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Three cyclists on shortlist of 12 to succeed Mark Cavendish

Three cyclists are among the 12 names in the running to succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 - former winner Sir Chris Hoy, now Britain's most successful Olympian with six gold medals, Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins, and Sarah Storey, winner of four Paralympic golds in London this summer.

Changes to the  process this year - the shortlist is drawn up by a panel, rather than nominations made by sports editors - ensure that unlike 12 months ago, it wasn't an exclusively male list, and five of the 12 athletes on the list are female. Others who might have had a strong claim for inclusion, such as double world and Olympic champion Laura Trott miss out.

Olympic and Paralympic gold medal winners dominate the list - in fact, golfer Rory McIlroy is the only one who isn't - and for the second year running there is not a single footballer or rugby player among the nominations.

Besides Storey, the other women on the list are rower Katherine Grainger, who after several near misses finally got on the top step of the podium at Eton Dorney, double Paralympic champions winner Ellie Simmonds, boxer Nicola Adams, the first female to secure Olympic gold in the sport, and heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

Andy Murray once again makes the list - but for the first time as a Grand Slam winner as well as Olympic champion - as does sailor Ben Ainslie, who like Wiggins got his fourth gold medal this summer. Mo Farah, winner of the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, and four-time Paralympic champion wheelchair athlete David Weir round off the list.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson commented: “It’s phenomenal news that three of our cyclists are up for the UK’s most prized annual sporting award. To be nominated for Sports Personality – especially after such a spectacular Olympic year for Team GB – is an amazing recognition of what has been achieved across our sport.

"Bradley Wiggins, our first winner of the Tour de France, Sir Chris Hoy, now Britain’s most successful Olympian, and Sarah Storey – whose 11 Paralympic golds match Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record - all thoroughly deserve their place on the shortlist.

"This comes a year after Mark Cavendish won the award and if a cyclist can do it again, it will further highlight just how mainstream our sport now is.”

The fact that there are three cyclists on the list however means that unlike last year, when fans were mobilised into supporting Cavendish, competition is likely to be much more open this time round and the competition from those that have enjoyed success in other sports is certainly stiffer than 12 months ago.

A sign of just how tough the field is can be seen by the fact that neither Laura Trott nor Jason Kenny, both of whom came away from the Games with two gold medals each, is on the list. The pair went public with their romance during the Games, so perhaps they'll have a night in snuggled up on the sofa with some popcorn?

This year's Sports Personality of the Year will be broadcast live from London's Excel Arena, where Adams won her gold medal, at 7.30pm on 16 December, with the winner decided on a public vote on the night.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

15 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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There are only three people I want to see win, Chris Hoy, Andy Murray or Katherine Grainger.

Its been an amazing year of sport and the only thing that sets those three apart are their Scottishness  19

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Mat Brett [625 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggins is 2/5 with William Hill, ahead of Mo Farah at 4/1.

They always get it right.

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ALIHISGREAT [119 posts] 3 years ago
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Mat Brett wrote:

Wiggins is 2/5 with William Hill, ahead of Mo Farah at 4/1.

They always get it right.

Probably becomes self-fulfilling

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robdaykin (not verified) [368 posts] 3 years ago
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For me Sarah Storey.
Wiggo has had a great year, but the clincher for me is Sarah's ride at the National Champs.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggo is nailed on to win i'm afraid winning Paris-Nice, Romandie, Dauphine, Tour, Olympic Gold all in the same year, then sympathy for being knocked down.

Team of the year will go to GB Olympics, But I'd like to see Team Sky TdF team win it

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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I was at Brands Hatch to see Sarah Storey win the Paralympics road race gold. Her performance was absolutely phenomenal. I'd love to see her win SPoTY.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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I know this is heresy on a cycling website but I think that Ellie Simmonds (the swimmer) should win; she seems every bit a sports personality. Partly because I cannot choose between the cyclists. BUT, otherwise, anyone except Andy  37 Murray

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phax71 [287 posts] 3 years ago
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WIGGGGGOOOOOO!!!

Ok, you'll not mak many pennies betting on the outcome of this ....

If I were to bet anything at all, I'd maybe put a few quid on Farah just for the hell of it ..

It's Wiggo's though, it's gotta be hasnt it???

If Andy Murray wins it, my TV is going through the window..

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 3 years ago
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Murray and his now-kept-quiet anti-English snobbery can kiss my fat one. My cycling bias says Wiggo, my admiration for awesomeness is stuck between him, David Weir and Ellie Simmonds.

Would be nice for Chris Hoy to get some sort of lifetime achievement award though.

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Simmo72 [604 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Murray and his now-kept-quiet anti-English snobbery can kiss my fat one. My cycling bias says Wiggo, my admiration for awesomeness is stuck between him, David Weir and Ellie Simmonds.

Would be nice for Chris Hoy to get some sort of lifetime achievement award though.

Agree. Wiggo deserves it and I hope he gets it but David Weir also deserves to win for such a diverse performance. TORN.

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AWPeleton [3325 posts] 3 years ago
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They should change the title to the sports person of the year as very rarely do you get a winner with a personality.

This year though with Wiggo, Hoy, Farah and Ellie Simmonds they got the recipe right IMHO.

Wiggo to win followed closely by Farah and Simmonds.

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HarveyMorcombe [42 posts] 3 years ago
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was suprised neither of the brownlee brothers wernt in it

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antonio [1124 posts] 3 years ago
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If anyone oozes personality it's Sarah Storey, she even waves, smiles and shouts 'Hi' when out training, plus she's gorgeous.

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CraigS [129 posts] 3 years ago
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HarveyMorcombe wrote:

was suprised neither of the brownlee brothers wernt in it

The award isn't just about sporting achievement. It's a popularity/mainstream media coverage contest. Jessica Ennis is a fantastic athlete but there are plenty of other athletes who have achieved the same or more. She was the poster girl for London 2012 though and that seems to be the sort of criteria for SPOTY.

Just look at Wiggins vs Murray who are quite similar on paper. Both won Olympic gold and a classic event in their sport after a long wait for a Brit to do so (admittedly there are only 3 grand tours vs 4 majors). For tennis fans a US Open victory is probably on a par with Wimbledon, in the same way as most cycling fans would see a Giro victory the same way as a Tour win. Had Murray won Wimbledon and Wiggins the Giro in 2012 though, Murray would be the favourite for SPOTY because Wimbledon/TdF are the pin up events in mainstream media for their respective sports.

SPOTY 2012 is old news already though, the Metro today is touting Froome as potential SPOTY 2013 winner!

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Gawd, Froome as SPOTY 2013 winner - no chance.