Wiggins wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

LONDON Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:25am IST

Britain's cyclist Bradley Wiggins attends the presentation of the itinerary of the 2013 Tour de France cycling race in Paris October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files

Britain's cyclist Bradley Wiggins attends the presentation of the itinerary of the 2013 Tour de France cycling race in Paris October 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Cyclist Bradley Wiggins was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday to cap a remarkable 12 months when he became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and followed it up with Olympic gold.

Wiggins topped the prestigious poll, voted for by members of the British public, ahead of Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis and U.S. Open and Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray.

"What a year, to stand on this stage with the people next to me is incredible," said Wiggins after receiving the trophy from Prince William's wife the Duchess of Cambridge at a glittering televised ceremony in London.

"I'd like to thank my team mates, I wouldn't be on this stage without them."

Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in its 99-edition history before claiming his fourth Olympic gold medal when he won the men's time trial at his home Games in London.

It was the second year the trophy has been won by a cyclist after Mark Cavendish scooped the award in 2011, while the sport's growing appeal in the country was further highlighted by British cycling chief Dave Brailsford winning the coach of the year trophy.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was named overseas sports personality after an extraordinary year in which he defended his Olympic 100 and 200 metres titles.

Twice Olympic 1,500 metres champion Sebastian Coe, who played a key role in bringing the Games to London for the third time and was then the driving force behind its success as chairman of the organising committee, won a lifetime achievement award.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Mark Meadows)

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