Cavendish's BBC SPOTY odds slashed by bookies

Mark Cavendish, 2011 World Champion

The odds of Mark Cavendish winning the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award have been slashed again by British bookmakers.

Finishing last week at 4/9 at bookmakers Ladbrokes, the Manx sprint ace's odds of taking the coveted annual award on Thursday, December 22, have tumbled to 4/11. Closest rival is golfer Darren Clarke, with odds of 5/1. Fellow golfer Rory McIlroy sits at 10/1 with tennis player Andy Murray at an outside 200/1.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes quipped: "Cavendish would have to fall off his bike in order to lose from this position." 

Cavendish, Clarke and McIlroy are part of a ten-man shortlist for the 2011 award, which will be decided via public vote during a live broadcast of the award ceremony in Manchester on Thursday night. The awards will be televised on BBC One at 8pm.

Cavendish earned his place on the final shortlist after becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de France green jersey in July after clinching five stages of the race - bringing his career total of Tour stage wins to 20. He went on to win the road race world championship title in September.

Since then, Cavendish has been a regular on TV and radio, with sports channels British Eurosport and Sky Sports News running special features on the 26-year-old rider. The extensive coverage has helped raise the public profile of Cavendish ahead of Thursday's vote.

A Twitter-based internet campaign to get people voting for Cavendish on Thursday is using the hashtag #Cav4SPOTY.

BBC SPOTY odds latest: Ladbrokes

Mark Cavendish - 4/11

Darren Clarke - 5/1

Rory McIlroy - 10/1

Mo Farah - 11/1

Luke Donald - 16/1

Alistair Cook - 50/1

Andrew Strauss - 125/1

Dai Greene - 125/1

Andy Murray - 200/1

Amir Khan - 200/1 

Related links

Cavendish and Clarke top bookies' list for BBC Spoty

Cavendish on BBC Sports Personality shortlist

Garner on BBC Young Sports Personality shortlist

Mark Cavendish: Rider Profile

2010 SPOTY: Comment - Cavendish, a sportsperson with a personality

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