Mark Cavendish has been celebrating another career milestone after he was awarded the International Flandrian Of the Year prize in Belgium. A jury of team managers, sports directors and media voted the Columbia-HTC rider top international cyclist of the year.
Cavendish celebrated 25 wins during the 2009 season, including 10 Grand Tour stages, including the team time-trial at the Giro d’Italia, and the Milan-San Remo.
The highly successful sprinter also won the second, third, 10th, 11th, 19th and 21st stages of this year’s Tour de France. In winning the third stage he became the first Briton to hold the green jersey for two days in a row.
The awards ceremony was broadcast live on Belgian television and organised by newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, and the British cyclist was quoted in the Telegraph as saying: “It's a tremendous honour to get this award, something really important to me.
“You just look at the names of the people who've received this prize before, like Fabian Cancellara last year, and you can see how special it really is.”
Cavendish finished eighth in the 2009 UCI individual World Ranking with a total of 304 points. Alberto Contador topped the rankings with 527. And he helped Team Columbia-HTC finish third in the UCI Team World Ranking with 957 points. First was the Kazak team Astana with 1100.