Manx Missile holds off Cancellara to take road.cc readers' poll...

Road.cc readers have voted Mark Cavendish their rider of 2009 as the Manx Missile played the unaccustomed role of staging an early breakaway and holding on despite late entrant Fabian Cancellara’s efforts to reel him in.

Cavendish took just under a third of the 400 or so votes cast, while Cancellara gained the thumbs-up from 28% of readers.

The Swiss rider was unaccountably not included on our original shortlist of four, but we rectified our mistake by popular request following a season in which he put in a series of imperious time trial rides including a stunning World Championship win on home roads in Mendrisio and also showed descending skills sans pareil in the Tour de France, showcased in a video that gained thousands of views on YouTube.

Once included in the Swiss rider shot up the rankings, presumably as readers who had already cast their votes for other riders reassessed their choice - but ultimately proved unable to overhaul the Manxman.

While there’s nothing on offer to the winner but kudos, we doubt that will trouble Cavendish, whose mantelpiece must be groaning under the weight of trophies won during a season in which he dominated the sprinters’ ranks, including a breathtaking win in Milan-Sanremo and an emphatic victory on the Champs-Elysées to give him his sixth stage win of this year’s Tour de France.

Bradley Wiggins surprise fourth place finish in the Tour saw him take third, with one in five of the votes cast, comfortably ahead of Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, with Lance Armstrong trailing well behind in fifth following his comeback season.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.