Four Para cyclists were among those celebrated for their achievements this year in road cycling at the second International Cycling Union (UCI) Cycling Gala, held Tuesday (18 October) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic champions included: Vincent ter Schure and Timo Fransen (men’s B road race) of the Netherlands; Great Britain’s Sarah Storey (women’s C5 time trial, C4-5 road race); Australia’s Carol Cooke (women’s T1-2 time trial, road race); and Italy’s Alex Zanardi (men's H5 time trial, H2-5 mixed team relay).
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “It has been a standout professional road season for both men and women, not least with the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and the inaugural edition of the UCI Women’s World Tour. The UCI Cycling Gala gives us the opportunity to celebrate the magnificent performances from what has been a memorable season. The festivities take place at an ideal moment in the season, just days after the UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which hosted the discipline’s first Worlds in the Middle East, and on the eve of the Abu Dhabi Tour.”
His Excellency Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s General Secretary said: “We were honoured to host the UCI Cycling Gala once again and pay tribute to the incredible performances of male and female road cyclists. It was a fantastic celebration of this year’s road cycling season. With three major cycling events in the same week in the Middle East, we are very much looking forward to Abu Dhabi being in the global cycling and sporting spotlight.”
In total, 24 award winners were named that included stand-out riders, teams and nations from the UCI WorldTour, the UCI Women's WorldTour, the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and the UCI Road World Championships.