Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Wiggins tipped to win BBC accolade

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is tipped to win the BBC prize
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah is among those shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins has pulled ahead of the pack in the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 32-year-old winner of the Tour de France - who also picked up his fourth Olympic gold medal at London 2012 - emerged as the odds-on favourite to pick up the famous trophy at the end of a stunning year for British sport.

Londoner "Wiggo" was put at the 2/5 favourite by bookmakers William Hill for his heroic summer, which saw him wear the coveted yellow jersey of the Tour for 13 consecutive stages, before romping to victory in the Olympic time trial.

Athlete Mo Farah, 29, whose dramatic victories in the finals of the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m at his home city gripped the nation, was ranked second favourite to win the prize, ahead of tennis ace Andy Murray, 25, who picked up a singles gold before winning his first grand slam event at the US Open.

Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, athlete David Weir, sailor Ben Ainslie and golfer Rory McIlroy are also in the mix for the top award.

And the year after not a single woman made it onto the shortlist, the golden girls of Team GB and Paralympics GB heptathlete Jessica Ennis, cyclist Sarah Storey, boxer Nicola Adams, swimmer Ellie Simmonds and rower Katherine Grainger also made the cut.

After such a successful year for British sportsmen and women, there were bound to be some high-profile omissions, and cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott will be among those disappointed.

This year's event, which promises to be the biggest in the programme's 59-year history, will be held at London's ExCeL centre on December 16.

The winner will be decided by a public vote on the night, while the prizes for Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Overseas Personality Award are to be decided by an expert panel.

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