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2009 Reader Poll: Evans' Mendrisio moment biggest of the year

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
January 09, 2010, 16:08 GMT,
Updated:
January 09, 2010, 16:28 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, January 10, 2010
Cadel Evans (Australia) wins the 2009 World Championship Road Race.

Cadel Evans (Australia) wins the 2009 World Championship Road Race.

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Cavendish and Haussler's Sanremo scramble second

2009 was another great year for road racing and you voted Cadel Evans' superb win in the World Championship road race as the biggest moment of the year. In second place was the thrilling finale between Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler as they threw their bikes towards the line in Milan-Sanremo.

Closing out the top three was Lance Armstrong's gripping tactical battle with Alberto Contador on the road to La Grande-Motte at the Tour de France.

However, it was Evans' opportunistic attack at the foot of the final climb in Medrisio that captured your approval with 40 per cent of the vote. Evans came into the event on the back of a mediocre year. He had briefly shone in the spring with a sprinkling of strong performances up-to-and-including the Dauphine.

But the Australian bombed dramatically at the Tour de France and despite finishing third at the Vuelta, many saw it as another lost opportunity after a poor wheel change during a mountain stage cost him vital seconds and a chance of overall success.

Lining up in Medrisio he was an outsider who, if reports are to be believed, didn't have the full support of his teammates. Yet when the chips were down it was Evans who showed to the World what they'd been missing at the Tour. He attacked from a select bunch to silence the critics who claimed he didn't attack enough in races.

It was a perfectly timed move to. Within a group controlled by an Armada of Spanish riders the Australian countered the acceleration of Joaquin Rodriguez before dropping the Spaniard and soloing away as Fabian Cancellara was forced to chase frantically from behind.

The final few kilometres were gripping viewing and, as Evans reached the final hill-top, he had a small but defendable leader over the chasing pack. It was a classic comeback performance from a rider so many people had discounted as a genuine contender.

Cyclingnews 2009 Reader Poll results – Biggest moment of the year

Cadel Evans wins the World Championship road race: 5608
Mark Cavendish and Heinrich Haussler sprint against each other at Milano-Sanremo: 2898
Lance Armstrong drops Contador on the windy stage to La Grande-Motte in the Tour de France: 2349
Denis Menchov falls during the final time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia: 1872
CONI bans Alejandro Valverde from competing on Italian soil: 290
Tom Boonen is busted for cocaine for a second (later revealed as third) time: 288
Nino Schurter outpaces Julien Absalon at the MTB World Championships: 253
Kenny Van Hummel battles for the Lanterne Rouge: 205
Theo Bos is involved in a controversial sprint at the Presidential Tour of Turkey: 184
Pedro Horrillo crashes in the Giro d'Italia: 123

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