Cavendish vying to be BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Stellar 2009 season could be capped off with prestigious award

After a season that included wins in Milan-Sanremo, three stages of the Giro d'Italia and an incredible six Tour de France stages, Mark Cavendish is a top 10 nomination for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

His name arrived on the shortlist courtesy of 26 sports editors from British national and regional newspapers and magazines. The 10 nominees will be put to a public vote on the night of the live show, which will be broadcast on December 13.

Last year the award was won by another cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, for his gold medal haul at the Beijing Olympics. With the sport's profile rising in the United Kingdom, Cavendish's achievements were well documented and celebrated.

Should Cavendish win the vote on December 13 - and he stands a good chance given that it's not an Olympic year - it will cap off a sensational season for the rider from the Isle of Man and British cycling in general. Bradley Wiggins' fourth place overall at this year's Tour is another obvious highlight, equalling Robert Millar's achievement 25 years ago.

He'll be facing some stiff competition, however. Formula One world champion Jenson Button made the shortlist, while diver Tom Daley and Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs also made the cut.

Viewers will also be able to vote for heptathlete Jessica Ennis and triple jumper Phillips Idowu, in addition to heavyweight boxer David Haye, England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, tennis player Andy Murray and world gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle.

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