he seven-times FIM Motocross World Champion Antonio Cairoli was selected as one of the best sportsmen in Italy by the well-known broadcaster Sky Sport to be part of the #SkySportivo13 competition. After a series of duels against the most popular sport heroes in Italy and thanks to the unconditional support of his fans, Antonio Cairoli has become the 2013 Sportsman of the Year in Italy.
The survey was organized in Italy by Sky Sport and it started in the beginning of December with 16 candidates. Four of them, including Antonio Cairoli, were chosen by the fans on Twitter and Facebook. The competition was followed by thousands of followers with the hashtag #SkySportivo13 and Antonio Cairoli got through the final leaving behind big names such as Valentino Rossi, Francesco Totti, Mario Balotelli, Luigi Datome, Vincenzo Nibali, Patrizia Pellegrini or Andrea Pirlo.
Cairoli has won the final against Ivan Zaytsev with 8.238 votes and he almost doubled the 4.804 votes collected by the volleyball player.
Antonio Cairoli, who is still in Dubai celebrating the new year, explained how happy he feels after receiving the news: “I entered the competition as a wildcard, let’s say, and every round I was receiving more and more support. Then I got through the semifinal and then the final. Winning such competition has been a big surprise and I’m very happy about it because it shows how much motocross is growing. It is the first time that a motocross rider wins and this victory is thanks to the support of the fans that are always next to me, not only at the races. This is also an important success for Motocross and I hope we can place the sport in a higher position in 2014!”