Bettini awarded Velo d'Or

By Gregor Brown Italian Paolo Bettini has been awarded the 2006 Velo d'Or from France's Velo...

By Gregor Brown

Italian Paolo Bettini has been awarded the 2006 Velo d'Or from France's Velo magazine. The world champion bettered Ardennes warrior Alejandro Valverde and Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara for the prestigious award, which was determined by a panel of journalists selected by the magazine.

Bettini started off slowly this season with a win in the GP di Lugano and a stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, but then he really came to power by taking the Italian championships, the world championships and then the Giro di Lombardia.

The 2005 award also went to a world champion. Tom Boonen claimed the Velo d'Or as part of his awards haul in the winter of 2005.

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