Never before has a BMX Freestyle rider accepted the Sir Hubert Opperman Medal, awarded to AusCycling Cyclist of the Year, but after his performance at the Olympics, it’s no surprise that Logan Martin offered another first.
The Gold Coast rider firmly captured the discipline’s first men’s Olympic gold medal, needing just one pass to secure victory on his debut in Tokyo, finishing a stellar year which also saw him crowned world champion.
“I’ve always just ridden and worked out, like any other athlete, and now to be sitting next to some amazing names it’s pretty hard to believe to be honest,” Martin said as he accepted the night’s top prize at distance.
“Yes, that’s really huge for BMX Freestyle. For me winning this award, being the first BMX Freestyle athlete to win it, puts it more on the map,” added Martin. “We’ve just become an Olympic sport, and in the last few years we’ve started working with the Australian cycling team, so putting BMX Freestyle on that trophy too is amazing.”
The “Oppy” medal is named after revered Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman who, among his many accomplishments, won the nonstop Paris-Brest-Paris, breaking all previous distance records along the way. The medal, awarded 65 times, went to runners such as Richie Porte, Cadel Evans, Caleb Ewan, Anna Meares, Rohan Dennis, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O’Grady, Scott Sunderland, Michael Rogers and Michael Matthews.
Over the years, the winning list has been dominated by road and track cyclists, but was once reserved for a BMX rider, but not in the Freestyle discipline. Caroline Buchanan won the medal in 2013 after winning not only a BMX world title but also the 4X MTB crown.
Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën Team), fourth in the Tour de France at his debut, won in the men’s road race.
“It’s unexpected, and I think the year itself was also unexpected with the way it turned out and how I was able to finally achieve what I’ve always dreamed of and hoped for, and for these people have always made efforts in me “, O” From my roots in Australia, from Wayne Evans with Satalyst Racing to Andrew Christie-Johnson at Avanti, via Dimension Data, and now AG2R Citroën where I finally have the feeling of to have found a solid home and a place that I love to race and race with my bike. “
Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) took home the Women’s Road Cyclist award again this year after securing two wins at the Women’s WorldTour in 2021, placing fourth in the time trial at the Olympics and notching a long list of podiums despite the fact that she had to end her season earlier. as a result of a shoulder injury.
Other winners in all categories included Emily Petricola – who in her Paralympic debut won silver in the women’s C4 individual road time trial – and the bronze medalist Olympic team pursuit team. Australia made up of Kelland O’Brien, Leigh Howard, Sam Welsford, Luke Plapp and Alexandre Porter. Rebecca McConnell also claimed a clear victory in the women’s mountain bike category after winning her eighth consecutive elite national title as well as a silver medal at the Mountain Bike World Cups in Lenzerheide and in snowshoes and a bronze medal. in Nove Mesto.
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