Tommy Simpson was the first two-wheeled winner of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award back in 1965, the same year he became the road World Champion, and it was a whopping 48 years later that another cyclist won, when Sir Chris Hoy was awarded for his dominance in the velodrome. just three years later Mark Cavendish repeated Simpson’s feat at the World’s and also won the SPOTY, and last night Bradley Wiggins made it a cycling double by also winning the award.
whilst the other contenders, such as runner Mo Farrah, spent as much time as possible in the past few weeks pleading with the public for them to vote for him, Wiggins refused to canvass.
“Bradley campaigning? You’ve got to be joking,” said his agent, Jonathan Marks, the day before the winner was revealed. “I think he’d break our knees if he thought we were actively campaigning for him because it’s so opposed to what he innately believes in; you do it on merit. He’d feel desperately uncomfortable if there was a sense of the public being coerced or manipulated. And sometimes it can be quite ugly. A lot of campaigning is done by commercial partners. If you’re enhancing an asset you’ve bought into you can see why they do it. But Bradley’s only commercial partner is Fred Perry, and it’s not really their style.”
As he received the award, Wiggins had this to say:
“I’m not going to swear tonight so I’m just going to say, ‘Thank you very much for the people who picked the phone up and voted’.
“We’ve had all that jungle stuff [a celebrity TV show set in the jungle] and the X Factor the last couple of weeks so for people in half an hour to pick up and pay £1.50 to vote, thank you very much. And, my nan – the cheque’s in the post because you pushed redial god knows how many times.”
Team Sky’s head honcho Dave Brailsford won the Best Coach award for the second time (he also received that in 2008).
“They did a brilliant job,” he said referring to his riders. “Our opponents thought our wheels were rounder than theirs. It’s great because everyone sniggered when we said we would win the Tour de France in five years with a clean British rider.”
i’m not going to say much on that last point, just, well, i sincerely hope it’s true.