Sports Personality contender: Cyclist Chris Froome

Why Froome should win Sports Personality

During the countdown to the 60th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday, 15 December, we will be looking at each of the 10 shortlisted contenders.

Cyclist Chris Froome became only the second British rider to win the sport's showpiece Tour de France as he powered to victory after a gruelling 3,404 kilometre test.

He dominated the 100th edition of the famous three-week race in July, a year after finishing runner-up to compatriot - and 2012 Sports Personality winner - Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Froome, 28, took the title with a lead of more than four minutes over his nearest rival, leading Wiggins to concede he might not have been able to match his younger Team Sky colleague's climbing prowess in the mountains even if fit.

"Chris's performance was dominant," said Wiggins, 33. "He is probably the best climber in the world at the moment.

"I have never been the best climber. I can climb, but my specialities have always been the time trials and working back from that. A Tour like this year, Chris is the stronger rider."

Born in Nairobi to a British dad and a mum whose parents hail from Gloucestershire, Froome has thrived despite struggles with conditions which would down lesser men.

He has suffered from the exhausting parasitic disease bilharzia, now controlled by regular medication, and a debilitating allergic reaction to the latex in his cycling kit which brings his skin out in vicious welts.

Froome started on the road to the top as a teenage mountain bike rider on the dust tracks of the Kenyan highlands and had a novel initial idea to succeeding after moving to European competition - he grew his own bean sprouts in an attempt to gain a nutritional advantage.

His progress was gradual until he was signed up by Team Sky in 2010, and he moved up a gear.

A second in the British National Time Trial Championship was followed by a third at the 2011 Tour of Beijing and second in the Vuelta a Espana - the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France.

After finishing runner-up in last year's Tour de France, he was favourite to go one better in 2013.

Froome started his most successful season at the Tour of Oman, taking the overall classification.

A series of four out of five big wins followed in the Criterium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine and then the Tour de France.

Now Froome is focused on a repeat Tour de France win and shrugs off comparisons with Wiggins, the only other British winner.

"We're very different people. We have different goals. I'm never going to be the first Brit to win the Tour, but I'm happy to be the second and achieve my lifetime goal," he said.

'[In 2014] my number one goal is to try to achieve a back-to-back victory. Physically, I am capable of it. Mentally, I'm up for it."

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