Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead are part of a 12-strong shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead have spoken of the honour to be nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after both riders were named on the 12-strong shortlist.

Armitstead took to Twitter to thank her fans for the tweets of support, saying the SPOTY nomination “is a surprise bonus” after a year in which she won both the World Championships and the UCI Women’s World Cup.

Froome, meanwhile, told the Team Sky website that the nomination is very special and paid thanks to all those who helped him towards his second Tour de France win in 2015.

“It’s a real honour to be named in the shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year,” Froome said. “To be recognised alongside the achievements of the other 12 names on the list is very special. 2015 has been a fantastic year for everyone at Team Sky and I’d like to thank all of my teammates, coaches and support staff for their hard work and dedication. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I did without their support, so this recognition is for them as much as me.”

Froome finished fifth in the voting after his first Tour de France win in 2013, garnering just over five per cent of the overall vote.

Should either rider win, they would join Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Tommy Simpson and Mark Cavendish as the fifth cyclist to win. Armitstead would become the first female rider to win, after Beryl Burton finished runner-up to boxer Henry Cooper.

Britain’s Davis Cup tennis star Andy Murray is favourite to win the award, closely followed by Heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis-Hill and boxer Tyson Fury.