Gerrans and Pullin awarded
SIMON Gerrans has been named Victorian Sportsperson of the Year and Alex “Chumpy” Pullin Victorian Male Athlete of the Year.
The Tour de France stage winner and yellow jersey holder, Gerrans was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award for Victorian Sportsperson of the Year last week.
The Governor’s Award is presented to an athlete who has not only achieved outstanding sporting performances but has also made a significant contribution to sport as a leader and a role model.
Gerrans fulfilled both of these criteria exceptionally well to join an honor roll of previous winners including Cathy Freeman, Cadel Evans, Sharelle McMahon, Andrew Gaze and last year’s joint winners Kelly Cartwright and Kim Crow.
Vicsport chief executive officer Mark McAllion said, “Simon is a most deserving winner of the Governor’s Award for Victorian Sportsperson of the Year.
“Simon had not only had wonderful results in 2013, particularly at the Tour de France, but has also conducted himself in a way that has had a positive impact on the promotion of Victorian sport.”
Gerrans was unable to attend the awards as he is in Europe for the beginning of the cycling season there.
He posted a comment on Twitter, saying “Huge honor to win Vic Sports Awards Sportsperson of the year for 2013”.
“Sorry I couldn’t be there.”
The season opener is the Milan/San Remo Classic, a two day 298km ride which Gerrans won in 2012.
Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin took out Victorian Male Athlete of the Year for his Snowboard Cross World Championship and Kim Crow made it back-to-back Victorian Female Athlete of the Year crowns with her single skull World Championship and undefeated rowing season.
2013 was a fantastic year for Victorian sport with the nominee field for male, female and junior Athletes of the Year including an impressive 10 World Champions across a wide variety of sports.
In less welcome news, Gerrans was forced to withdraw from last Sunday’s Milan-San Remo classic, an event he won in 2012.
According to OricaGreenedge team director Mat White, Gerrans has been battling allergies, then fell ill on the weekend.
“The decision was taken that he would not start,” White said.
He’s not in any state to race any race let alone our longest and one of our most difficult races of the year in 24 hours,” said White on Sunday.
The best placed Orica rider in the event was Gerrans” good friend, South African Daryl Impey, who placed 49th.