By Ben Atkins
Triple Olympic champion Chris Hoy has been named Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC after winning a public phone vote. Hoy, who is also a double World champion on the track, beat Formula 1 World champion Lewis Hamilton and double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington into second and third places respectively. The shortlist of 10 sportsmen and women also included Olympic cycling champions Nicole Cooke, Rebecca Romero and Bradley Wiggins.
"To win this award this year is so special as British sport has enjoyed such a hugely successful year. It's been incredible," said Hoy who was greeted by a long standing ovation as he stepped up on to the stage to accept the award from British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave and US track and field star Michael Johnson.
"I really didn't expect this. After the year I've had and the whole team has had, to be crowned Sports Personality of the Year, it just means so much. This is the big one and this is just unbelievable. Standing here holding it in my hands, looking at the names on this trophy, it's quite incredible.
"The first person, or the first group of people I have to thank are the public who voted for me because I'm just overwhelmed."
Hoy is only the second ever cyclist to collect the coveted award, previously won by the late Tom Simpson in 1965 after he won the World championships that year.
In and unprecedented night of recognition for cycling, the Great Britain cycling team was named team of the year for its success in both the Olympic Games and World championships. The team defeated all other nominees, including Manchester United and the Great Britain Olympic team as a whole. British Cycling’s Performance Director David Brailsford was also named as coach of the year, beating Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to the prize.