The International Cycling Union presented Tour de France winner Alberto Contador with the trophy for best rider of the 2009 season at a ceremony in Madrid today. UCI president Pat McQuaid was on hand to give out the award which was based upon the new UCI World Calendar rankings.
The rankings were calculated based upon the results of 24 of the sport's biggest events, including all three Grand Tours, the Historic races Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Classics as well as the ProTour events.
Along with his Tour victory, Contador claimed overall victories in the Volta ao Algarve, Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Spanish Time Trial Championships.
He bested compatriot Alejandro Valverde in the rankings 527 points to 483, with another Spaniard, Samuel Sanchez, in third with 357.
Having the top three riders in the rankings gave Spain the overall best nation prize with ease. The country had a whopping 1756 points to Italy's 984, with Australia taking a close third with 960.
Spanish National Cycling Federation (RFEC) president Juan Carlos Castaño Moreta accepted the trophy for best nation.
The 2010 UCI World Calendar will begin with the Tour Down Under in Australia on January 19. The season will include 26 races with the addition of two first time events, the Quebec and the Montreal Grand Prix Cyclistes in Canada.
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