Cancellara beats Federer
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cancellara beats Federer

by VeloNation Press at 10:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

No, it didn't happen on the tennis court, but rather in the court of public opinion.

Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, was beaten by Team Saxo Bank cyclist Fabian Cancellara for the Swiss sportsman of the year prize. Previously the Swiss public had voted the tennis player as winner five times.

Cancellara had an extraordinary year starting off with a win in Milan-San Remo and punctuating it at the Olympic Games in Beijing. The rider won a bronze medal in the men's road race, and the coveted gold medal in the individual time-trial.

With a total of 10 wins this season and a near miss with second place in Paris-Robaix, a tired but satisfied Cancellara sat out as favorite in the World Championships in Verona, Italy.

"It's an incredible honor for me. Winning over Federer in a vote like this is a huge deal. Roger is unique – there aren't many of his caliber in the world. I've had a great season so I was hoping I had a chance but I doubted myself to the very end," says Cancellara.

"It was tough sitting there for two hours not being able to do anything. In a race you can always fight and sometimes you succeed and other times not. But tonight I just had to sit next to my wife and wait," says the cyclist about the anticipation leading up to the award.

Cancellara was right behind Federer last year and it's almost more important to him to receive this honor in his home country that had it been a worldwide event.

"My country means so much to me. I'm always ready to fight for Switzerland and the flag so winning this particular honor will always be special to me," determines Cancellara.


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