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Mark Cavendish leads Sports Personality betting

Cyclist Mark Cavendish is the bookmakers’ favourite to land the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Cavendish tops a list of 10 nominees announced this week after becoming Britain’s first winner of the Tour de France’s green jersey, which is awarded to the race’s best sprinter.

The Manxman is odds on to claim the award, with Ladbrokes offering a best price of 5/6.

Golfer Darren Clarke is currently second favourite to triumph after clinching his maiden major title with a three-shot victory in the Open at Royal St George's in July. He is a best price of 3/1 with Skybet while long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won 5,000m gold at the World Championships in Daegu, is third-favourite at 7/1.

The shortlist of 10 contenders was compiled by a panel of sports editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines. The winner will be selected by public vote during the live awards show on 22 December.

The other contenders include Alastair Cook (cricket), Luke Donald (golf), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis) and Andrew Strauss (cricket).

Scottish tennis star Andy Murray has been installed as the long-shot candidate to claim the award, being priced by most bookmakers as the 100/1 outsider.

The absence of any women from the list of candidates has been a source of controversy surrounding the award this year. As a result, William Hill has created an alternative award to celebrate female achievement in sport during 2011. To nominate a female for the inaugural William Hill Sportswoman of the Year Award, go to the William Hill Facebook page (

Jack Watkins
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