British cyclist Geraint Thomas was last night named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2018.
Following on from his victory at this year’s Tour de France, the Welshman also topped the public vote for the main BBC award ahead of five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and England football captain Harry Kane.
Speaking at the ceremony, Thomas told the BBC: “I take great pride in representing Britain and Wales. It has been a great year for British sport and long may it continue.
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“I really should have thought about what I was going to say. I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead I rode my bike.
“As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]’s and Billy [Monger]’s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home.
“To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this.”
Teenager Billy Monger was praised by sports fans as he was handed the Helen Rollason Award.
The 19-year-old racing driver returned to the track in March, less than one year after a Formula 4 crash left him needing both legs to be amputated.
He said: “I have to say a massive thank you to my doctors and surgeons because without them I might not be here today. It’s a real honour to share the stage with them because they saved my life.
“I set my targets quite high after my accident to get back racing and without everyone at Carlin Motorsport I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my dream. Motorsport is a team sport. Their belief in me more than anything allowed me to achieve this.”
SPOTY 2018 winners
England football manager Gareth Southgate won coach of the year after guiding the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals. England Netball won the team of the year award and Italian golfer Francesco Molinari won the world sport star award after his exploits at The Open and the Ryder Cup.
- Sports Personality of the Year: Geraint Thomas
- Helen Rollason Award: Billy Monger
- Young Sports Personality of the Year: Kare Adenegan
- Lifetime Achievement: Billie Jean King
- Coach of the Year: Gareth Southgate
- Team of the Year: England Netball
- World Sport Star: Francesco Molinari
- Greatest Sporting Moment: England’s Commonwealth Games netball gold
- Unsung Hero: Kirsty Ewen
- 2013: Andy Murray
- 2014: Lewis Hamilton
- 2015: Andy Murray
- 2016: Andy Murray
- 2017: Mo Farah
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