...vs Murray, Ennis, Farah, McIlroy, Grainer, Weir, Simmonds, Adams and Ainslie

Hoy vs Wiggins vs Storey

In what must be one of the toughest set of finalists ever, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year contenders have been released, including three cyclists.

Sir Chris Hoy, Sarah Storey and Bradley Wiggins have all made the shortlist, which also includes Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Katherine Grainer, David Weir, Ellie Simmonds, Nicola Adams and Ben Ainslie.

That shortlist not only avoids the controversy of last year’s male-slanted set, but is widely considered to be the strongest line-up yet. Andy Murray’s winning of a Grand Slam sets him apart from every other British tennis player since the 1930s.

The favourite to win – as he has been for much of the year – is Bradley Wiggins, not least for his Tour de France triumph where he became the first Brit ever to win the (almost) century old race.

The winner will be revealed on the evening of Sunday December 16th. Speaking to BikeBiz at the launch of his bike brand yesterday, Sir Chris Hoy revealed he wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony due to prior commitments.

Cycling has, in recent years, got some form in SPOTY. Mark Cavendish won the 2009 competition (where he won with 50 per cent of the vote), while Sir Chris Hoy won in Olympic year 2008. Before those two, cycling picked up the award in 1965 courtesy of Tom Simpson.

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