Bradley Wiggins has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2012, in recognition of his history-making 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.
Above: Bradley Wiggins is presented the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award by David Beckham and HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. (Image: David Davies/PA Wire)
Wiggins beat off stiff opposition from other superstars of British sport, including Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis, to the take the coveted accolade in a live TV vote on Sunday evening.
Back in July, Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, leading Sky Procycling in a show of total dominance on the roads of France. A few weeks later, Wiggins 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.
Prior to receiving the award, Wiggins joked with presenter Sue 'Susan' Barker prematurely picking up the SPOTY trophy and mocking Gary Lineker's make-up before adding a serious note: "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.”
Reacting to the award, the Olympic Podium Programme and Team Sky rider said:
“I’m not going to swear tonight so I’m just going to say thank you very much to everyone who picked the phone up and voted. After all that Jungle and X Factor stuff these past few weeks, to all those people in half an hour to pick up and pay £1.50 to vote thank you very much. And me Nan, the cheque’s in the post because you pushed redial God knows how many times!”
“What a year – to stand on this stage with the likes of these people next to me it’s incredible. I’d like to thank my teammates because again, without them I wouldn’t be here tonight. I’d like to thank David Brailsford, Shane Sutton, Tim Kerrison, British Cycling, Sky, for paying me, and all the Olympians here tonight. Thanks to everyone. There’s a free bar round the back paid for by the BBC so I hope you’re all going to go there tonight. Goodnight, God bless and have a great Christmas everyone. See ya.”
Wiggins was one of three British cyclists nominated for the award, with Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey joining the honorary Lancastrian on the shortlist. Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director and Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford won the Coach of the Year, 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.
"Dave Brailsford’s win as Coach of the Year and BMX rider Quillan Isidore making it onto the short list for Young Sports Personality shows the success cycling has enjoyed across all disciplines. 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.”
On Wiggins' win Great Britain Cycling Team and Team Sky Performance Director Dave Brailsford added:
“In what has been a great year for British sport, it’s good to see Bradley’s historic achievement recognised by winning the Sports Personality of the Year Award. It’s a fitting way to end Bradley’s fantastic season.”