Esteban Chaves voted as the AIJC most media friendly rider in professional cycling

Esteban Chaves wint rit in Giro d'Italia. FOTO: RAYMOND KERCKHOFFS

John Wilcockson wins the Outstanding Achievement in the field of Cycling Journalism Award

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 Colombia’s Esteban Chaves of the Orica-Bike Exchange team, with American journalist John Wilcockson given the Outstanding Achievement in the field of Cycling Journalism Award.

The AIJC created the most media friendly award in 2015 to recognise those in the sport that make a special effort to work with and respect the independent role of the media in professional cycling. John Wilcockson is recognised for his pioneering role as one of the first and longest serving English-speaking journalists to cover the Tour de France and European race calendar.

Last year 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. Long-serving French journalist and historical expert Jean-Paul Olivier was given the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The AIJC was created in 1976 to bring together journalists from different media and different nations covering professional cycling with the aim to promote 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.

This year the AIJC board selected seven candidates for the most media friendly rider, team or organisation, from which over 200 members chose Chaves as the winner for 2017.

Esteban Chaves finished second at the Giro d’Italia, third at the Vuelta a Espana and won the end of season Il Lombardia, all while fulfilling media questions and requests with professionalism and a smile. In a time when the role of the professional media is proving to more vital than ever but access and availability often limited, Chaves’ attitude and that of his Orica-BikeExchange team should be considered an example for everyone in the peloton.

“It is good that a talented Grand Tour rider like Esteban Chaves understands the importance of a having good relation with the media. This prize is also for his Orica-BikeExchange team who helped develop an excellent working relationship with the media throughout the 2016 season,” AIJC president Raymond Kerckhoffs said.

“The media is a vital link between the riders, teams, races and the cycling fans around the world. Chaves gained huge admiration for the way he raced aggressively and successfully in 2016 and for his sincerity and honesty when speaking to the media, in moments of both success and defeat. One of the highlights of the 2016 season was when Chaves gracefully accepted defeat at the Giro d’Italia and his parents warmly congratulated Vincenzo Nibali despite him taking the pink jersey from their son on the final mountain stage.”


John Wilcockson – A pioneer in American cycling journalism

John Wilcockson is a deserved winner of the second AIJC Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Cycling Journalism.

Cycling has been a lifetime love affair for John. He raced when still young and then became one of the first English-speaking journalists to cover the then-mysterious world of the European peloton.

With his crisp writing, excellent reporting skills, and eye for detail, John introduced the thrilling world of European road racing to generations of English-speaking readers who were hungry to know more about the sport. Before the internet, smart phones and GPS, John was often sought for historical details, statistics and information, or simply how to find the fastest way to the start of a race.

So far in his long career, John has covered over 40 editions of the Tour de France and has served as the Editor of Winning Magazine and Velonews in the USA. He also contributed to many other leading English-language publications and is the author of 12 books, including 23 Days in July, one of ESPN’s Top 10 Sports Books of the Year.