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Fabian Cancellara wins the 2006 Mendrisio d'Oro

Cancellara takes gold

Cancellara takes gold (Image credit: Luc Claessen)

Fabian Cancellara has been selected as the winner of the 35th Mendrisio d'Oro, a prestigious Swiss award that is given every year to a top-performing cyclist. The CSC rider took out two grand wins this year; with a solo escape in the Hell of the North, Paris-Roubaix, and then taking the rainbow jersey by absolutely smashing his competitors in the Salzburg world championships.

Italian Marco Pinotti was so impressed with Cancellara's speed that he said, "The time that Cancellara rode maybe I could have done on a Vespa."

The Swiss award is not only destined for home riders; two years ago the award went to Paolo Bettini, after a year that included winning in the Olympics, and in 2005 the winner was Tom Boonen in recognition for his blistering season.

Cancellara listed his objectives to La Gazzetta dello Sport, "Sanremo, A race very strange and unpredictable, Flanders, a very fascinating race for the pavé climbs and the crowds, and Roubaix, it is like boxing in cycling, I have to go to defend my title. I would like it to rain the day of Roubaix, rain hard, then I can demonstrate that I am also the strongest in the rain and mud."

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