From racing and coaching to volunteering, Cycling BC honoured all facets of Squamish mountain biking at its annual Awards Night at Vancouver’s Heritage Hall on Friday (Nov. 20).
Team Squamish members Miranda Miller, Mo Lawrence and Lauren Rosser received racing awards while Team BC downhill coach Dave Hord and co-ordinator Tamsin Miller were also recognized as 40 total awards were dished out.
“There must be something in the water,” said provincial head coach and director of high performance for Cycling BC Richard Wooles.
“It says that the people in Squamish are doing great things. Great riders, places to ride and support staff. I think we’ll see a lot more great results in the next few years coming out of Squamish.”
Miranda Miller was named the Female Downhill Rider of the Year after winning the U.S. Open and Kokanee Crankworx’s Monster Energy Garbanzo Downhill in her first season as an elite racer. She fought back from kidney failure midseason to win the Garbanzo and earn a sport on Canada’s national team.
Miller is already getting more recognition from sponsors like Pinkbike, which is supporting her as a profile and media sponsor, she said.
“It will be really good because, apart from racing and everything, we want to do web edits and photo shoots and stuff. It’s really good for exposure so I’m pretty pumped to work with them,” said Miller.
Fellow downhiller Claire Buchar, who splits her time between Whistler and Squamish, was singled out for the Female Cyclist Special Recognition Award.
The future of Squamish’s cross-country riders is also bright, as Lawrence and Rosser were name male and female U17 Cross-country Riders of the Year, while Robert Leigh followed close behind Lawrence in second place.
The pair of Grade 11’s had a huge season winning provincial and national championships, with Rosser winning both cross-country and downhill nationals. She came close to adding the Cycling BC downhill award to her mantle but it was given to Holly Feniak.
Great coaching often precedes great racing. Hord received the Coach of the Year Award over coaches from all other disciplines in his first season as Team BC’s downhill head coach and team manager.
Hord’s people skills and keen eye for race courses, as well as years of experience racing bikes and snowboards, made him stand out. He plans on continuing to coach with Cycling BC and Mad March Racing next season, he said, adding that transferring from the local to the provincial level poses interesting challenges.
“I love it. It’s a fantastic group to work with and it’s definitely a different challenge than our Squamish team, which is much more tightly knit,” he said.
“You’re really dealing with 10 individual programs and then trying to work each of those individual athletes into a team setting as well.”
Meanwhile, volunteer Tamsin Miller ties the team together as downhill co-ordinator, making her the Volunteer of the Year for the second consecutive season. Miller, mother of Miranda, puts a lot of time and effort into handling communications and logistics. And the rewards are worth every minute, she said.
“At the end of it you see them winning things and getting so much out of the sport generally. That’s the nicest thing,” she said. “When I see them all hanging out together and enjoying one another’s company and just loving what they do, it’s great.”