Niels Albert has won De Vlaamse Reus award as best Flemish athlete of the year. The award is attributed by an association of Flemish sports journalists.
Albert received 555 points, with second-placed tennis player Kim Clijsters receiving 355. Sven Nys was fourth with 201 points, and Tom Boonen seventh with 74.
The 23-year-old is the first cyclo-cross rider to receive the award, and the third cyclist. Tom Boonen won it in 2005 and Johan Museeuw in 1995.
Albert won the World Championships earlier this year for the first time. In the current cyclo-cross season he has achieved 11 victories so far, and leads in both the UCI world rankings and the GVA trophy. He was not able to accept the award in person as he is competing the World Cup race in Igorre, Spain, on Sunday.
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