World road race champion Mark Cavendish claimed Britain’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Thursday, beating golfer Darren Clarke and athlete Mo Farah in a public vote.
The 26-year-old, also the Tour de France’s green jersey winner, became only the second road cyclist to take the award, following the late Tommy Simpson’s win in 1965.
Northern Irish golfer Clarke, this year’s champion at The Open, was voted into second place, with world 5,000m gold medalist Farah third.
The build-up to this year’s showpiece event was overshadowed by a row over the lack of any women on the 10-strong shortlist despite a year that produced several British female world champions.
Cavendish, who is one of Britain’s top hopes for a home gold at next year’s London Olympics, topped this year’s Tour de France’s points table after winning five stages and followed it up with a thrilling win in the World Road Race Championships in Denmark in September.
The BBC award capped off a fine year for the Isle of Man-born cyclist, awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire medal last month.
Elsewhere, England’s cricketers were named Team of the Year, with their coach Andy Flower winning the Coach of the Year award, in recognition of their rise to the top of the world Test rankings.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon tennis champion Novak Djokovic won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.
Five-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Steve Redgrave won the Lifetime Achievement award and former Grand National winning jockey Bob Champion was given the Helen Rollason Award in recognition of the money he raised for cancer charities since overcoming the disease himself.