Even though Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey have also been nominated, Cycling Weekly believes cycling fans should back Bradley Wiggins in Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year vote.
Wiggins is aiming to become the third cyclist in five years to take the title. He is the unanimous favourite with bookmakers, and one-third of his SPOTY rivals have come out in support of him.
Still not convinced? Here are six reasons why CW feels Wiggins deserves to win the prize.
TOUR DE FRANCE WIN
What Wiggins did between June 30 and July 22 was unprecedented. Yes, he was the first British winner of the Tour, but there was more. He led for 13 days, longer than Miguel Indurain ever spent in the maillot jaune a single Tour. He became only the third Brit to win a time trial in the Tour de France, and the first to do so in yellow. His winning margin of 3-21 was the second biggest since 2006.
OLYMPIC TIME TRIAL
Equally as spectacular was his ride in the Olympic time trial 10 days after the Tour. Not only did his win give him his fourth Olympic gold (and seventh medal in total), it turned Wiggins into a national icon.
Wiggins sprints to win stage one in this year’s Tour of Romandy
THE REST OF HIS SEASON
Wiggins’s 2012 may be defined by the Tour and the Olympics. Yet if the award is a true recognition of an athlete’s year, then his victories in Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandy and the Critérium du Dauphiné – all WorldTour races – should not be overlooked.
From his drawing the raffle numbers quip on the Tour podium to his passionate anti-doping comments at a race press conference, very few sports men or women can match Wiggins’s ways.
GIVING SOMETHING BACK
Through his involvement with the Wiggle-Honda women’s team and his support for youngster Kieran Frend, he has used his Bradley Wiggins Foundation to help others. His “Ride with Brad” sportive will return in 2013, taking place in Lancashire on August 18.
Wiggins and Keiran Frend during the “Ride With Brad” sportive
Thankfully, Wiggins will not be merely defined by his sideburns. His success in 2012 has inspired people to take up cycling, be it of the recreational or competitive nature. British Cycling signed up more members in the 10 days after the Tour than ever before.
* The award will be decided by a public vote during Sunday evening’s televised live show from London’s ExCeL Centre. Information on how to vote will be issued during the broadcast starting on BBC One at 7.30pm.
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