Sports Personality of the Year 2011: Mark Cavendish wins BBC award

World road race champion and Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 26-year-old is only the third cyclist to win after Tommy Simpson in 1965 and Sir Chris Hoy in 2008  .

Cavendish said: "I am absolutely speechless. Just to be nominated was an incredible feeling."

Golfer Darren Clarke, who triumphed at the Open, was second with world 5,000m champion athlete Mo Farah third.

In the night's other awards England's cricket team were named Team of the Year  , with their coach Andy Flower winnning the Coach of the Year award. 

THE LAST TEN SPORTS PERSONALITY WINNERS

  • 2010: AP McCoy
  • 2009: Ryan Giggs
  • 2008: Chris Hoy
  • 2007: Joe Calzaghe
  • 2006: Zara Phillips
  • 2005: Andrew Flintoff
  • 2004: Kelly Holmes
  • 2003: Jonny Wilkinson
  • 2002: Paula Radcliffe
  • 2001: David Beckham

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic , winner of three of the year's four Grand Slams, won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year,  while teenage golfer Lauren Taylor scooped the Young Sports Personality award. 

Athletics coaches Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin won the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award. 

Former rower Sir Steve Redgrave won the Lifetime Achievement award  while Bob Champion was handed the Helen Rollason Award. 

Cavendish won five stages of this year's Tour de France - including the final stage in Paris - to clinch the green jersey awarded to the race's best sprinter for the first time.

The Manxman followed that success by confirming Britain's emergence as a major nation in road as well as track cycling by taking gold at the World Championships in Copenhagen in September.

He said: "I am absolutely speechless, some of my team-mates here will say that is a rare thing.

"I had a group of guys who rode in Copenhagen who brought the rainbow jersey back to Britain after nearly half a century and that is a massive thing. Even to be nominated in the top 10 is an incredible thing.

"That we can produce champions from such a small place is superb."

Cavendish was awarded an MBE in November  for his services to cycling and won the Sports Journalists' Association sportsman of the year award  in December.

CAVENDISH'S 2011

  • Giro d'Italia - Two stage wins
  • Tour de France - Five stage wins
  • Tour of Britain - Two stage wins
  • World Championship road race winner

He had 15 stage wins to his name prior to this year's Tour, but had yet to finish the gruelling event at the top of the sprint standings.

However, a dominant performance at the head of his team's HTC-Highroad train in the sprint stages and a stubborn refusal to slip too far off the peloton through the French mountains ensured he wore green from the 11th stage through to the Champs-Elysees. 

Supported by a Great Britain team that contained the likes of Bradley Wiggins, David Millar and Geraint Thomas, Cavendish then burst to victory in Denmark to become the first British winner of the world title in 46 years. 

"They were the two hardest goals I could possibly set myself in the year, but I had some great guys around me," he said.

Cavendish's five stage wins at the 2011 Tour de France moved him to sixth on the all-time list on 20 behind legendary Belgian Eddie Merckx, who has 34, a target Cavendish has in his sights.

"I'm not chasing records, but I have collected an average of five a year so it is definitely doable if things carry on as they have been," he said.

Breakdown of the vote:

Mark Cavendish 169,152 (49.47%)

Darren Clarke 42,188 (12.34%)

Mo Farah 29,780 (8.71%)

Luke Donald 23,854 (6.98%)

Andy Murray 18,754 (5.48%)

Andrew Strauss 17,994 (5.26%)

Alastair Cook 13,038 (3.81%)

Rory McIlroy 11,915 (3.48%)

Dai Greene 9,022 (2.64%)

Amir Khan 6,262 (1.83%)

Sir Steve Redgrave given BBC Lifetime Achievement award