French cycling magazine Velo has awarded their annual Velo d?Or award to Paris-Nice and Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

The award is decided on a vote system by a jury of 18 cycling journalists and Contador came out on top with 49 points and was voted for first place by six of the 18 journalists.

World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara of CSC finished second and double world champion and 2006 Velo d?Or winner Paolo Bettini was third. Contador was only the second Spaniard to win the prestigious award, after Miguel Indurain won in 1992 and 1993.

?It?s a real honour to have won this trophy. Some big names have won it before me, including Miguel Indurain and I?m proud to be the second Spaniard to win it,? Contador said on the Velo magazine website.

The French Velo d?Or went to mountain biker Julien Absalon for winning his fourth consecutive cross country world title. Absalon scored a total of 90 points, easily beating Dauphine Libere winner Christophe Moreau and Francaise des Jeux rider Sandy Casar, who totaled 50 points.

The news that Contador had won the Velo d?Or award did not go down well with several Velo magazine readers who vented their anger on the magazine?s website forum. Contador was implicated in Operacion Puerto after working closely with Manolo Saiz during his time at Liberty Seguros but he has always denied doping.

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