You want sport AND personality?

There's an outstanding favourite for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award and he drives a car. Will you vote petrol or pedal?

Wasn't the racing great this weekend? Yeah, yeah I know there was some good stuff on the track in Manchester but I'm talking about Interlagos. Edge of the seat stuff, a World Championship decided at the very last turn and a British winner...

I'll admit, I've been a Formula One fan since I was a boy. One of my earliest memories of telly sport is Nigel Mansell desperately trying to push a stricken JPS Lotus over the line at the 1984 US Grand Prix and I've watched with a weird patriotic fervour since. I've cheered on Johnny Dumfries – currently Marquis of Bute, the Earl of Windsor, Viscount Ayr, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar and Cumnock, Viscount Kingarth, Lord Montstuart Cumbrae and Inchmarnock, Baron Cardiff, and Viscount Mountjoy apparently – Martin Brundle and Damon Hill to name a few. (Never really warned to Herbert or Blundell for some reason.) Soooo, I was chuffed to see Lewis Hamilton win the F1 World Championship on Sunday.

Then, of course, I realised that this meant Stevenage's favourite son would be a dead cert for the BBC's Sports Personailty of the Year. The bookies certainly think so: William Hill currently has Lewis Hamilton as favourite at 8/15. In second place is Rebecca Adlington who claimed two golds in the pool at the Beijing Olympics. This means that in the betting hierachy of sporting achievement cycling currently lies behind driving and swimming...

This is causing some rather heated debate on the 'Radar forums at the moment with Lewis not flavour of the month for all of you. Yes he did have a very good car – but then Chris had a good bike and Rebecca, erm, a nice cossie and fast water...– but you can't deny he is pretty bloody good at what he does. Likewise, I don't think anyone could say that, like Chris Hoy, Rebecca Adlington, fourth favourite tennis star Andy Murray or any of our other gold medallists Hamilton hasn't worked hard, or made sacrifices,  to get to where he is.

That said, I won't be voting for Lewis. It's going to be Big Chris for me. To be honest, I might not even vote for Chris Hoy if I genuinely think my own Sports Personality of the Year can actually win. Nicole Cooke, despite her Olympic Road Race gold and World Championship crown is a 100/1 outsider – the same as Victoria Pendleton, but ahead of 150/1 shots Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero. Mark Cavendish, incidentally doesn't make the list.  I'd vote for Nicole because, to my mind at least, she is due some well earned wider recognition. And if a Royal horse rider is good enough then...Oh, and Nicole winning would just about make up for the excruciating interview with Adrian Chiles during the 2006 SPotY show - "Do you ever fall off..."

Of course, there's no guarantee that Nicole will even make the shortlist of 10 come December 1. (There'll then be a public vote on December 14 during the live show.) I'm sure the brilliant  Hoy will and his three gold medals surely beat Adlington's two? And it'd be great to see a cyclist  - any cyclist - win this award. So far, Tom Simpson in 1965 is the only cyclist to have ever ridden away with the cup. What do you think? And, more to the point, do you do actually care?

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
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