Geraint Thomas 3/1 for BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Geraint Thomas rides to victory
Geraint Thomas rides to victory

Geraint Thomas is 3/1 to crown a dream year with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after completing his Tour de France victory.

Thomas all but secured a remarkable success when coming through Saturday's time trial unscathed before enjoying Sunday's procession into Paris, flanked by the rest of Team Sky.

Alexander Kristoff won the final sprint on the Champs-Elysees but it was Thomas who was able to sip champagne and toast what was a remarkable performance.

Team-mate Chris Froome has not yet managed to earn a place on the SPOTY podium, but Sky Bet respect Thomas' chances of emulating 2012 winner Bradley Wiggins and make him their 3/1 second-favourite.

England captain Harry Kane heads the betting at evens after leading his side to the World Cup semi-finals, with boxer Anthony Joshua and F1 title contender Lewis Hamilton both quoted at 14/1.

Hamilton won the award in 2014 having twice been second previously, while Joshua was a surprising fourth behind Mo Farah last year having gone into the ceremony as an odds-on favourite.

Geraint Thomas celebrates in Paris
Geraint Thomas celebrates - but will he also be named Sports Personality of the Year?

SPOTY contenders

With Geraint Thomas having advertised his credentials for this year's Sports Personality award, our Ben Coley looks at some of the key contenders.

Harry Kane

England's first Golden Boot winner since Gary Lineker in 1986 having scored six as Gareth Southgate's side reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990. While Lineker did not feature on the end-of-year SPOTY podium in '86, Paul Gascoigne won the award four years later and Kane is an obvious favourite.

Pros: Likeable sort; World Cup top goalscorer; looks like a Harry Potter character

Cons: Has not actually won anything yet if we discount footwear made of gold

Geraint Thomas

Another Tour de France winner for Team Sky and a first for Wales after his superb success. It's been a triumph for patience having previously played second fiddle to Chris Froome and those within the sport speak of Thomas as an extremely popular, likeable member of the peloton.

Pros: Won the Tour de France; every person in Wales with a working internet connection will vote for him

Cons: Could the BBC try their best to keep him out of first given his team? Surely not...

Lewis Hamilton

On his way to a fifth Drivers' Championship after winning twice before F1's summer break and remains the quickest driver on the grid. Won this at the expense of Rory McIlroy in 2014 and a certainty to feature on the shortlist in a non-Olympic year where serious contenders are hard to come by.

Pros: Odds-on to win the F1 title yet a big price for this

Cons: Bit of a plonker, to be honest

Anthony Joshua

Kept his unbeaten record intact with victory over Joseph Parker and will step into the ring with the big-hitting Alexander Povetkin back at Wembley Stadium in September. Says all the right things and does as he speaks, working with kids close to his home, so while the shtick does get a little much at times he would be a worthy winner.

Pros: No pesky Olympians to deal with this time; beating a Russian always a good look

Cons: Only fourth when favourite last year when beating Klitschko wasn't deemed enough

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua

Jordan Pickford

Everton goalkeeper who impressed at the World Cup, particularly during England's dramatic victory over Colombia. Yes, it's been that quiet a year in UK sort - Pickford is fifth in the betting.

Pros: Played well for England in the World Cup

Cons: Has not done anything to merit winning

Lizzy Yarnold

First woman in history to defend her skeleton gold at the Winter Olympics (note: no idea how long skeleton has been a thing) and was cut for this in February as a result. Went into Pyeongchang in mediocre form so it was a real triumph for producing on the biggest stage.

Pros: Two-time Olympic gold medal winner; sixth in 2014

Cons: Born in Sevenoaks; hot summer means snow is yesterday's news; sixth in 2014

Jonathan Rea

Won the World Superbike title three years running and was rewarded for the third of those with second place in this in 2017. Northern Irish vote a factor there but shouldn't underestimate the scale of his achievements and he's well on track for the four-timer.

Pros: Second last year; set to win world title again; from Northern Ireland

Cons: Isn't even the coolest person with the surname Rea

Rory McIlroy

Unfortunate not to win this award in 2014 and ought to have finished higher than 10th in 2012 and eighth in 2011. Won majors in all three of those seasons but has only one chance left to do so this year and hasn't captured the imagination of voters, failing to rally Northern Irish support in the way Rea did.

Pros: Enjoying a good year and could yet star in the Ryder Cup

Cons: Won one event, in America, and not a major; Florida resident not all that popular at home

Jenny Jones

Snowboarder who won a bronze medal... in 2014. Is this a stitch-up?

Pros: She's quoted in the betting

Cons: I don't know why

Jade Jones

Ah! It was Jade Jones, not Jenny Jones. Jade is taekwondist (person who does taekwondo) knicknamed 'The Headhunter' owing to her preference for clobbering the head of her opponents. This year has been a success as she bagged gold at the World Grand Prix while off the floor, she's become a reality TV star of sorts in Celebs Go Dating. We're all doomed.

Pros: Towards the top of her sport; TV exposure via E4 show

Cons: If the traders confused her with Jenny, she can't be that famous

Mark Williams

Won his third world snooker title some 15 years on from his second, having been one of the comeback stories of the season even before a famous fortnight at the Crucible. Stuck to his word and fulfilled press duties in his underwear afterwards, following what was an engrossing final.

Pros: Hard not to be taken by his Crucible win; class clown type who is popular

Cons: Snooker struggles to capture voters - Ronnie never nominated, last podium finisher way back in 1990

Mark Williams on his way to speak with the media
Mark Williams on his way to speak with the media after his Crucible win

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