportsmanship and is an ambassador for the sport.

Article courtesy of AusCycling
Picture: SWpix