Swiss rider rewarded for exceptional season
Reigning Olympic and world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has received cycling's highest honour, the Vélo d'Or, after a season that saw him win both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix plus a record fourth world title in Geelong, Australia.
Awarded to the world's best rider according to French magazine Vélo, the Vélo d'Or has been won for the past three years by Alberto Contador and was won a record of five times by American Lance Armstrong between 1999 and 2004.
The 29-year-old is the second Swiss rider to win the prestigious trophy, with Tony Rominger claiming it in 1994. It's the equivalent of football's Balon d'Or, awarded to the world's best in that sport each year and in 2010 Cancellara earned the title by taking the aforementioned northern Classics, plus two stages at this year's Tour de France where he helped teammate Andy Schleck to second overall.
In Australia he rode to a dominant time trial victory to secure his fourth world crown, a record for any rider, and securing the undisputed title of world's best rider against the clock.
Voeckler wins Vélo d'or français, Andy Schleck wins Vélo d'or espoirs
Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) won the Vélo d'Or français, reserved for French riders, ahead of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and track sprinter Grégory Baugé, who won the prize in 2009. Voeckler win the French national title, a stage at the Tour de France and the GP de Quebec one-day race in Canada. He described the 2010 season as his best ever.
Andy Schleck won the Vélo d'or Espoirs award for the best under 25 rider. Vuelta Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) was second and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) was third.
Vélo d'or Vélo:
1. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) 63 points
2. Alberto Contador (Astana) 42 points
3. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) 34 points
Vélo d'or français:
1. Thomas Voeckler (BBox) 109 points
2. Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) 90 points
3. Grégory Baugé (Créteil) 56 points
Vélo d'or espoirs:
1. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) 55 points
2. Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) 44 points
3. Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) 40 points
Previous Velo d'Or winners:
1992: Miguel Indurain
1993: Miguel Indurain
1994: Tony Rominger
1995: Laurent Jalabert
1996: Johan Museeuw
1997: Jan Ullrich
1998: Marco Pantani
1999: Lance Armstrong
2000: Lance Armstrong
2001: Lance Armstrong
2002: Mario Cipollini
2003: Lance Armstrong
2004: Lance Armstrong
2005: Tom Boonen
2006: Paolo Bettini
2007: Alberto Contador
2008: Alberto Contador
2009: Alberto Contador
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