When the British Sports Personality of the Year shortlist came out just a couple of weeks ago there was one surprise omission, the three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
The Team Sky rider missed out on the shortlist yet again as a whole host of Olympic stars were put forward along with tennis world no. 1 Andy Murray and footballers Jamie Vardy and Gareth Bale. But the exclusion of Froome did raise a few eyebrows despite the Briton winning a third Tour this summer.
Although he had a good summer claiming another Tour crown, what happened in the close season with his team, Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins’s TUE drama might have also been a factor in the Briton not being put forward for the award.
But four-time Olympic Gold medallist Laura Kenny feels if the 31-year-old had achieved victory in the Olympic road race he would have been included on the prestigious list.
Kenny felt Froome would have been on the SPOTY list if he had won in Rio
It was always going to be hard for the judges to choose 16 of the best sport stars for this year; Team GB exceeded all expectations at Rio this summer, and a huge contingent of the Olympic squad made the list.
The likes of Jason Kenny, Kadeena Cox, Dame Sarah Storey, Max Whitlock, Nicola Adams and more have been included on the shortlist, but not Froome who won a historic third Grand Boucle this summer with Sky.
Kenny speaking after her appearance at the Revolution Champions League track meet where she rode for the first time since her Olympic triumph said: “If Chris had won in the Olympics then maybe he would have been nominated, but because of how strong the Olympic squad was, and there are already four cyclists up for the award.”
For Froome the priority this season wasn’t really the Olympic road race; his priorities remained elsewhere, most notably at the Tour and the Veulta a Espana. But it was still a surprise to see Froome left out when many considered him to be a credible candidate for the award.