Mark Cavendish heads BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist

No surprises there - but absence of footballers, rugby players and most controversially, women is

by Simon_MacMichael   November 28, 2011  

Mark Cavendish with Jaguar Academy of Sport Award

The shortlist of ten athletes from whom the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be chosen has been unveiled, and bookmakers’ favourite, Mark Cavendish, is of course on it. Controversially, not one woman features among the ten names announced this evening.

Gary Lineker – never a winner himself, his best showing being third place in 1991 – joined Alex Jones and Matt Baker to reveal the all-male shortlist live on The One Show.

According to the bookmakers, Cavendish’s closest rival will be Open golf winner Darren Clarke, whose battled to form after a period in which his game suffered as he struggled to cope with the illness and subsequent death in 2006 of his wife, Heather.

Clarke is one of three golfers in a list on which there are not only no women, but no footballers or rugby players either, the other two being Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.

Athletes Dai Greene and Mo Farah, cricketers Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, boxer Amir Khan and perennial contender Andy Murray from the world of tennis complete the list.

The winner will be decided by public vote on the evening of Thursday 22 December when the event is screened live from the BC’s new studios in Salford.

The absence of female athletes such as heptathlete Jessica Ennis or swimmer Rebecca Adlington may be a reflection of this being a non-Olympic or Commonwealth Games year, although they did respectively clinch world championship silver and gold in their respective sports.

However, less explicable is the absence of triathlete Chrissie Wellington, who this year in Hawaii won back the Ironman world title she had previously won for three years running from 2008-10.

Wellington, like Adlington and the open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne all narrowly missed making the shortlist, compiled after the BBC canvassed the views of local and national newspaper and magazine editors.

The only cyclists besides Cavendish to have received nominations were BMX star Shanaze Reade, put forward by black community newspaper, The Voice, and Victoria Pendleton, who made the Guardian's shorlist. Triathlete Alistair Brownlee received four nominations, suggesting he wasn't far off the final ten.

Female athletes are, however, represented in the Junior Sports Personality category, including women’s junior world road champion Lucy Garner.

Cavendish is favourite to win the main award to become only the third cyclist after Tom Simpson in 1965 and Chris Hoy in 2008 to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

At the weekend, the winner of the Tour de France green jersey and the rainbow jersey in the world championship in Copenhagen, received yet another accolade when he was named Most Inspirational Sportsman of the Year at the prestigious 2011 Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards.

Cavendish, whose new outfit Team Sky is of course supported by Jaguar, described winning the award as “A complete surprise! When you see some of the names that were up for nomination, it's pretty special.

“Cycling's still a growing sport, and to be a cyclist and be inspirational, that's a pretty big thing.

“For someone to watch what we do and actually appreciate it, which hasn't always been the case in the past, that's a big thing. It's a lovely evening."

15 user comments

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This page makes interesting reading

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/sports_personality/15895642.stm

Only three didn't nominate Cav, Zoo, Daily Star Sunday and The Voice

Also, i don't think that Manchester Evening News understood the brief, it was not the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year

Their list of ten

James Anderson
Dimitar Berbatov
Darren Clarke
Glen Chapple
Rory McIlroy
Keri-Anne Payne
Paul Scholes
Andrew Strauss
Yaya Toure
Patrick Vieira

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
28th November 2011 - 20:33

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Great link, Gkam, well worth a couple of minutes of anyone's time to have a look.

The Times is also having the proverbial ripped out of it om Twitter from rival national journos for having Wayne Rooney on its list.

Interesting to see some regional bias going on, and as for Zoo - I'm off to Google a couple of those names...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8520 posts]
28th November 2011 - 20:42

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seriously...could a double whammy for cycling be realistically on the cards?
Junior & senior SPOTY ?
sounds a bit too good to be true, think i might have to organise a club night at the pub to cheer this along !!

posted by scrapper [63 posts]
28th November 2011 - 21:50

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I'd love to see Lucy Garner win it but I reckon Tom Daley will nail it again this year in the Young category, especially with his father passing away.

Straight fight between Cav and Darren Clarke for the main award I reckon. In Cav's favour is that Clarke may lose votes to the other two golfers, and that unless there's a big media campaign in NI to back him the vote from there could be split too.

But down the years, we've seen that a compelling backstory can be decisive, and I wouldn't underestimate the potential benefit of that for Clarke, particularly if the likes of the Daily Mail push it.

Also, for someone who likes a smoke and the odd drink and evidently a decent Sunday lunch when not strolling the fairways, he gets the sedentary middle aged male vote, too.

On the other hand, Cav's new agents are doing a very good job of getting him out there into the mainstream, noticeable how much coverage he's getting at the moment outside the cycling press, and part of that must be with SPOTY in mind.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8520 posts]
28th November 2011 - 22:31

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If I was Cav, I wouldn't even turn up. Who cares about this pompous BBC award?

