Multiple world champion feted in the Netherlands
Marianne Vos has been named 'Sportvrouw van het Jaar' - Sportswoman of the Year, in the Netherlands for a third time in recognition of her successful 2013 season that started with a fifth world cyclo-cross title and ended with a third road race world title in Tuscany.
Vos also won 14 other races, including the Tour of Flanders, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, the GP de Plouay and the Ronde van Drenthe. Her consistency also won her the UCI Women's Road World Cup for a fifth time.
Vos collected the award at a special gala event in Amsterdam. Vos beat swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo and speed skater Ireen Wüst to win for a third time. Gymnast Epke Zonderland was voted Male Sportsman of the Year after adding the world title to his gold medal won at the 2012 London Olympics.
"It was quite a difficult post-Olympic year, I had some misfortune. Yet I was up there in the moments that I had to be there and that's why it's great that I'm standing here beside such big names of sport such as Ireen and Ranomi," Vos told Dutch national television channel NOS.
"I want to give special thanks to the people around me and my teammates. They often had to listen to my complaining, but have nevertheless helped me through it all."
Vos is arguably the greatest female cyclist of all time but former Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel won the 'Sportvrouw van het Jaar' title six times during her illustrious career.
Despite the loss of Rabobank as a sponsor of the men's professional team following a series of doping scandals, cycling in the Netherlands celebrated a good year. Junior world road and cyclo-cross champion Mathieu van der Poel was voted Talent of the Year.
Elsewhere, Bauke Mollema won the Dutch Male Cyclist of the year award at a ceremony in 's-Hertogenbosch for his sixth place in the Tour de France.
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