Mark Cavendish, the 26-year-old road cyclist, was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year at an event in Manchester on Thursday night.

More than 160,000 votes were cast for Cavendish. "I am absolutely speechless. Just to be nominated was an incredible feeling," the BBC has quoted him as saying.

Cavendish, from the tiny Island of Man, won five stages of Tour de France this year and was awarded the green jersey for the race's best sprinter. He also won the gold at the cycling event in World Championships in Copenhagen in September.

For his superb performance on the tracks Cavendish won the Sports Journalists' Association sportsman of the year award also. Prior to this he also picked up an MBE in November.

He is the third cyclist to win the award which was instituted in 1954. Earlier Tommy Simpson won the award in 1965 and in 2008 Sir Chris Hoy bagged the trophy.

Golfing champion Darren Clarke, and 5,000m champion athlete Mo Farah got second and third highest votes, respectively.

English cricket team, currently the best Test side, was named the team of the year. The team's coach former Zimbabwean cricketer Andy Flower won the Coach of the Year.

Tennis ace and world number three, Novak Djokovic, won the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year; Djokovic won three out of four grand slams this year.

Teenage golfer Lauren Taylor was awarded the BBC'sYoung Sports Personality of the year.

The BBC Sports Unsung Hero award was given to athletics coaches Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin.

Former rower Sir Steve Redgravewon the Lifetime Achievement award, while Bob Champion was presented with the Helen Rollason Award.

Cyclist Mark Cavendish collecting the Sports Personality of the year award, at Media City, Manchester.Press Association
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Mark Cavendish (centre), Second placed BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Darren Clarke (left) and Third placed BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Mo Farah during awards ceremony.Press Association
BBC's coach of the year was given to cricket coach Andy Flower.Press Association
Tennis star Novak Djokovic, winner of the Overseas Sportsperson of the Year, interacts via a video link.Press Association
Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Sir Steve Redgrave at the podium during the awards ceremony.Press Association
Winner of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year, Lauren Taylor presented by Jessica Ennis (left) and Roberto Mancini during the awards ceremony.Press Association
Unsung heroes award winners arriving for the Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2011Press Association