Mark Cavendish wins Sports Personality of the Year

Posted - December 23, 2011

After a stunning year, including first place in the World road race championship and the Tour de France green jersey, Mark Cavendish has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Cavendish won the award with a stunning 49.47% of the public vote. Golfer Darren Clarke was second and athlete Mo Farah came in third.

The Isle of Mann born athlete becomes only the third cyclist to receive the accolade. Previous winners include Sir Chris Hoy following his triple gold success in Beijing, and the legendary Tommy Simpson in 1968.

In an emotional acceptance speech at last night’s event, Cavendish paid tribute to his HTC-Highroad team in helping him to success in the sprint stages of the Tour de France. He also recognised the effect that his success and that of other British cyclists such as Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas is having on the cycling public.

"I see a lot of people out and about riding bikes and it always makes me smile every time I see a family or a child on a bike. It's incredible that people are embracing the sport that I love. It really is a beautiful sport if you get to know it, and people are appreciating what we do." He also noted the number of people now cycling to work on a regular basis.

Cavendish has a busy year ahead of him in 2012 with plans to ride in the Olympic road race which falls just 6 days after the end of the gruelling 3,000 kilometre Tour de France. today

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