LUXEMBOURG, February 16, 2007 - It was by a veritable landslide that the members of Luxembourg’s Association of Sports Writers (ALPS) elected Frank Schleck and Liz May as the country’s top athletes of 2006.
Of 488 possible votes, Frank Schleck totalled 465, while Liz May came in at 464. After 2004 and 2005, it was the third consecutive win for the successful triathlon runner, whereas the winner of the Amstel Gold Race and of the Alpe d’Huez stage in the Tour de France was elected best male athlete for the first time in his career. He thus takes the succession of Kim Kirchen, another cyclist who had won the trophy in 2005.
As to the female athletes, Liz May preceded ice-skater Fleur Maxwell (211 votes) and gymnast Lara Marx (132 votes), while on the male side, Frank Schleck triumphed over the European 800 meter vice-champion, David Fiegen (319 votes) and his own brother, cyclist Andy Schleck (100). On 61 valid bulletins, Frank Schleck was elected 54 times as a frontrunner, whereas Liz May was voted 55 times as best female athlete of the year.
The year’s best team effort came from the Davis Cup Tennis Players (331 votes) who managed to beat the national male handball team (324 votes) and the national female basketball team (321 votes) by a thread. The handball players were cited 21 times as frontrunners, their direct competitors reached 20. But the tennis players still made it to the top.
Trophies for best youngsters went to soccer player Gilles Bettmer and to 100 meter hurdle runner Kim Reuland, while soccer referee Alain Hamer was awarded the ALPS’ special trophy.
The trophies were awarded to the winning athletes during the traditional Sports Press Gala during a sold out performance at casino 2000 in Mondorf.-les-Bains, in the presence of ministers Jeannot Krecké, Fernand Boden, Claude Halsdorf and Claude Wiseler, as well as the president of the National Olympic Committee, Marc Theisen.
Best male athlete of the year
1 Frank Schleck (cyclism) 465
2 David Fiegen (athletics) 319
3 Andy Schleck (cycling) 100
4 Daniel Abenzoar (athletics) 77
5 Kim Kirchen (cycling) 52
6 Jeff Strasser (soccer) 40
7 Dirk Bockel (triathlon) 28
8 Gilles Muller (tennis) 21
9 Samuel Curridor (karting) 17
10 Marc Ewen (horse riding) 14
11 Alwin De Prins (swimming) 10
12 Mike Schumacher (athletics) 10
13 Darren Bressaglia (karting) 6
Best female athlete of the year
1 Liz May (triathlon) 464
2 Fleur Maxwell (ice skating) 211
3 Lara Marx (gymnastics) 132
4 Magali Weisgerber (archery) 109
5 Tessy Scholtes (karate) 70
6 Ni Xia Lian (table tennis) 69
7 Carole Calmes (comp.shooting) 63
8 Fiona Steil-Antoni (chess) 41
Best team of the year
1 Male Davis Cup Tennis Team 331
2 National Male Handball Team 324
3 National Female Basketball team 321