Geraint Thomas wept watching 'Gladiator'… and will cry if he wins SPOTY

Geraint Thomas wept watching 'Gladiator'… and will cry if he wins SPOTY

The Tour de France winning Welshman is among the favourites to be chosen by the British public at the BBC awards tonight in Birmingham.

Should he prevail, he will emulate Tommy Simpson (1965), Chris Hoy (2008), Mark Cavendish (2011) and Bradley Wiggins (2012), whose blazing saddles inspired the nation.

The Beeb are keeping the shortlist, expected to be six or eight, under wraps until 7pm to stop organised block voting for minority stars.

Thomas, 32,  is a hard-as-nails cyclist with all the crashes, hospital trips and broken bones.

But he is prone to a weep, as he did at his wedding, when he won the Tour, and even during epic historical movies.

Asked if he’d cry at SPOTY, his wife Sara joked: “On his track record — yes!”.

Speaking to BBC cycling podcast BeSpoke, Thomas said: “To be nominated would be amazing. It would be a massive honour.

“If I’m nominated, I’d really want to win it. But if you come second, it’d still be nice.”

On the tears, he added: “I cried at the end of Braveheart and Gladiator. That moment in Gladiator when they asked, ‘Who will help me carry him?’.

“Well that cracked me. Why say that? And then they all picked him up. That got to me.

“Then the guy filming me on Tour when I was crying, he didn’t have to film me for that long. He milked that!”

Spurs and England striker Harry Kane is the bookies’ favourite and will be at the awards.

Amputee racing driver Billy Monger will receive the Helen Rollason award, given for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner odds from Betway: 6-4 Harry Kane,  5-2 Geraint Thomas, 9-2 Lewis Hamilton, 12-1 Ronnie O’Sullivan, 14-1 Dina Asher-Smith and Tyson Fury, 25-1 Lizzy Yarnold, 33-1 Alistair Cook.

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