Wiggins wins major sportsperson title
Rising international cyclist Craig Wiggins has stamped himself as the region’s best athlete for the second time, announced the 2018 Wellington & Reeves Albany Sportsperson of the Year at Thursday’s gala presentation.
Wiggins won the overall award in 2017 when he claimed his third title as the best junior sportsperson in Albany.
The cycling dynamo moved out of the junior category last year and his step up to seniors coincided with a career-best calendar year highlighted by two victories on international soil.
His 2018 included winning the 80km Wielerronde van Albrandswaard race in the Netherlands against riders on the world tour.
He tasted more success on the European tour, winning the Ronde van Oudenbosch event, another criterium race, among other impressive wins in the Tour Of Gippsland, the Chas Egan Memorial race and WA elite criterium series.
Wiggins was unable to be there and accept his two awards on Thursday, racing overseas in the Tour of Taiyuan and the Tour of Qinlin, but was humbled by the recognition of his hard work.
“Yeah, I was pretty amped when I found out I had won the Senior Sportsperson of the Year award, with 2018 being my first year as a senior,” he said. “To win the overall was awesome.
“When I get recognised with awards like this one, it’s a good time to reflect and look back on the hard work my support team and myself have put in to keep me progressing through this sport.
“You don’t get too many of these moments throughout the year, so it’s something truly special when you do.”
After turning 20 last Tuesday, the Albany Cycling Club member has his eye on becoming a fully fledged professional rider.
In his acceptance speech video, Wiggins said it was his dream to race at the highest level in cycling, and credited 2018 as being his breakthrough year.
“It was a very tough year, both physically and mentally,” he said. “There were a lot of up and downs but I just had to ride the rollercoaster and I came out the other side with the best year of my cycling career to date.”
Long-time coach Stuart Passmore was on hand at the presentations to accept Wiggins’ awards and his family, including junior category nominees Emily and Danica, were also in the room.
Wiggins defeated an impressive field of senior finalists sponsored by Impulse Cycles, including multiple former winner Steve Hurley, modern pentathlete Tori Squire and hockey’s Heath Cremasco.
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