2012 was a year in which cycling captured the imaginations of sports lovers and the general public around the world. The popularity of the sport is reflected in the results of national sports awards in Britain and Belgium, which honoured Bradley Wiggins and Tom Boonen.
Little more than one week after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France, Wiggins was crowned Olympic Champion in the London 2012 time trial. He also won Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the CritÃ©rium du DauphinÃ©. He is the third cyclist in five years to win the British Sports Personality award after Sir Chris Hoy (2008) and Mark Cavendish (2011).
Wiggins took 30.25% of the 1.6 million phone votes recorded by the public who chose from a shortlist of 12 sports personalities that also included Sir Chris Hoy (double Olympic track gold medallist in London) and para-cyclist Sarah Storey (four Paralympic gold medals in London on the track and road)
The BBC awards also honoured British Cycling's Performance Director and Team Sky Manager David Brailsford as coach of the year. The 48-year-old coach, who wins this award for the second time after 2008, helped guide the British cycling team to eight gold medals at London 2012.
Meanwhile two cyclists feature in the top three of the Belgian Sportsman of the Year awards. With victories in the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, le GP E3-Harelbeke, Gand-Wevelgem, Paris-Bruxelles and the Belgian Championships, Tom Boonen received the most votes from the 190 journalists participating in the election. He wins the title ahead of decathlete Hans Van Alphen and another cyclist, road race World Champion Philippe Gilbert.
Photo : Bradley Wiggins gets the public vote in Britain
UCI Communication Services