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Bradley Wiggins wins Sports Personality of the Year

The bookmakers’ favourite turned out to be the public’s favourite too. Tour De France winner and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins added the Sports Personality of the Year award to his titles, just in case the end of 2012 had been in danger of being an anticlimax.

Britain’s coolest cyclist had seemed well-refreshed at the start of the show as he cracked jokes with Sue Barker. At the end, he was humbled and moved by the award which he received from sports royalty David Beckham and real royalty the Duchess of Cambridge.

"It's something to remember for the rest of my life," Wiggins said. "To receive it from David Beckham and the Royal Highness is quite something really. It's never going to get any better, let's face it. Winning this, winning gold in the London Olympics, it's about as good as it's ever going to get. I'll just cherish this moment forever. I can die happily now."

Wiggins was the second successive cyclist to win the award after Mark Cavendish won last year for his 2011 world championship triumph. The shortlist was the strongest ever, to the extent that double gold medallist Mo Farah didn’t even make the top three. Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray were second and third. Wiggins won nearly one in three of every vote cast.

The Olympics obviously dominated the ceremony. Lord Coe received a lifetime achievement award and cycling suprema Dave Brailsford was coach of the year. The organisers tweaked the rules to make Team GB the team of the year, while Usain Bolt won the Overseas sports personality award.

It was Wiggins who dominated the closing stages though, as he had in the Tour and at the Olympics. Joking that the BBC had set up a free bar for everybody at the Excel Arena, he revealed that the coveted SPOTY award would end up behind the bar of his local in Eccleston, Lancashire.

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