Britain’s only male road race world champion, Tom Simpson. Quadruple Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy. Tour of France King of the Mountains Robert Millar. Sprinter extraordinaire Mark Cavendish. Ten-time national road race champion Nicole Cooke. The list could go on and on.
We’ve all sat around and debated the relative merits of Britain’s great names in cycling, guaranteed to stimulate lively discussion whether post-ride at the pub or in front of the TV watching the Olympics.
Trying to come up with a definitive list of the UK’s top 50 names in the sport is an unenviable task – but it’s one that British Cycling has entrusted to a panel comprising journalists, administrators and world and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton as it prepares to inaugurate a Hall of Fame to commemorate its golden anniversary.
The governing body has announced that Pendleton, together with British Cycling President Brian Cookson and Executive Director Peter King, will be joined on the panel by Guardian cycling correspondent William Fotheringham, veteran BBC commentator Hugh Porter and Cycling Weekly editor Robert Garbutt.
The panel will meet later this year to determine the 50 individuals who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame when it is announced at a gala dinner next February, and British Cycling is inviting you to put forward nominations for consideration. The Hall of Fame will then be expanded through the addition of new inductees each year.
Candidates needn’t be riders, either – so if you’re a fan of Phil Liggett’s commentary, or you feel that Dave Brailsford should be recognised for his role as architect of Great Britain’s all-conquering track team, that's your choice. And fans of Victoria Pendleton needn't worry either - membership of the panel doesn't preclude her from being nominated, nor indeed any of those sitting alongside her.
Nor is the list restricted to well-known names, so if you feel that the stalwart at your local club who has helped get generations of kids get into the sport should be honoured, or the person who gives up his weekends to organise races in your area, go ahead and nominate them.
As Cookson, says: “We are delighted that top cycling journalists will be joining our panel. We want to recognise the most talented, committed and influential people within our sport and the expertise of our panellists will help us take a broad and objective view of the sport. Cycling is a sport blessed with talented, committed and remarkable people, many of whom deserve a place in the British Cycling Hall of Fame, so we expect a lively debate to develop within our panel and our online community.”
You can make your nominations by emailing fame [at] britishcycling.org.uk, but why not also tell us here which people you think should be included in the list of 50, and why?
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.