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Abbott and Phinney named USA Cycling's best

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A happy leader - Mara Abbott (United States)

A happy leader - Mara Abbott (United States) (Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Mara Abbott (United States) on the top of the podium after winning the ninth stage of the Giro Donne.

Mara Abbott (United States) on the top of the podium after winning the ninth stage of the Giro Donne. (Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The 2010 Giro Donne winner - Mara Abbott (United States) waits to receive her ultimate maglia rosa.

The 2010 Giro Donne winner - Mara Abbott (United States) waits to receive her ultimate maglia rosa. (Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Taylor Phinney (USA) takes a bite out of his U23 gold medal.

Taylor Phinney (USA) takes a bite out of his U23 gold medal. (Image credit: Luca Bettini)
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Taylor Phinney (United States) on the starting block.

Taylor Phinney (United States) on the starting block. (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Mara Abbott and Taylor Phinney have been recognised for their achievements in 2010 by taking out the inaugural USA Cycling Athletes of the Year award.

The awards, which have been instituted this year in conjunction with the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, recognise the season's top male and female cyclists - across all disciplines - who have participated in USA Cycling's National Development Programs.

Abbott and Phinney will be presented with their awards in conjunction with the 2010 U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame inductee ceremony this Saturday on the campus of the University of California-Davis.

Phinney's father, Davis, is a member of the Hall of Fame and it will welcome four new members this weekend - 17-time national champion Mike McCarthy, BMX great Gary Ellis, former USAC board member Dottie Saling and 1882 highwheel national champ and Indian Motorcycles founder George Mallory.

"USA Cycling is proud to partner with the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame to recognise the outstanding achievements of developing athletes in Olympic cycling disciplines," said USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson in a statement announcing the inaugural winners.

"It is an honour to recognise these two athletes whose achievements have helped illustrate our continued commitment to develop the future of American cycling."

Abbott claimed her second elite road race national title this year before winning the Giro Donne stage race in Italy, while Phinney added an Under 23 time trial world title to the national crown he won just weeks earlier in the same season he announced he'd be turning professional with the BMC Racing team in 2011.