Four cyclists were among the ten candidates for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award, unveiled on The One Show on Monday evening.
The prize will be presented in Liverpool on December 14. Chris Hoy, who won three gold medals in Beijing, Bradley Wiggins, who won two, Nicole Cooke, who kicked off the Great Britain medal-rush in the road race and Rebecca Romero, who completed her transformation from Olympic rower to Olympic cyclist are all nominated.
Other contenders include the bookmaker’s favourite Lewis Hamilton, the world formula one champion, Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington and unbeaten boxer Joe Calzaghe, who won the Sports Personality award last year.
Hamilton is still the favourite, with only Adlington and Hoy in with a shout, if the bookies are to be believed. The rest are at 50/1 or 100/1 according to Bluesq.com.
For the cyclists, there is the problem of the vote being split between all four candidates, which could deny them even a place in the first three.
Last month Cycling Weekly urged cycling fans to unite behind one candidate ? Chris Hoy ? in a bid to get him voted the first cyclist to win the award since Tom Simpson in 1965.
However, there is considerable support for Nicole Cooke, in particular, meaning that the chances of a bike rider beating Lewis Hamilton look slim.
Nevertheless, cyclists make up 40 per cent of the nominees for one of the most prestigious sports awards in the country, which shows how far the sport has progressed into the national consciousness.
Voting lines will be open on December 14. Last year, Calzaghe won with 177,000 votes.
TEN NOMINATIONS FOR BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Rebecca Adlington (swimming)
Joe Calzaghe (boxing)
Ben Ainslie (sailing)
Bradley Wiggins (cycling)
Chris Hoy (cycling)
Nicole Cooke (cycling)
Christine Ohuruogu (athletics)
Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
Andy Murray (tennis)
Rebecca Romero (cycling)
Other awards to be presented on December 14 include team of the year and coach of the year. Great Britain’s cyclists and Dave Brailsford are likely to be in the running.