Top Dutch and Belgian mountain bikers of 2010 were awarded at a ceremony this weekend. Kevin van Hoovels and Sebastien Carabin won the most votes for the elite male and under 23 male mountain biker of the year titles while Dutchwoman Laura Turpin took the top women's honors.
It was the fourth edition of the Mountain Biker of the Year awards, also known as the Granny Awards. Martin Paulissen hosted the evening, which featured a trials show by Iciar Van den Bergh.
After a fantastic season, Belgian Kevin van Hoovels (Lingier-Versluys) won the overall elite men's mountain biker of the year crown. He won his national championships and stood on the podium several times in international stage races this year. He'll have a hard time doing better next year although he'll have an advantage in 2011. In January, he'll become a full-time pro. Dutchman Rudi Van Houts finished second, ahead of teammate Nicolas Vermeulen, Bas Peters and Belgian Sven Nys.
Laura Turpijn (Combee Merida) proved her role as the leading lady of Dutch mountain biking, having won the national title this year in both cross country and marathon disciplines. Turpin defeated Kristien Nelen for the top honors while Anne Terpstra, tipped as the successor to Turpin, finished third.
Belgian Sebastien Carabin took top honors in the under 23 category with Henk Jaap Moorlag in second ahead of Robby de Bock, Ruben Scheire and Niels Wubben. This year, Carabin showed his class at the European Championships, where he finished fourth, just off the podium. Despite his eighth place at the Worlds in Canada, Scheire only managed fourth place in the standings.
A sick Elise Marchal was not on hand to receive her award, which her father accepted instead on her behalf. The Belgian Marchal finished well ahead of Steffi Derveaux and Britt van den Boogaart. The talented racer was the national title winner for the second year in a row and finished fifth at the world championships in Canada. Next year will be her first year among the elites, where she will race in new Trek Team KMC colors.
The junior mountain biker of the year proved the toughest battle with strong riders from both Belgium and the Netherlands. Jeff Luyten took top honors ahead of world champion Michael Vander Heijden and Jens Schuermans, winner of the World Cup race in Val di Sole. Luyten captured his second national title in a row in Malmedy and nearly made the podium at the world championships in Canada. Next year, he moves up the ranks.
Other titles went to Tom Ingelgom (12 year olds), Arnaud Beeckman (13 year olds), Gianni Van Doninck (14 year olds), Gody Jacobs (masters 1), Nico Berckmans (masters 2), Ben Kindermans (Fun A), and Kevin Panhuyzen (beginners).
Finally, the Belgian Mountain Bike Moment of the year was chosen. Van Hoovels winning the Belgian title was awarded the best moment, which came along with a 250-euro prize.
Belgian and Dutch Mountain Bikers of the Year for 2010
|1||Kevin Van Hoovels|
|2||Rudi Van Houts|
|2||Henk Jaap Moorlag|
|3||Robby de Bock|
|2||Michiel van der Heijden|
|4||Bart De Vocht|
|3||Britt Van den Boogaart|
|1||Kevin Van Hoovels|
|2||Kenny Belaey wins his fourth world title and finishes second among the elites|
|3||Patrick Decridts' record|
|4||Junior team's performance at the World Cup|
|5||Duchenne Heroes in Leuven|
|1||Tom Van Ingelgom|
|1||Gianni Van Donink|
|2||Jens Van Rompaey|
|3||Jurgen Van Vlasselaer|