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Mark Cavendish is favourite for Sports Personality of the Year

Joe Robinson
22 Jul 2021

His incredible comeback story at the Tour de France is earning him deserved attention from beyond cycling

Fresh off the back of his incredible Tour de France comeback, Mark Cavendish is now the bookies' favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year.

The 36-year-old exprienced a memorable career renaissance taking four stage wins and the green points jersey at his first Tour since 2017. In the process, Cavendish managed to equal the great Eddy Merckx for the most stage victories in Tour history with 34 wins.

This remarkable Tour performance also came within the wider context of Cavendish's return to the top of the sprinting game. 

Nine months prior, the Manxman was out of contract at Bahrain-McLaren and considering bringing his career to an end due to the lack of contract opportunities. However, a last minute deal struck with former team Deceuninck-QuickStep saw Cavendish extend his career and experience his most succesful season since 2016.

This great sporting comeback has not only won the hearts of cycling fans but gained the attention of the wider public with sports betting specialist OLBG now reporting that Cavendish is favourite to take the heralded Sports Personality title this December, a title he also took back 2011 when he became World Champion.

His performances have seen him earn short odds of 5/2 overtaking England football heroes Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling as favourite. Now, Cavendish's closest rival is Olympic sprinter Dina Asher-Smith who is aiming for gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

Betting expert Richard Moffat commented, 'Whilst most eyes have been focussed on the Euros, Mark Cavendish has been making history in the Tour de France. Raheem Stirling and Harry Kane have each been quoted as the favourite and most likely winners of Sports Personality but after England missed out, their odds have drifted to 12/1 and 16/1 respectively.

'Cavendish is now the short priced favourite to take SPOTY 2021.

'Cycling is such a popular sport in the UK, such an achievement is sure to be well voted for. Mark won SPOTY back in 2011 with Bradley Wiggins winning in 2012 and Geraint Thomas in 2018.'

It is worth noting that with this being an Olympic year, Cavendish's hopes of a second SPOTY title could be pegged back by any success out in Japan. Historically, the Olympic years have been dominated by those who have taken gold with the last non-Olympic athlete to take the prize in an Olympic year being Formula 1 driver Damon Hill back in 1996.

Beyond the Olympics, other potential threats could be defending champion Lewis Hamilton who is currently in the hunt for a record eighth Formula 1 World title and Anthony Joshua, the boxing heavyweight champion of the world, who fights undisputed cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk in September.