Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Chief praises Mark Cavendish for Sports Personality win

Allan Bell
Image caption Allan Bell praised Cavendish's "ability, determination and support".

Isle of Man's chief minister has congratulated Mark Cavendish on being crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2011.

Allan Bell said Cavendish was a "great ambassador for the Isle of Man and a fantastic role model".

The 26-year-old Laxey cyclist topped the public vote during Thursday night's show to win the award.

British Open golf champion Darren Clarke was second and world champion athlete Mo Farah came third.

Mr Bell said: "On behalf of the people of the Isle of Man I'd like to add my congratulations to Mark on yet another magnificent sporting achievement.

"The BBC award is held in very high regard and his success is a fitting finale to a truly exceptional year.

"He has proved that people from a small country such as the Isle of Man can dominate on the international stage if they have the ability, determination and support."

Winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for 2011 rounded off a good year for Cavendish.

He won the world road race championship and the Tour de France green jersey, awarded to the event's top sprinter.

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