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Tony Martin named Germany's Cyclist of the Year

Best young rider Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) would surrender the white jersey to Andy Schleck.

Best young rider Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) would surrender the white jersey to Andy Schleck. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tony Martin has been named Cyclist of the Year by readers of the German cycling federation's website, narrowly beating out Heinrich Haussler.

Martin won 18.8 percent of the vote, with Haussler at 17.9 percent. Third was last year's winner, mountain biker Sabine Spitz. Andre Greipel, winner of 20 season victories and the points jersey at the Vuelta a España, was only seventh.

Columbia-HTC's Martin first came to international notice in his 2008 ProTour debut season, but established himself in the world elite in 2009. He proved his versatility by winning the mountains classification in Paris-Nice, as well as time trial stages at the Critérium International and the Bayern Rundfahrt.

At the Tour de Suisse, the 23-year-old won the difficult penultimate mountain stage to Crans-Montana. He then closed the race with a strong time trial, finishing second in the stage to move himself up to second overall.

Martin continued to shine at the Tour de France, wearing the white jersey for the best young rider from stages three to 14. His finest moment came near the end of the race, as the Tour hit the legendary Mont Ventoux in the 20th stage. Martin joined an escape group which formed after only three kilometres, and hung on to the end, finishing second behind stage winner Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank) by only three seconds. That performance gave the young German the day's award for most aggressive rider.

Martin then topped off the season by winning the bronze medal at the World Championships time trial in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Haussler, 25, won stage 13 of the Tour de France on top of four other wins this past year. He rode himself into the limelight in his first season with Cervélo TestTeam when he was nipped at the line by Columbia's Mark Cavendish in Milano-Sanremo.

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