By Bardy the Action Scribe

MTN Cycling have a few good reasons to celebrate following the 2007 Standard Bank Cyclist of the Year Awards banquet held at Emperor’s Palace on Tuesday night.

The MTN Microsoft men’s road team won the inaugural Team of the Year award for their outstanding string of performances, while MTN’s Sifiso Nhlapo won the Male BMX Rider of the Year for the fourth year in succession.

The MTN Microsoft men’s team receives their Team of the Year award.

MTN Microsoft’s Daryl Impey was a finalist in the Elite Men’s Road Rider of the Year category; and Kevin Evans of the Raleigh MTN Energade mountain bike team was a finalist in both Male Cross Country Rider of the Year and Male Mountain Biker of the Year categories.

Cherise Taylor, who has been signed to lead the new MTN women’s road team for 2008, was named Female Cyclist of the Year following her silver medal winning ride at the Junior Road Race world championships.

Sifiso Nhlapo accepts the award for Male BMX Rider of the Year for the fourth year in succession.

Nhlapo is the county’s top-ranked international BMX racer and an Olympic medal hopeful for Beijing next year, where BMX racing makes it’s Games debut.

The MTN Microsoft men’s road team beat off Konica Minolta and Neotel for the Team of the Year award, not surprisingly considering the following statistics:
•    Races entered: 72
•    Races won: 52
•    Second places: 29
•    Third places: 27
•    Total podium places: 108

The 2007 MTN Microsoft team comprised Malcolm Lange (10 wins), Neil MacDonald (4 wins), Daryl Impey (14 wins), Nicholas White (11 wins), Daniel Spence (2 wins), Jamie Ball (3 wins), Waylon Woolcock (6 wins), Douglas Ryder (1 win), Melt Swanepoel (1 win) and MTN Academy rider, Jonathan Kinnear. Team manager: Jacques Fullard.

The awards function was attended by most of South African cycling’s leading stars and personalities, including guest Master of Ceremonies, Phil Liggett.