Chris Froome is now 5/2 favourite to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after winning the Tour de France for the second time, but with cycling still shrouded in doping controversy and little evidence of the British public taking the Kenyan-born rider to their hearts, he holds little appeal.
Froome didn’t even make SPOTY’s top three when he took Le Tour in 2013, and while a reasonably strong field competed for the prize, with then-Wimbledon champion Andy Murray untouchable in first, the runner-up that year points to a couple of meaty outsiders ahead of this December’s vote.
Having kicked Wales to Six Nations glory before top-scoring for the British and Irish Lions in Australia, Leigh Halfpenny finished second behind Murray for the BBC award.
With the Rugby World Cup starting in less than two months time on British shores, there are some nice-priced Froome alternatives in Ladbrokes.com’s market.
England are 7/2 second favourites to lift the Webb Ellis trophy for the second time at Twickenham in October, a result that would surely blow any other British 2015 success out of the water.
When Clive Woodward’s team managed as much in Australia 12 years ago, fly-half Jonny Wilkinson topped this poll, followed by captain Martin Johnson. Their modern day equivalents George Ford and Chris Robshaw both look solid at 33/1 apiece at present.
By the same token, Wales skipper Sam Warburton and battering-ram winger George North can’t be knocked at 66/1 each.
The other big event affecting British sports stars between now and the end of the year is August’s World Athletics Championships, with European Indoor Pentathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson seen as Team GB’s likeliest SPOTY hope at 10/1.
That being said, a winning return to the top level from Jessica Ennis-Hill, who is still unsure of competing in Beijing, would leave her 20/1 SPOTY backers in dreamland.
Ennis-Hill has collected two thirds and a second over the past five runnings of this award.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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