AIJC Awards 2017 for Tom Dumoulin and Graham Watson

Photo: Mario Stiehl

The Association Internationale des Journalistes du Cyclisme (AIJC) has voted to give its annual award for the most media-friendly rider in professional cycling to Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb, with British photographer Graham Watson being honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in the field of Cycling Journalism Award.

The AIJC created the most media-friendly award in 2015 as a form of recognition of those members of the professional cycling community who make a special effort to work with the media and who respect the media’s independent role in professional cycling.

Graham Watson is well-known for his pioneering role as one of the first and longest-serving English-speaking photographers, covering races internationally for almost 40 years. His pictures have been published all over the world. We can say that his pictures gave the sport colour.

In 2015 the Giant-Alpecin team won the most media-friendly award in recognition of its efforts to work with and assist the media throughout the season. Last year the prize went to Colombian Esteban Chaves.

The AIJC was created in 1976 to bring journalists from different media and different nations covering professional cycling together, with the aim of promoting solidarity among sports journalists throughout the world. The AIJC works with the UCI, race organisers, teams and riders to sustain and develop a professional working relationship and the correct reporting of the sport on a worldwide basis. The AIJC strives to constantly improve the working conditions of its members and as a consequence the reporting of professional cycling.

Raymond Kerckhoffs is the current president of the AIJC, with delegates and representatives in numerous parts of the world. The AIJC has more than 300 members from more than 30 countries.

In 2017 Tom Dumoulin won the Giro d’Italia, became the World Individual Time Trial Champion, formed part of the squad that won the World Team Time Trial Championships and triumphed in the BinckBank Tour. At a time when the role of the professional media is proving to more vital than ever but access and availability is often limited, Dumoulin’ attitude and that of Team Sunweb should be considered an example for everyone in the peloton.

“I’m honoured to receive this award and bring it back to the team,” explained Dumoulin. “We really value a good relationship with the media and understand that this is part of my job as a cyclist throughout the year. I’m pleased to be considered as an approachable, keen-to-talk rider and I am happy that this is appreciated by the award.

“It is great that a champion like Tom Dumoulin understands the importance of having a good relation with the media,” AIJC president Raymond Kerckhoffs said. “The media acts as a vital link between the riders, teams, races and the cycling fans around the world. One of the highlights of the 2017 season in that area occurred when Dumoulin lost the leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia three days before the race ended. Despite that loss and all it implied for him, Dumoulin spoke for 20 minutes outside the team bus, in three different languages with all the international media.”


AIJC on Play the Game

At the international sportcongress Play the Game the AIJC was presented with a presentation about ‘The Media’s role in future succes of Pro Cycling. Raymond Kerckhoffs and Stephen Farrand gave this presentation. They worked together on this subject with the editors of The Outerline.

You can download the presentation slides here.