Irish track rider Martin Irvine has been named as the Norther Ireland BBC Sports personality of the year.

“This is a tremendous honour,” Irvine told the BBC. “I want to thank BBC Northern Ireland for this award. The sport of cycling has been going through somewhat of a resurgence in popularity recently.”



Irvine shot to prominence when he won the scratch race world title in Belarus in February, the first Irish cyclist to win a track title in 117 years. He won the race, with a typically gutsy performance, just seconds after being awarded his silver medal for the individual pursuit.

Irvine then suffered a major setback when he fractured his hip in a crash at the Tour of Taiwan. The injury wiped out most of his road season for American team United Healthcare.



Irvine returned to international track competition in November, winning the points race at the Manchester world cup. Another crash followed at the Ghent six-day a few weeks later, but this time he was not seriously injured.



Irvine beat AP McCoy and Michael Dunlop, among others, to the award.