28 September 2009


2009 was a tough year for Cadel.

The class act from Katherine, now dividing his domicile between Belgium, Switzerland and the Great Ocean Road, came to the party in the Indian summer in Mendrisio, in Tichino, the Italian region in Switzerland.

Two demarrages, first knocking off the other riders who survived the 262.2 kilometers, and a second time to ride away from the Russian (Saxobank) and Spaniard (Caisse d'Epargne). And while world championships are not about team orders, on a second tier they are, of course. If Cancellara hadn't blown himself to pieces with his big body on a mad attack on a climb, rest assured that Kolobev would have helped his Saxo mate to the line. Europeans don't understand the Aussie spirit.

Driven by his incredible will and the pain of not living up to his favorite role in the big tours, Cadel pushed his front wheel over the line in Mendrisio. While it was difficult to read Cadel's emotions as a professional on stage, the tears of his wife Chiara, classical pianist, said enough of how much they wanted this. Early in his career he said he learned that 'expectation can be a dangerous thing'. How true is this, not only for cycling.

Cadel is not a stylist, much like his mate from Texas. When you look at him while pushing up a col in a select bunch of riders he stands out with his pressed body all over his frame. Head tilted to the right. Exaggerated by his helmet. Mountain bikers read every little difference in the terrain. It's like he expects a nasty tree root creeping up from beneath the asphalt. Cadel is one of select riders who has few crashes in comparison. In mountain biking, riding the world cups which he won twice late in the past century, he learned maneuvering and got stamina.

Why are the big pro tour teams not knocking on his door? Silence Lotto must have an orgasm at the moment.

His palmares is grand and here is a short resume of his best achievements.

• UCI World road champion 2009
• First Australian to win the Pro Tour competition
• Highest Australian Tour de France finisher
• Second in the Tour, twice
• Winner of World Cup Mountain Bike, cross country in 1998 and 1999

All through 2010 Cadel will ride in the rainbow jersey, or will ride with rainbow sleeves.
Well done Cadel

2009: Evans (Aus)
2008: Ballan (I)
2007: Bettini (I)
2006: Bettini (I)
2005: Boonen (B)
2004: Freire (E)
2003: Astarloa (E)
2002: Cipollini (I)
2001: Freire (E)
2000: Vainsteins (Lat)
1999: Freire (E)
1996: Museeuw (B)
1993: Armstrong (USA)
1989: Lemond (USA)
1885: Zoetemelk (NL)
1977: Moser (I)
1974: Merckx (B)
1973: Gimondi (I)
1967: Merckx (B)
1974: Janssen: (NL)
1957: van Steenbergen (B)
1953: Coppi (I)

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