Quarter of the shortlist made up of cyclists with Sarah Storey and Kadeena Cox also in the running
The four riders make up a quarter of the 16-person shortlist that looks particularly strong after a successful year for Team GB at the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
According to the bookies, Laura Kenny is the most likely of the four cyclists to pick up the prestigious award, commanding odds of 22/1 after picking up Olympic gold medals in the omnium and team pursuit to become the greatest female British Olympian.
Jason Kenny also enjoyed a successful Olympic games with three gold medals in the individual sprint, team sprint, and keirin, to draw level with 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Chris Hoy on six Olympic gold medals, making them the joint most successful British Olympians of all time.
Watch: 10 best road riders of 2016
Sarah Storey and Kadeena Cox are two of four Paralympians on the shortlist.
Storey won three gold medals in the Rio Paralympics to take her tally to fourteen across two sports (cycling and swimming) and seven Paralympic games.
Cox is another multi-discipline athlete, winning a gold medal in the C4-5 time trial on the bike at the Paralympics, as well as a gold, silver, and a bronze in athletics.
However, if the bookies are to be believed, then they will struggle to beat two-time winner Andy Murray to the award, after the tennis player enjoyed a stellar year, winning Wimbledon and the Olympics, reaching the finals of the Australian and French Open, and finishing the year as world number one.