Grant Wengler honoured with Souplesse Award

By Seti Afoa ,

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Grant Wengler (right) of Team Cycle Surgery leads the Victory Ride to Apia alongside his partner, Anna Dungey and teammate Andrew Price behind them.

Grant Wengler (right) of Team Cycle Surgery leads the Victory Ride to Apia alongside his partner, Anna Dungey and teammate Andrew Price behind them. (Photo: ScottieT Photo, Scottie T Photog)

Grant Wengler of Team Cycle Surgery (Christchurch) has been awarded the Souplesse Trophy Award for his fine style, application and approach in the recently completed Ford Tour of Samoa. 

This is the first time this prestigious award is awarded. Souplesse is a French Cycling word which means the art of being pliant and flexible. In the context of the Tour of Samoa, it goes beyond its immediate literal meaning to describe a concept. Souplesse embraces an ideal, a goal that few attain including most professional cyclists. 

The recipient of the Souplesse award is a rider that may go unnoticed by most, but riders in the peleton, educated spectators and discerning commentators recognise Souplesse immediately when they see it. Souplesse encompasses a small group of key elements including, but not limited to Style. Style including the manner with which the rider presents themselves daily on the bike. Style includes the bike brand, the overall attractiveness of the rider and the quality of the kit they wear each day. They always look and smell good. 

Other attributes; Attitude: A never say die attitude is a given, toughing it out without complaint. Recognising and encouraging the style of their competitors whilst at the same time being ready to help teammates in sacrifice of themselves is paramount. Should they have the good fortune to win a race they never cross the finish line in a demonstrative celebration rather they are the first to give thanks and they are the first to congratulate. 

Form: Form is the dark art of a great rider and is the most important factor in the concept of Souplesse. Souplesse asks, How beautiful is the rider to watch. How smooth is their style, how effortlessly do they spin the pedals regardless of effort. A rider complemented with Souplesse truly has been given a gift by God himself and is the ideal expression of the art. 

Grant Wengler is the embodiment of all that. He is the deserved winner of the Ford Tour of Samoa Souplesse Award. 

For the last two years he has watched younger brother Christian tackle and win in the first two years. He followed Christian to Samoa this time with his partner Anna Dungey and good mate Andrew Price. They rode under Team Cycle Surgery, Grant’s business and bike shop in Christchurch. 

The award itself is the initiative of two-time T.O.S rider, Tim Robertson who won the tour this year. 

He said in his presentation of the award, “It is with great pleasure and with the permission of Samoa Events and Seti Afoa that I present the inaugural 2016 Ford Tour of Samoa (T.O.S.) Souplesse trophy.” 

He also prepared the trophy for the award to “ensure posterity is preserved”.

Team Cycle Surgery had great success on Tour with three podium finishers – Rebecca Marley (Women’s winner), Anna Dungey (2nd) and Andrew Price who finished second in the men’s race. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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