The Rider of the Year was first awarded in 2010. Since then many illustrious names have taken the Lewis Barry Trophy for their performances whilst representing the Rayner Foundation.
2021 was an interrupted year but in the end a lot of racing was completed. With 42 riders supported and some fantastic performances it was going to be difficult to make a decision.
Breaking with tradition and to reflect the fact that not everything has to be as it always was we have the names of 4 riders who we consider worthy of recognition.
Lewis Askey is someone who likes to mix it up a bit - riding road, cross and MTB (and Motos) kept it all interesting. Big races and lots of high placings but he had to wait until the end of the season before he got his big win in Ronde Isard. With a 5th place in the World Championships Road Race Lewis was then rewarded with a Professional World Tour Contract with Groupama FDJ
Josie Nelson went to Belgium in the summer to start riding some races with her Club Isorex Ladies. It didn’t take long before she was winning big (1000 euro prize cheque anyone?) and the professional teams came looking. Team Coop Hitec from Norway signed her up immediately on a trial and took her to the Womens Tour back in the UK. Top ten results on stages and they knew they had a potential star in the making. They signed her on a two-year contract for 2022/3 and she finished the season with second place in the British National Road Race Championships in Lincoln.
Calum Johnston spent 2021 in Spain with the development team of Caja Rural Seguros RGA. They have a long tradition of producing professional riders and it proved that Calum was ideally suited to the the hard climbing races of Spain. With 4 one day races and a stage race in the bag the professional team signed him up as their first ever Scottish rider.
Leo Hayter had by his own admission a bit of an up and down season, but it all came good in the end. And what an end it was! Not until the last weeks of September did he win at Liege Bastogne Liege U23, stage win at Tour de Bretagne and become National Champion in the U23 TT.
We did not have a Dinner this year so we all missed out on the excitement of the live reveal but hopefully these riders will still be happy to receive the recognition they deserve.
Photos Riders Own