Mark Cavendish is increasingly likely to pick up BBC Sports Personality of the Year, according to Ladbrokes.
The Manx cyclist is 4/9 favourite to pick up the award. If he manages the feat, he'll be only the third cyclist to win the prize, following household name Chris Hoy in 2008 and Tom Simpson in 1965. Vote4Cav has been set up by supporters to boost his chances of success.
According to Oddschecker.com, support from the cycling world – in contrast with less vocal supporters of the other sports and stars up for the prize – has been a key factor in the shortening of the odds. When the shortlist was announced, Cavendish was 6/5 before his current shorter odds of 4/9. And since the shortlist was revealed, support for Cav has been recorded in over 1,500 tweets on Twitter. By contrast, the likes of Open Champion Darren Clarke has had just 63 related tweets, says the site.
The award will be announced on Thursday, 22nd December with coverage on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website.
"At this stage we can't see any one beyond Cavendish taking home the title," admitted Ladbrokes' spokesperson Jessica Bridge. "The market is still wide open for second and third place."
Ladbrokes latest betting:
Mark Cavendish - 4/9
Darren Clarke - 4/1
Rory McIlroy - 10/1
Mo Farah - 11/1
Luke Donald - 16/1
Alistair Cook - 50/1
Dai Greene - 80/1
Andy Murray - 100/1
Andrew Strauss - 100/1
Amir Khan - 100/1
The list caused controversy when it was announced due to the lack of women (i.e. none at all). Happily, Lucy Garner has been nominated for the Young Sports Personality of the Year award.