road.cc Rider of the Year: Mark Cavendish ends 2009 with another win
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.