Who has worked the hardest, raced the fastest (not much of that going on this year though), championed the most or just helped enable more of us to get out and ride. Whose presence has made your 2020 that little bit better – who has inspired you the most in 2020? Here are your three finalists.
Martha Gill and Bex Baraona as the ‘Gowaan Gals’ are a racing, riding, giggling and multimedia phenomenon. What sets these two apart from many ‘athlete influencers’ is their realism. There’s no staged ‘woke up like this’ Instagram posting, instead you get squealing, sliding, falling off in the mud and everything that riding with your mates should be. With the bikes skills to back up their social media presence, they’re bringing a fresh mix of athleticism and fun to the race scene. You can laugh while still being focussed on results, you can be silly without being a party animal, and you can be a real person and still be a personality. If only all social media was as healthy.
This year has prevented them running their Gowaan Gals festival, which was a successful weekender event last year that gave female riders of all ages a taste of all sorts of mountain bike riding. Steep downhill ruts, slippery dual slalom, and even an air bag brought the party atmosphere, were all accompanied by commentary and heckling from the Gowaan Gals. Whether you watch them or join in with their events, they’re always encouraging you to ‘Give it a go and remember to be silly’.
Now practically ancient by the standards of pro racing, at 38 years old Greg Minnaar is a rider who has been quietly racing and delivering results for year after year after year. But when was the last time you saw him in a shredit, or posing on Instagram with a smoothie? Look at his sponsor list and it’s a practical line up of bike bits and gear – no energy drinks or vitamin pills. In a day and age of product endorsements and paid-for-posts, Greg just quietly gets on with racing and lets his results do the talking.
With a DH World Cup medal haul spanning 20 years, he hardly needs another trinket to add to his mantlepiece, but maybe you’ll decide that a Singletrack Reader Award would be a good addition to his collection.
Mike ‘Puffa’ Jones
Away from the race tape and social media, here’s a different kind of personality. Mike ‘Puffa’ Jones has been nominated for his work taking in donated bikes and fixing them up to give away for free. He started last November by buying one for £2.50 in a charity shop, then offering it up for free. Since then, he’s been donated hundreds of bikes which have been donated not just to children but also to key workers.
While he’s a one man band based in Newport, Wales, he’s been able to work with charities in other parts of Wales to deliver bikes to youth groups, refugees and other people in need of a set of wheels. The bikes he fixes up and sends out are a far cry from the bling that most of us ride, but cast your mind back to your first bike, and whatever shape it was, it got you to here. Perhaps Mike has sown the seeds of the Greg Minnaar or Gowaan Gals of the future?
How to vote & enter our Muc Off prize draw
Once you have considered the finalists just click the circle next to your preferred winner below and then hit the submit button. Once your vote has been counted you will be redirected to our 2020 Awards page with the other categories so you can vote again in another category.
You can only vote once in each category and once your vote is submitted you cannot change your mind.
Each successful vote will earn you one ticket in our Muc-Off prize draw. Vote in each of the twelve categories and you will maximise your chances of winning. The winners will be chosen at random from the pool of voters on the 30th November 2020 and all winners will be contacted directly via their registered accounts shortly after that date.
Although the draw is open to anyone with a registered account, unfortunately we cannot deliver prizes to addresses outside of the United Kingdom. Overseas winners will need to specify a UK delivery address for any prizes if they win.
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