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Cyclingnews 2007 Reader Poll Results
Rider of the Year
Evans claims Cyclingnews' top title
By Greg Johnson
Australia's Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) has claimed the top honours in Cyclingnews' 2007 Reader Poll, with enthusiasts around the world overwhelmingly voting the Victorian-based Evans as their Rider of the Year. Evans stole the hearts and minds of cycling fans throughout the world last season, a fact made evident in his many victories in publicly-voted polls.
"The public vote polls seem to have become more popular lately," noted Evans after being informed of his placing in Cyclingnews' Rider of the Year poll. "Having the public vote, personally, I think that they are the really important ones."
In addition to the latest Cyclingnews' poll, Evans claimed the top billing in a 'Australian Sports Person of the Year' poll run by one of his homeland's largest newspaper publishing houses - Fairfax Media. The softly spoken rider's victory in that poll was particularly impressive as he was placed against rivals from multiple sports in a year that saw Australian sports men and women take out the MotoGP crown and both the men's and women's world surfing crowns.
Evans, who finished fifth at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, German, enjoyed an impressive season which saw the 30 year-old wage an epic battle with Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador at the Tour de France, only to finish runner-up to the Spaniard and claim Australia's highest ever placing at the famed French Grand Tour. Despite his narrow loss in France, Evans pushed hard through to the seasons' end, with a fourth place at the Vuelta a Espaņa helping the former mountain biker secure the overall UCI ProTour crown.
Evans' consistency throughout the season placed him in the ProTour contention, with the rider taking second at Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, fourth at the Tour de Romandie, sixth at the Giro di Lombardia and seventh in the Paris-Nice. The rider, who was awarded Cycling Australia's prestigious Sir Hubert Opperman Trophy last months for his efforts in 2007, was voted Cyclingnews' Rider of the Year with some 2754 votes, of 28.23 percent of the vote, while his nearest rival, Tour de France prologue winner Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC), was a massive 1101 votes behind with 16.94 percent of the vote.
Swiss rider Cancellara claimed second place from a tough opponent - dual World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Innergetic). The Italian crossed the finish line just 1.42 percent behind Cancellara.
Discovery Channel duo Contador and Levi Leipheimer, who finished third in the Tour de France, claimed fourth and fifth spots respectively.
Another Australian who made headlines in his home country throughout 2007, Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC), took sixth place. The South Australian stunned his homeland when it awoke to the news that O'Grady had become the first from his nation to conquer the treterous cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic. A few short months later the nation was left sympathising with the talented rider as a massive accident at the Tour de France placed O'Grady's competitive future in doubt.
Rabobank's brilliant Belgian cyclo-cross racer Sven Nys claimed seven spot in this year's poll. Nys continued to live up to the 'captain consistency' throughout 2007, winning nearly anything he entered.
Giro d'Italia stand outs Andy Schleck (Team CSC) and Danilo di Luca (Liquigas) claimed eighth and ninth spots in the poll, while Dutch rider Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) ensured the men didn't fill the entire top 10 by claiming the final position.
Votes %ge 1 Cadel Evans 2754 28.23% 2 Fabian Cancellara 1653 16.94% 3 Paolo Bettini 1514 15.52% 4 Alberto Contador 1365 13.99% 5 Levi Leipheimer 787 8.07% 6 Stuart O'Grady 511 5.24% 7 Sven Nys 365 3.74% 8 Andy Schleck 293 3.00% 9 Danilo Di Luca 282 2.89% 10 Marianne Vos 233 2.39% Total: 9757