VeloVixen collecting Award

Nearly 8000 votes cast. Over 250 guests in attendance. World class stars. A genuine sense of anticipation around each award.

If 2014 was the year the Total Women's Cycling Awards were born, 2015 was surely the year they came of age. Many finalists were positively star struck to be nominated, and honoured to be in the running for such prestigious awards. The head of one of the smaller pro-teams could barely contain her excitement at being in the same category as the likes of giants Wiggle Honda.

We were honoured and excited to be headline sponsoring the awards for a second year, but we could never have anticipated what a thrilling evening we were all in for.

In some ways, it's a curious occasion for us. One moment we're dealing with enthusiastic customers on our stand at the London Bike Show and taking payment for two mugs and a cycling jersey. The next, it's a quick hop to the show theatre where the Great and the Good of women's cycling are gathering.

And then there's the small matter of both sponsoring the awards and being nominated for one of them by public vote. In short, VeloVixen was everywhere!

This year, the buzz was palpable. Familiar faces from the women's cycling world were thick on the ground. On 'Ladies Day' at the show, it felt like women's cycling was calling the shots. Our friend Anna Glowinski led from the front as host for the awards, with able assistance from Downhill World Champion Manon Carpenter. And there were free drinks.

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Our award was third and we had no clue how we would have fared in the voting. When our name was announced it was an emotional moment. We've put everything we have into VeloVixen - more passion, time, money and hard work than we ever believed possible.

To see our name on our award as 'Female Specific Retailer of the Year 2015' was special. And to hear later about the breadth of our margin of victory made it all the more rewarding. It's a wonderful feeling to know we have such loyal support.

Other notable winners that caught our eye included the inimitable Lizzie Armitstead as Pro-Rider of the Year, one of our heroes Emma Pooley as well deserved Cycling Personality of the Year. We were pleased to see Le Grand Départ take Cycling Event of the Year - perhaps not the most female-orientated event of 2014, but the highest profile and we loved being part of it. And it was somehow fitting that the amazing Rochelle Gilmore's Wiggle-Honda, as the pre-eminent force in pro riding, should win Cycling Team of the Year.

The Near Miss Project was a worthy winner of Cycling Initiative of the Year, and the Blaze ladies have created something ingenious with their Innovative Product of the Year light system.

But the cheer of the evening was reserved to the remarkable 77-year old Judy Robinson, who got back into cycling after the briefest 50 year hiatus and in recent years has organised more than 100 rides through Breeze. Not a dry eye in the house.

The very fact that the awards were back for a second year is testament to the momentum behind women's cycling. And for nominees to be as excited as they were suggests that, like women's cycling, they're likely to go from strength to strength.

Now, where to hang that award?