Christchurch mountainbiker Anton Cooper was named BikeNZ People's Choice Award winner yesterday.
The 18-year-old from North Canterbury beat several high profile Olympians to win the award.
Cooper made history earlier this year when he became the first UCI cross-country mountainbike world champion in any age group from New Zealand.
"It's pretty cool, I guess being voted by the public reflects both sporting ability and also indicates what sort of person you are as well. It's a pretty cool acknowledgement and a great honour," said Cooper.
"I think the public is often the truest voting system, rather than a panel of four or five people, so to be recognised by the New Zealand public is really cool."
Olympic cyclists snapped up seven of the eight 2012 BikeNZ Rider of the Year awards.
Road riders Jack Bauer (Tasman) and Linda Villumsen (Auckland) won the male and female rider of the year awards in their disciplines.
Simon van Velthooven (Manawatu) cashed in on his Olympic bronze to win male track rider of the year, while individual pursuit world champion Alison Shanks (Dunedin) took the female award.
Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker (Cambridge) is the female BMX rider of the year, with fellow Olympian Marc Willers (Cambridge) claiming the men's award.
- The Press
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