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Will Eisel be let off the leash when the race hits the cobbles?
HTC's Gent-Wevelgem winner takes top honours
Eisel, 29, won the Spring Classic Gent-Wevelgem in 2010. The Austrian joined a large escape group late in the race, but the high pace cut the break down. Eisel easily won the sprint from the six-man group at the finish line.
In addition, Eisel also brought in a total of 11 top ten finishes during the season.
“He has more than earned this award, and it comes just before his 30th birthday on February 17,” said Rudolf Massak, general secretary of the Austrian cycling federation.
Eisel noted that “Austria isn't a hotbed of cycling,” but that the nation's cyclists had represented the country well in various disciplines. “For this reason I am very honoured to be voted Cyclist of the Year in Austria for the second time since 2006. I am now in my 11th year as a pro cyclist and hope that I will have many years ahead of me to continue being a worthy representative of Austrian cycling."
Eisel won with 39.5% of the votes. Second place went to 2009's winner, mountain biker Lisi Osl.
Third place went to Josef Benetseder of Team Vorarlberg,who won the King of the Mountains ranking at the Tour of Austria last year.