Mark Cavendish has missed out on the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards, broadcast live on BBC One from the Sheffield Arena on Sunday night.
The sprint sensation from the Isle of Man was shortlisted after his stellar year in the saddle, which saw him win Milan-San Remo and six stages of the Tour de France among an astonishing 23 professional victories.
Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs won the award as a result of a live public telephone vote, second was pre-event favourite F1 driver Jenson Button, and third was heptathlete Jessica Ennis According to BBC figures, Cavendish was fourth.
The total number of phone votes received was down on last year, 516,473 compared to 718,474 in 2008. The drop may be attributed to a clash with the live televised final of X-Factor on ITV.
Although Cavendish was the only cyclist to make the ten shortlisted nominees, there were many stars from the world of cycling in attendance at the event.
Last year’s winner, triple Beijing Olympic Games track cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy, was present with his fiancé Sarra Kemp; and Olympic and world track sprint champion Victoria Pendleton was sat in the front row. Other cyclists in the audience included Geraint Thomas, Joanna Rowsell, Wendy Houvenaghel and Ed Clancy.
How the public voted
1. Ryan Giggs (151,842 votes)
2. Jenson Button (96,770)
3. Jessica Ennis (80,469)
4. Mark Cavendish (55,960)
5. Beth Tweddle (38,907)
6. Tom Daley (36,929)
7. Andy Murray (19,936)
8. Andrew Strauss (17,237)
9. David Haye (13,916)
10. Phillips Idowu (4,507)
Cavendish with partner Fiorella Migliore
Sir Chris Hoy and fiancé Sarra Kemp
Victoria Pendleton wears Paul Smith