In Andorra-la-Vella, on 26 November 2017 at the FIM Awards, 36 champions and 4 awardees will be rewarded by the FIM for their World Championship title and remarkable work accomplished for the Motorcycling world. All have achieved incredible performances; all have reached for the stars and managed to touch them. In a room packed with the motorcycling community’s most distinguished guests, who better than legendary sportsmen and sportswomen, as well as members of the prestigious host-country political authorities, to honour our Champions with their medals?
The FIM is grateful and proud to present its 9 FIM Awards 2017 Prize-Givers!
Frenchman Luc Alphand initially started his sports career as a skier. Specialising in Super G and Downhill racing, he achieved a one-of-a-kind historical performance in 1997 by winning the World Cup overall title, only competing in the two speed disciplines (both of which he won). The triple Downhill World Champion then switched to car racing, taking part in numerous 24 Heures du Mans races and Dakar rallies. He finished 3rd in 2006 at Le Mans, finishing second in the Dakar twice (2005, 2007) and claiming 1st place in 2006.
The Spaniard is an exceptional man in a number of ways. By winning the 1999 125cc World Championship he established a world premiere, ending his season with the title but no race victories. He is also an exception when it comes to a rider’s life after racing. Currently CEO of the Monlau Repsol Technical School (a reference in training drivers, mechanics and specialised engineers in the world of automobile and motorcycle competition), he is also Marc Márquez’s mentor amongst many other riders, always by his protégé’s side, the one who led Márquez to where he is now.
The second Frenchman amongst our Prize-Givers, Cyril Despres is a Moto and Auto Rally driver with multiple Dakar wins to his credit. The 5-time motorcycle winner switched to auto rallying in 2015 and finished 3rd in this year’s edition. Cyril Despres’ relationship with Andorra is strong, as the French rider organised the Andorra 500 Rally, a 500km ride in a unique environment created by a man of passion for the passionate, in 2015 and 2016.
After a 4-year term as General Councillor, Vice Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Economy, member of the Legislative Committee for Education, Culture and Youth and member of the Parliamentary Permanent Committee, the Hon. Mrs Olga Gelabert is currently Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Andorra.
Multiple record-holder and 6-time World Champion Marc Márquez will attend this year’s ceremony for two important reasons. Not only is he the 2017 FIM MotoGP World Champion, but he is also an FIM Environmental Ambassador.
Mayor of the Andorran host-city Andorra-la-Vella, Mrs Conxita Marsol has been working closely with the FIM management and staff to make the FIM Awards happen. Mrs Marsol and her City Council have been of great help to the FIM in the run-up to the Awards ceremony.
Starting as an 85cc karting championship competitor, this Finnish sportswoman made her two-wheel debut in 1988. The first and only woman so far to have led a Grand Prix (in Hockenheim) and nicknamed “First Lady of Fast”, she rewrote history by being the first female point-scoring rider in the FIM 125cc World Championship. Unfortunately, a motorcycle accident ended her promising career. Today, she is a role model for women in the motorcycling world.
Former road racing cyclist Joaquim Rodríguez has won multiple podium placings, in the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France. The Spaniard was an archetypical climber, achieving some spectacular victories such as the Tour de France mountain stage at Plateau de Breille. After a 16 year career as a professional cyclist and one of Spain’s most famous riders, Joaquim Rodríguez is now a team ambassador for Bahrain-Merida.
Retired 11-time SBK race winner Rubén Xaus became the first Spaniard to win a FIM Superbike World Championship race in 2001. Competing in the Superbike categories most of his career, he moved to MotoGP during 2004 and 2005, scoring regularly and winning the 2004 “Rookie of the Year” title. Nick-named “Spiderman” for the way he hung his tall frame over his bike, he eventually returned to Superbike in 2006. Rubén Xaus can still be seen on the circuits nowadays, in particular as a SBK adviser.