Marianne Vos was honoured by the AIOCC, the association of race organisers, at its general assembly in Amsterdam on Friday. The Dutchwoman was the joint recipient of the AIOCC Trophy for 2017 together with the Giro d'Italia, which was honoured for organising its 100th edition last year.
The annual AIOCC Trophy has been awarded since 1960 to “an influential person in cycling” and the roll of honour is an eclectic one. Previous winners include Eugene Christophe (1965), Jacques Anquetil (1974), Sean Kelly (1994), Ernesto Colnago (2000) and Peter Sagan (2016).
Multiple recipients in the same year are not unusual. In 1960, for instance, the inaugural AIOCC Trophies were awarded to the Leroux-Helyett team, Legnao manager Eberardo Pavesi and Groene Leeuw manager Albert De Kimpe.
Vos is the first female recipient of the prize, and the AIOCC said that she had been honoured in recognition of her status as a "women's cycling legend." The association also announced on Friday that Eddy Merckx – already AIOCC Trophy winner in 1980 – will again be honoured with the AIOCC Trophy next year.
UCI president David Lappartient and UCI Road Commission president Tom Vandamme attending the AIOCC assembly and made a presentation on the UCI’s planned reforms, which are scheduled to come into effect in 2020.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme is the head of the AIOCC, which represents the interests of 124 race organisers around the world. In his speech on Friday, the Frenchman said that every race organiser wanted to know "whether these changes will be good for the race or races for which we are responsible," and stressed that the importance of safeguarding the credibility of cycling.
"Nothing is more important than the credibility of the race results in our discipline. We must be able to believe in ourselves, that people can believe in our champions, that they can admire them without reservation, that we are no longer the subject of muddy but regular jokes on the internet and in the media; in the world of the opinion makers," Prudhomme said. "No reform, no reorganization will have as much impact on our future as this respect for ethics."
Lappartient, meanwhile, stated his hope that the reforms put in place "will open new horizons for our sport."