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
28th November 2011 - 23:41

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

Interesting to see some regional bias going on, and as for Zoo - I'm off to Google a couple of those names...

Really? Maybe because i'm a multi sports fan or just watch the news alot, i know them all

Jenson Button - F1
Darren Clarke - Golf
Alastair Cook - Cricket
Luke Donald - Golf
Mo Farah - Distance Running
Carl Froch - Boxing
Amir Khan - Boxing
Rory McIlroy - Golf
Andy Murray - Tennis
Judd Trump - Snooker??

Out of all the names, i did have to google a couple though, Sam Tomkins (rugby), Sarah Stevenson(Taekwondo), Nicola Adams (boxing), George Groves (boxing), Glen Chapple (cricket), Sam Waley-Cohen (jockey) and Stef Reid (Paralympic 100m, 200m and long jump hopeful)

A few surprises on the lists, but none more so that Dario Franchitti, he's not done much this year

I don't know if they ever give posthumous honours? I'd like to see Dan Wheldon get something this year, twice won the Indianapolis 500 and also won the 24 Hours of Daytona, but never got anything from the BBC and no doubting Gary Speed will get something Smile

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
28th November 2011 - 23:42

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Gkam84 - Well, I knew 8/10 - the gaps were Carl Froch and Judd Trump. I should at least have been aware of the latter from the number of times I've left Eurosport running while I write a race report than when it's finally posted look up and see blokes potting balls Big Grin

Londonplayer - Much like the way the first thing he does when interviewed after winning a race is thank his team mates, every time I've heard him asked about the prospect of winning Sports Personality, he immediately says that it's recognition of cycling, particularly given it's a non-Olympic year. I think he has a good point.

Personally I quite enjoy the round up of the year's events, though having been caught out by the switch to the Thursday it's going to have to be one for the Sky+.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8520 posts]
29th November 2011 - 0:19

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London Player; I'd imagine his sponsors have a little influence on him going, even if he didn't want too. Be it HTC or Sky, its excellent media coverage for them.

Out the saddle, Power. Well try at least!

posted by JoeD [9 posts]
29th November 2011 - 12:09

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I'll be voting for Cav.

Chrissie Wellington should be in instead of Amir Khan.

At least this years list doesn;t contain any over the hill footballers, darts players or jockeys.

posted by thereverent [322 posts]
29th November 2011 - 13:00

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- And jockeys! Sitting on something doing all the work and wacking it occasionally may take skill but it isn't sport. Now if a horse could enter that would be another matter... Come to think of it wasn't Princess Anne a winner once....?

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
29th November 2011 - 13:09

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Sorry to sound like a grump but I've always found SPOTY a bit embarrassing - all those footballers sat in a row looking bored whenever anything that isn't footie, golf or boxing is discussed. The lack of women in the top 10 and the inclusion of 3 golfers sums up the irrelevance of the whole exercise for me.

Let's be honest - If you don't get out of breath it isn't a sport - it's a leisure activity. They should have Leisure Activity Personality of the Year and stick all the golfers, darts players, curlers, and tiddly winks world champs in that. Maybe even cricket. I'm tired of hearing about cricketing groin strains as if cricketers are conditioned to the level of TDF riders - when their training still seems to consist of a few hours a week in the nets with a B&H clamped between the teeth. Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
29th November 2011 - 13:13

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Gkam84 wrote:
I don't know if they ever give posthumous honours? I'd like to see Dan Wheldon get something this year, twice won the Indianapolis 500 and also won the 24 Hours of Daytona, but never got anything from the BBC and no doubting Gary Speed will get something Smile

Mmm, does taking the mick out of the dead become OK as long as you put a smiley face at the end of it?

posted by Chris James [215 posts]
29th November 2011 - 13:30

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thereverent wrote:

Chrissie Wellington should be in instead of Amir Khan.

That's true she's had a great year...but on the other hand SPOTY normally only covers proper sports. Devil

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posted by hatchet harry [13 posts]
29th November 2011 - 16:42

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Chris James wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:
I don't know if they ever give posthumous honours? I'd like to see Dan Wheldon get something this year, twice won the Indianapolis 500 and also won the 24 Hours of Daytona, but never got anything from the BBC and no doubting Gary Speed will get something Smile

Mmm, does taking the mick out of the dead become OK as long as you put a smiley face at the end of it?

How exactly was i "taking the mick"?

I'm just saying that Dan should get something and Gary WILL

I'm calling the oversea's winner now, Sebastian Vettel

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
29th November 2011 - 18:00

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If it gets more people on their bikes, out of their cars, and therefore less likely to drive over me or have a heart attack near me... I care.

posted by pmr [175 posts]
30th November 2011 - 17:48

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