Mark Cavendish wins SPOTY
Mark Cavendish completed his transforming effect on the world of cycling when he was named Sports Personality of the Year here in Manchester on Thursday night. For his sport to receive such august recognition in a non-Olympic year was, the world champion and Tour de France green jersey winner acknowledged, “unheard of.”
The 26 year-old was victorious by a landslide, garnering almost half of the 342,147 votes ahead of Open champion Darren Clarke in second place and 5,000 metre gold medallist Mo Farah in third. So emphatic was the triumph that even Clarke attracted less than a quarter of the support for the Isle of Man sprint demon.
Speaking with great humility after the ceremony at BBC’s MediaCity in Salford, Cavendish said he felt that there was no higher honour either for himself or his sport.
“The thing that makes this special is that with any sport, what you put in is what you get out. But with this, it is an honour,” he explained. “It is how people react to what I have achieved – that is what makes it the biggest honour possible for me.”
Cavendish admitted that 2012 could be still more momentous for him, given that it promises both the birth of his first daughter in April and the opportunity of Olympic gold at the London Games.
“It is important that I provide my daughter with the best life possible, which means succeeding,” he said. “I want her to be proud of her daddy and that is more of a drive for me.”