Four cyclists make BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards shortlist
Hoy, Cooke, Wiggins and Romero nominated for BBC award
Four of Britain's Olympic cyclists have made the shortlist of nominations for the BBC Sport's Personality of the Year Award. The four: Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Nicole Cooke, and Rebecca Romero all struck gold at the Beijing Olympics.
Hoy and Wiggins came back from Beijing with triple and double gold medal hauls respectively. Cooke became the first Briton ever to win the Olympic road race and followed that up in October by becoming the first rider to do the double of road Olympic gold and world championship in one year. Romero too bagged a first at the Olympics becoming the first British woman to win medals at consecutive summer games in different sports.
While it is great that four cyclists have made the 10 person short list. Lewis Hamilton is the bookie's odds on favourite with swimmer Rebecca Adlington next and Chris Hoy a 33-1 outsider in third place. Even were the cycling quartet in with more of a shout there has got to be a danger that they will split the cycling vote. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that this is exactly why there are four cyclists on the list. Other odds: Nicole Cooke 150-1, Rebecca Romero and Bradley Wiggins both 250-1.
However, when it comes to the Sports Personality Award the bookies don't always get it right, Zara Phillips was a surprise winner a couple of years back and last year's winner Joe Calzaghe was something of an outsider when he won.
Some cycling fans might also quibble about the cyclists on the list, particularly as there is no place for Mark Cavendish whose achievement in winning four stages of the Tour de France and two of the Giro is in cycling terms at least on a par with winning Olympic gold.
If Chris Hoy or one of the other cyclists does win the award it would be the perfect end to a fantastic year for British cycling and being a further sign of how cycling's move towards the mainstream. Mind you, it wouldn't be the first time that a cyclist has won the BBC Sports Personality of The Year, Tom Simpson won it back in 1965.
The award will be presented on the night of 13th December and the winner will be decided by a live phone vote during the awards show.