Last year, NICA was honored with Interbike’s Next Generation Award. You can’t win this award twice, but the next best thing is to be invited back the very next year to select the recipients and present the award! This is exactly what happened at the 2016 Interbike Awards. We are beyond grateful to be given the opportunity to not only present, but help pick this year’s Next Generation Rider award.
Below you can find a transcript of the award presentation, along with a behind the scenes video at the conclusion of this post.
I’m really honored to be here tonight and to present that Next Generation Rider of the year award. This award recognizes the amateur mountain bike athlete, male or female, who has embodied the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s core values of strong body, mind and character during a breakout race year. This category includes performances across the following disciplines of mountain bike racing: Cross Country, Downhill, Short Track and Enduro – and sadly Hans – not Trials.
Performances are considered for all races that took place between October 1st, 2015 & July 31st, 2016. Nominees and winners were selected by NICA’s executive staff.
With nearly 10,000 student-athletes participating in NICA Leagues, we have a lot of talented riders deserving of this award. We really struggled to select a single individual as the nominees are all outstanding.
This year’s winner raced 27 times between October 2015 & July 2016 across 8 separate disciplines with no DNFs and finished the season winning the Cross Country National Championships. All while studying landscape architecture at the University of California Berkeley. And for these reasons in combination with strong body, mind and character we present the next generation award to Megan Bradley.
Wow I’m so excited to accept this award. Huge thanks to NICA. With out them I wouldn’t be standing up here. I started racing at Rim of the World High School 6 years ago when I was a freshman in the SoCal High School Cycling League. I’d like to give a huge thanks to my coach in high school, Scot Craft, he came out tonight [waves to crowd] he taught me how to mountain bike and race.
I’m so grateful to be attending Cal Berkeley and race for the Cal Cycling Team. And of course, a HUGE thank you to my parents who are so supportive, loving and always are at every race. Thank you!
We caught up with Megan after the award ceremony and here is what she had to say,
This award is one of highest honors for me to receive. I appreciate that it represents my accomplishments in mountain bike races, and especially my life around the sport as well. This award promotes athletes to be their best on the bike, but also a balanced individual who promotes the sport through their lifestyle. I am so grateful that I was brought up through NICA and learned how to be a hard working competitor and a good sport at races and in life.