Chris Froome has rounded off a glorious season by winning the prestigious Velo d’Or award for the best rider of 2013.
The Tour de France champion fended off stiff competition from the likes of Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali and the prolific Peter Sagan in a poll of leading cycling journalists from around the world.
Froome is the second successive Team Sky rider to win the accolade after Sir Bradley Wiggins collected the prize 12 months ago following his own Tour triumph.
The accolade was richly deserved after Froome amassed five stage-race victories in 2013, with triumphs at the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine leading into a dominant win at the 100th edition of the Tour.
The 28 year old also claimed three stages on the way to his first grand tour success, with mountain-top wins on Ax-3-Domaines and the legendary Mont Ventoux coming before his time trial triumph in Chorges.
Speaking from his hotel room in Japan, Froome told us: "To win an award as significant as this is a fantastic way to cap an incredible season. I was fortunate enough to win the International Flandrien trophy a few weeks ago and to win this one as well is really satisfying.
"I'd like to thank all the people who voted for me, and while it's nice to be recognised for my achievements, my team-mates deserve credit as well because I couldn't have achieved what I've achieved this year without them."
Elsewhere, Nairo Quintana received the Velo d’Or Espoirs award for best young rider while Christophe Riblon was named best French rider in the wake of his victory on Alpe d’Huez during the Tour.