Since 1992 PULL magazine has asked YOU, the racers, fans, and BMX industry to vote for your favorites in four categories. The categories are PRO, ROOKIE PRO, BIKE, and TEAM of the year. After all the votes are cast they are then tallied up to see who the lucky winners are. The PULL magazine Golden Crank awards are awarded to the winners in all four categories at the Greatest Race on Earth, the USA BMX Grand National in Tulsa, OK. As you can see by the list below, the Golden Crank Award winners are a list of whos who in the BMX racing world past and present.
Alex Tougas made Golden Crank history by being the first Canadian recipient of the award. Racing for Yess Bicycles - who swept up the other Golden Cranks (for Team and Bike), Tougas had been a force to reckon with for years - in the amateur ranks. While his his Pro debut saw him struggle, he would still be dubbed as the next big Olympic hopeful for Canada; a fitting replacement someday for Tory Nyhaug. He is expected to pick up the torch and run with it as Tokyo 2020 draws near.
It was only fitting that Sam Willoughby win the Golden Crank Award for 2016; and with 30% of the vote - he ran away with it. Only two and a half months earlier, Sam was injured during a typical practice-day at Chula Vista BMX, when a freak accident on September 10th, 2016, he suffered a spinal cord injury around his C5 – C7 vertebrae. Sam being the fighter that he is with a spirit of a true champion discovered that he's won the award while doing aggressive rehabilitation therapy in Colorado - with the main goal being to walk his fiance - Alise Post, down the aisle.
Alise accepted the award on behalf of Sam, in an emotional speech - prior to winning her ninth No.1 Pro Woman title.
Yess BMX really stepped things up in 2016, with four major forces scattered all around the Globe. In the U.S., they had a super strong East Coast and West Coast presence - ran by team managers Jerry Bradford in the west and Lisa Motley on the east-side. Then they had their International team, with top-notch riders all over Europe, headed up by UK Olympic superstar Liam Phillips. And of course, there was the incredible Canadian squad, at their homebase of Vancouver - who continued to dominate the BMX Canada series.
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