Bradley Wiggins voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bradley Wiggins voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year

by Ben Atkins at 5:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Olympics
 
Tour de France winner succeeds Mark Cavendish as third cyclist in five years to take Britain’s top prize

bradley wigginsBradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) and succeeds current teammate Mark Cavendish as the third cyclist in five years to take the most prestigious prize in British sport. The Tour de France winner had been by far the hot favourite to win the award, which is decided by a public phone vote, with all polls predicting a similar landslide to that achieved by Cavendish the year before.

In an unprecedented year for British sport, centred around the London 2012 Olympics, Wiggins’ achievement as the first ever British rider to win the Tour de France proved to be enough for him to take the award ahead of a list of gold medallists.

Heptathlete Jessica Ennis finished second in the public vote, after winning gold in London, despite the having to cope with the pressure of being the Games’ poster girl. Tennis star Andy Murray took third place, having won the Olympic men singles gold in London, and become the first British man to win a Grand Slam title in 76 years with the US Open.

Despite predictions of a Cavendish-esque advantage, however [the Manxman polled almost 50% of the votes cast - ed] the vote was closer than many predicted, with Wiggins scoring 30.25% of the 1.6 million votes cast; Ennis scored 22.92%, and Murray 14.17%.

Wiggins follows Cavendish as only the fourth cyclist to win the SPOTY award, but the third in five years. Previously, the only cyclist to have won was Tommy Simpson, whose 1965 World title was enough to secure him the award; nobody won it again until Sir Chris Hoy took it in 2008, after his triple gold medal performance at the Beijing Olympics.

As well as Wiggins, Hoy was among the twelve nominations, along with record-breaking Paralympic champion Sarah Storey.

Great Britain’s performance director, and Team Sky principal, Dave Brailsford became the first person in history to be awarded the Coach of the Year award for the second time in his career. The Welshman took the award back in 2008 for guiding the British cyclists to glory in Beijing; he was honoured for the same reason this time, for the riders’ success in London, and for overseeing Wiggins’ Tour glory.

Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams were awarded the Team of the Year Prize for its performance in their home games.

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