Mark Cavendish, unarguably one of the best road cyclist these days, has been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year award and we think it’s a great opportunity to promote cycling and raise the awareness of the sport.

When you see your cycling heroes on the telly, while they fight for all those minutes and seconds at the Tour de France, they all appear larger than life. And their performance certainly is larger than life. But when I met Mark Cavendish earlier this year, at the screening of the feature film Chasing Legends, he was just a mild mannered and approachable young man, who was happy to answer questions and meet his fans.

Mark Cavendish signs autographs

Mark Cavendish sighs autograph after the exclusive screening of Chasing Legends at the O2 Arena in London

And no matter how many wins he racked up, he keeps it humble and honest and sincerely thanks to his teammates. As the excellent Cycling Weekly article on Cavendish’s nomination for the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year points out: not because he had been told to do so to but because he is truly appreciates their efforts. He always keps it honest, whether he’d lost or won. And that’s the true measure of a sportsman, that makes him one of the worthiest candidates for the SPOTY. And, of course, that impressive tally of wins in 2010, which includes, among others, five stage wins at the Tour de France and four stage wins at the Vuelta, including the points classification jersey.

I think we all remember the effect the numerous gold medals from the Beijing Olympics on cycling, therefore it cannot be underestimated the effects in case he won the SPOTY this year – another big step towards making cycling even more mainstream.

Mark Cavendish signs autographs

So this is where you, the cycling fan comes in. The nominees will be put to a public vote on the night of the live show, which will be broadcast on Sunday 19 December, at 7pm, on BBC One. You will be able to choose who you want to see crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year by calling the number given out during the programme. So get voting on the night!

And if the above is not enough for you to cast your vote, here’s a little bit of fun from us: everyone who pledges a vote for Cav in the comments section below, enters a prize draw. You can also pledge your vote on Twitter, all tweets with the #VoteForCav hashtag get entered into the draw too!

The winner gets an HTC Columbia shirt signed by Cav, runners up will get gift vouchers!

Let’s vote for CAV and support cycling!