Mark Cavendish joint favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year

The British sprinter made a historic comeback at the 2021 Tour de France

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty)

Mark Cavendish is joint favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year 2021, according to the bookmakers.

The British sprinting superstar made a fairytale comeback at this year’s Tour de France, after he won his first stage in five years and won the green jersey for the second time in his career. 

Cavendish, who has now equalled the all-time record for Tour de France stage wins on 34, is one of two frontrunners to win Sports Personality of the Year, at the prestigious ceremony due to be held on December. 

The ‘Manx Missile’ is joint favourite alongside British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, both with odds of 5/1 to take home the Sports Personality title this year, according to Oddschecker

Asher-Smith, 25, is the fastest British woman in recorded history and is the reigning world champion in the 200m sprint. She is also a serious contender to bring home a medal for Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics, which start later this month.

Sports Personality of the Year, established in 1954, is an illustrious annual event that celebrates the sporting achievements of athletes in the UK and abroad. 

The reigning sports personality is Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, for his historic season last year and his efforts to promote equality in sport. 

Only five cyclists in history have won Sports Personality - Tom Simpson in 1965, Chris Hoy in 2008, Cavendish in 2011, Bradley Wiggins in 2012, and Geraint Thomas in 2018. 

Cavendish’s previous award was given following his green jersey win in the Tour de France (along with five stage wins) and his victory in the World Championships that year.

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In 2021, Cavendish completed a remarkable comeback at the Tour de France, where he won his first stage since the 2016 the Tour, finishing the race with four wins and the green jersey, after years of struggling with illness, injury and mental health problems.  

Other contenders for the 2021 Sports Personality include Alun Wyn Jones in rugby, swimmer Adam Peaty, Olympic cyclist Laura Kenny, and England football star Raheem Sterling. 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.