Cycling triumphs at Sports Personality of the Year 2012
Bradley Wiggins has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2012, in recognition of his historic achievements in the Tour de France and his subsequent gold in the time trial at London 2012, masterminded by Dave Brailsford, who won the Coach of the Year award at a star-studded awards ceremony at London's ExCel venue.
Wiggins beat stiff opposition from other superstars of British sport, including Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis, to take the coveted accolade in a live TV vote on Sunday evening.
Back in July, Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, leading Team Sky in a show of total dominance on the roads of France. A few weeks later, he returned in blistering form to take a crushing victory in the Olympic Time Trial, accomplishing a never-to-be-repeated feat for a British athlete.
Wiggins said: ‘Cycling is a team sport and I couldn’t have done it without the team I had behind me. The team of riders and the personnel behind the team as well. All the athletes here tonight will know that we’re not alone with what we do – it’s the people behind us that make it happen.’
Wiggins was one of three British cyclists nominated for the award, with Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey joining him on the shortlist. Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director and Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford won the Coach of the Year award, while young BMX world champion Quillan Isisdore made the shortlist for Young Sports Personality of the Year; all testimony to the prominence of cycling in the popular consciousness in what has been an outstanding year for British sport.
Reacting to his Coach of the Year award, Dave Brailsford said:
‘I guess I’m the lucky one to come up here and collect this award because behind me there’s such a fantastic team at British cycling and Team Sky. My job is to look after other people and get them to be better. It is about the athletes, it is about the riders and we’ve got a brilliant team in British Cycling and Team Sky who invariably deliver when they need to.’
British Cycling President Brian Cookson OBE said:
‘Bradley’s win is a high point of what has been the greatest year in British Cycling’s history. To win the Tour de France and gold in the Olympic time-trial in the same year is a feat that has anchored our sport in the mainstream of British life. The fact that three out of the 12 nominees this year are cyclists is recognition of the hard work and dedication of not just our amazing athletes but of everyone who works in cycling. A cyclist has been crowned Sports Personality three times in the last five years, proving that cycling is the sport that has redefined our national sporting identity.’
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Above picture: David Davies/PA Wire