Mark Cavendish has the made the shortlist for the 2009 edition of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award.
Cavendish joins Formula One champion Jenson Button, diver Tom Daley, heptathlete Jessica Ennis, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, footballer Ryan Giggs, boxer David Haye, cricketer Andrew Strauss, tennis player Andy Murray and gymnast Beth Tweddle.
The 10-strong shortlist was drawn up by a panel of 26 sports editors from national and regional publications.
Cavendish was included on the list thanks to his stellar year in the saddle, claiming 23 professional wins including six stage wins at the 2009 Tour de France and a coveted victory at Milan-San Remo. In terms of number of wins, he is now Britain’s most successful cyclist in the history of the sport.
Cavendish and fellow British cyclist Bradley Wiggins took part in filming a feature segment in North Wales for the BBC SPOTY awards last week. Wiggins, fourth at this year’s Tour de France, narrowly missed out on making the final 10.
The winner of the 2009 BBC SPOTY award will come from a public vote, which takes place during a live broadcast from Sheffield Arena on BBC One, December 13, 7-9pm.
Last year’s SPOTY award was won by Beijing Olympic Games track cycling triple gold medallist Chris Hoy. What chance has another cyclist of winning the award for a second, consecutive year? Fairly slim against such stiff competition, but needless to say here at Cycling Weekly we will be backing Cavendish all the way and would urge all readers to vote for Cavendish and recognise his achievements on the night.
Bookmaker William Hill has Jenson Button favourite for the 2009 SPOTY title at odds of 4/7, with Cavendish and Idowu last at a lowly 66/1. Worth a punt, we reckon.