Alberto Contador might not have done the Grand Tour double in 2009, but that didn't stop him from having a brilliant season and winning our best male road rider award. Cyclingnews readers cast 4943 votes for the Tour de France winner, giving him a lead of 1212 votes over Fabien Cancellara.
Contador's season got off to a great start with a victory at Portugal's Volta ao Algarve, followed by two stage wins at Paris-Nice. Another victory at Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco was followed by strong form - but no wins - at Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré.
His Dauphiné form and a victory in the Spanish Individual Time Trial Championship were the perfect lead-in to the Tour de France for Contador. Much was made of the rivalry between the Spaniard and returning teammate Lance Armstrong, but Contador did his talking by dancing on his pedals.
The results that carried Contador up to, and through, the Tour was enough to secure him the UCI World Ranking.
2009 was another year of time trial glory for Cancellara, starting with a victory on the Tour of California's prologue. He added to that the Tour's opening stage in Monaco, two Vuelta a España time trial wins and another UCI World Time Trial Championship title.
But it wasn't just Cancellara's exploits against the clock that earned him second place in the hearts of Cyclingnews readers. Two stage wins at Tour de Suisse formed the basis of his general classification victory, plus he won the Suisse Road Championship jersey.
Sprint sensation Mark Cavendish got the nod for third place with 2060 votes, while Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong rounded out the top five. Current International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Champion Cadel Evans only managed 690 votes, putting him in sixth place.
Cyclingnews 2009 Reader Poll results - Best male road rider
1. Alberto Contador: 4943
2. Fabian Cancellara: 3731
3. Mark Cavendish: 2060
4. Andy Schleck: 1092
5. Lance Armstrong: 1012
6. Cadel Evans: 690
7. Heinrich Haussler: 271
8. Alejandro Valverde: 172
9. Denis Menchov: 71
10. Andre Greipel: 28