British Cycling president Bob Howden is ‘delighted’ that Lizzie Armitstead and Chris Froome have been recognised for outstanding years in 2015 with nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Armitstead is nominated after winning the women’s road race at the world championships, while Froome secured the second Tour de France title of his career.
“I’m delighted to see Lizzie and Chris nominated. They have enjoyed outstanding years and established themselves as two of the best road riders in the world.
“Their achievements will go a long way to inspiring the next generation of outstanding young British cyclists. Our #WeRide strategy aims to get one million more women cycling by 2020 and it’s fantastic for young girls to have a role model like Lizzie to be able to look up to.
“Chris achieved his victory with class and dignity. Male road racing has come through a difficult period and riders like Chris, and Sir Bradley Wiggins before him, are leading the sport into a new era.”
The last 12 months have been the best of Armitstead’s career. An Olympic silver medalist in 2012 and a world champion on the track in 2009, she finally achieved her lifelong goal of winning the women’s road race, taking the win after an outstanding sprint finish. In doing so she became only the fourth British woman to ever wear the rainbow stripes on the road after Beryl Burton, Mandy Jones and Nicole Cooke. As well as that success she also retained her UCI Road World Cup Series title after another consistent year which never saw her finish off the podium.
Froome came into 2015 looking to regain the Tour de France title after crashing early during the defence of his title in 2014. With outstanding support provided by his Team Sky team mates, including fellow British riders, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard, Froome saw off the challenge of Nairo Quintana to claim the second yellow jersey of his career.
If Armitstead or Froome are victorious they will join an illustrious list of previous winners from cycling.
In the last decade alone Sir Chris Hoy took the title in 2008 after winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, Mark Cavendish was the victor in 2011 following his historic win in the road race at the Road World Championships, before Sir Bradley Wiggins took home the famous trophy in 2012 after winning the Tour de France and Olympic gold.
Other former cycling winners include Tom Simpson in 1965, while Beryl Burton was runner up to boxer Henry Cooper in 1967.
NB: The actual voting opens during the live programme on 20 December.