Track cyclist Becky James, 22 was last night named as the Sunday Times and Sky Sports Young Sports Woman of the Year for her achievements in 2013.
James missed out on riding at the Olympic Games in 2012, but refocussed her training to target the world championships in Minsk at the beginning of this year. She won world titles in the keirin and sprint and bronze medals in the 500m time trial and team sprint to become the first British rider to win four medals at a single worlds.
She is currently in Mexico ahead of the second round of the UCI Track World Cup so was unable to collect the award in person, but said she was honoured to be reecognised.
She said: “It’s just incredible to receive the award and it rounds off the best year of my career so far and I’m proud to see the long, hard hours of training have paid off.
“There’s so many people that I owe thanks to, but in particular I’d like to thank my coaches and all the support staff at British Cycling who have helped me over the years, and also my family and friends for their constant support. I’m looking forward to building on what I’ve achieved so far, and hopefully 2014 will be another great year.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.