Cyclist up against Jensen Button in 'breakthrough' category...

Mark Cavendish is in the running for a major international sporting award.

The Manx rider has been nominated in the breakthrough of the year category at the 2010 Laureus World Sport Awards.

The nomination recognises his achievements in the 2009 Tour de France, where he won six stages and became the first British rider to win on the Champs-Elysees.

He faces stiff competition for the award from fellow Britons Formula 1 driver Jenson Button and diver Tom Daley. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 10 March.

Also nominated are tennis player Juan Martin del Potro, South Korean golfer Ji Yai Shin and German Bundesliga winners Wolfsburg.

As well as his achievements at the Tour de France, last year Cavendish won the Milan-San Remo Classic and the Sparkassen Giro Bochum.

In September he recorded the 50th win of his road-racing career in a sprint finish in the opening stage of the Tour of Missouri.

However, he's had to delay the start of his 2010 season because of a dental problem and will not begin racing until the Ruta del Sol on 21 February.