Simon Gerrans has capped his stellar season by winning Cycling Australia's highest honour.
By
AAP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

The 34-year-old was awarded the Sir Hubert Opperman medal, or "Oppy" as Australian cyclist of the year. It is the first time Gerrans has won the award.

"It's a huge honour to win the Oppy and have my name alongside previous winners like Russell Mockridge, Cadel Evans, Anna Meares and Caroline Buchanan who have all done great things for cycling in Australia," said Gerrans.

"And it's really nice to be recognised in this way, particularly with so many people in the room who have been such an important part of my career."

Gerrans also took out the men's road cycling and people's choice categories at CA's annual function on Friday night in Melbourne. And in a further honour Gerrans was named in an honorary Tour de France team to mark the 100-year anniversary of Australia's involvement in the race.

Cadel Evans, Phil Anderson, Robbie McEwen, Sir Hubert Opperman, Richie Porte, Michael Rogers, Brad McGee and Mark Renshaw were the other Australians selected in the one-off lineup - Anderson, Gerrrans and Evans were present.



Evans was also not shy of the stage in Friday night's black-tie dinner. A video tribute to Evans and a standing ovation for the Australian came as a fitting mark of respect to the former Tour de France winner.

"It's just been an incredible adventure so far," Evans said. "It's hard to sum up 20 years."

Gerrans started this year by winning the Australian road race title for the second time. He then also claimed his third overall Tour Down Under title, beating Evans by one second. But Gerrans's biggest prize came in late April, when he became the first Australian to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

It was a major scalp for the Orica-GreenEDGE team leader, who had dreamed for several years of winning one of the Ardennes classics. While Gerrans' July Tour de France campaign was ruined by a crash at the end of the opening stage, he rebounded by finishing the season much the same way he had started.

Gerrans won the GP Cycliste de Quebec and GP Cycliste de Montral races in Canada and then took silver in the men's elite road race at the world championships.

While Evans is Australia's greatest cyclist, Gerrans' year showed he is also comfortably in the top echelon.

In the other major awards Tiffany Cromwell took out the women's road category at the CA awards and Alex Edmondson and Amy Cure were named the top track cyclists, while Jared Graves and Janine Jungfels won the elite mountain bike awards.