Geoff Stoker MASTERS CYCLIST OF THE YEAR (The full story)
20 Nov 2015
Geoff Stoker (NSW) clinched the Overall Masters Cyclist of the Year gong following a record setting season 2015 season.
Sydney's Stoker excelled yet again on the world stage, claiming two track world titlesat the Masters Track World Championships in Manchester.
Earlier in the year, Stoker won four Australian titles and in July he also set two world best times in the flying 200m and time trial in Mexico.
Here is the long version if you like a bit more detail.
Got to Sydney airport and thought might just let a few friends know I was going down for the Cyclist of the year shindig. Let my little mate Chris Murray know and a few others, then along the way Gavin White mentioned Steve Fairless was looking really strong to take out the title for the Masters. I have known Steve since we were in an Australian team for the Oceania Championships in New Caledonia together but hadn’t heard any of his latest achievements. Gavin grew up in Sheparton with Steve and started by telling me he had won the World road championships in Denmark and about 20 other races in Europe leading up to that. He had finished 23rd in the Melbourne to Warnambool and didn’t lose any time on the winners. Then he really got me thinking by letting me know they had made a documentary about Steve.
At that point I had resigned myself to maybe getting the Masters track award but not the overall.
Touched down in Melbourne and was lucky enough to catch up with Shane and Darryl Perkins a couple of mates of mine. We caught up at a bar prior to the function and had a bit of a chat. Great to get some insight of what Shane goes through and how things have changed at the AIS.
Showered, changed into a suit and strolled along the docks to the venue. On the way there I was fortunate enough to catch up with a few more folks I knew. Ray Godkin former president of Cycling Australia, Steve McGlede former World points race champion and Parramatta rider. When you are there they usually have a pre event not so formal hang out. Boy if you wanted to hang in the who’s who of cycling. You look over one side Robbie McEwen turn around Phil Anderson 37 degrees back Annette Edmondson I caught up with some more people I knew like Jock Bullen (Mitch Bullen’s Grandpa) and former AIS head coach Charlie Walsh.
Into the venue we go and get seated, tables of ten, most of my table were masters Garry Mandy last years winner Rene Covington and Deb Coulls wondering who would win the masters women’s track award.
Right next to me but sitting at the next table was Steve Fairless I said g’day and we chatted for a while catching up on a few missed years then the presentations started.
They would present the we would eat more awards more tucker and on we went.
About the middle of the night they started on the masters. Kate Bates who we all know was announcing the winners of each category. Men’s MTB, Women’s Road ETC. Men’s Masters Track and my name was announced. Men’s Masters road and Kate named Steve Fairless………and the overall Masters cyclist of the Year is………………Geoff Stoker. I was blown away. Walking from the table to the stage I had to get a bit of a speech organized.
Now if you asked me exactly what I said I don’t have a clue. I think it all came out OK and I tried my hardest to thank all of you that had helped me along, one way or another to get to where I got this year. Matt Keenan complimented me as I came off the stage so it must have been OK.
Now I get to relax and watch the rest of the night and see Rohan Dennis take the big one. Boy he had a great year. The other stand outs for me were Netti Edmondson and Adam Hansen. He was funny he won the people choice award and sent a video from base camp Mt Everest funny and he is a hard guy.
Sitting and watching the rest of the night a couple of nice things happened first Shane Kelly put his hand on my shoulder and said nice one big guy then after that Kate came by and congratulated me again.
So thanks everyone for the support through this year and I hope we all achieve more next year.