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Evans named Aussie cyclist of year

World road champion Cadel Evans was named the 2009 Australian Cyclist of the Year at a ceremony late Sunday in Melbourne.

Evans, 32, became only the second man to win the Sir Hubert Opperman medal for a third time in the 51-year history of the award. Peter Besanko received the highest honor in Australian cycling in 1979, 1981 and 1984. Evans won in 2006 and 2007.

This year, Evans became the first Australian to win the elite men’s road race, grabbing the gold at the world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He also wore the leader’s jersey on stage nine of this year’s Vuelta a España, which he finished in third place overall.

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