The New South Wales Grand Prix won the 2011 Event of the Year at the NSW Sports Awards last week, despite the criterium series being truncated due to a lack of government support. The award is seen as a positive if the New South Wales Grand Prix is to expand as hoped.
"There is little doubt that we are delighted with winning this prestigious award and must be gratifying for the various supporters, especially NSW Government and Skoda, the Nine Network and 2GB," said series promoter, Phill Bates. "The sport of cycling needs the opportunity of having world class cycling and this event has attracted so many great champions and given NSW cyclists the opportunity of racing against some of the best in the world."
The event was cut from five races in 2010, to just two in 2011 with criteriums being held in Wollongong and Cronulla on the final weekend of November. Chris Sutton (Sky) was crowned men’s champion for the second year running with his first place at the Wollongong event, followed by a narrow loss to Michael Matthews (Rabobank) at Cronulla. Former national champion Kirsty Broun, while not a major player in race two, did enough to secure the overall victory following her second placing in Wollongong.
"Wollongong City Council was magnificent in their support and apart from many aspects managed to provide more than $200,000 worth of works to ensure and fast and safe circuit," Bates said. "Sutherland Shire Council has always been the forefront of the Cronulla Grand Prix, staged for the first occasion back in 2006."