The sport of cycling received a massive boost in the UK on Thursday after Mark Cavendish was named 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year - the most prestigious award of its type in Great Britain. In a poll decided by the general public, Cavendish scored a landslide victory with almost 50 per cent of the vote, proving that cycling is pushing itself more and more into the consciousness of the general public in the UK. Cavendish's Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas, himself a winner of an award last week, has revealed he was thrilled by the news.
"There should have only been one winner," Thomas told walesonline.co.uk. "He [Cavendish] has had a massive year by winning the Tour de France green jersey and by becoming world champion, and he also has a big personality. I am delighted for him."
Before Cavendish flew back to Britain for the ceremony last week, Thomas had spent the best part of ten days with him at the Team Sky training camp in Mallorca, Spain. It was one of the first opportunities for Cavendish to bed in with his new teammates, having signed for Team Sky for the 2012 season.
“I think it’s great, from the guys I’ve spoken to, everyone’s really happy to have him here,” Thomas said. “I’m sure he’s going to be up there winning stages in the big races, and that’s only going to go through the team and give everyone a boost. Once he starts winning races it will spread throughout the team and I think we’ll thrive on that. It will push everyone forward.”