Aussie coach recognised for contribution to British Cycling

British Cycling Performance Manager Shane Sutton was yesterday invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.

The Australian has worked with British Cycling since 2002, and is one of the driving forces behind Team GB’s success in recent years, including the Beijing Olympics. Currently, he is helping the team as it starts its preparations for  the London 2012 Games.

Sutton said: "It is a huge honour and privilege to be here today which I owe entirely to the brilliant work and commitment of the riders, the coaching team and the support staff around me. This accolade is not about personal achievement but that of the whole GB Cycling Team."

During his own cycling career, Sutton helped his native Australia win gold in the team pursuit at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. On the road, he won the Milk Race in 1990, as well as the Herald Sun Tour in 1983.

That race seems to have special links with the Sutton family. In 1984, Shane was succeeded to the title by his brother Gary, whose son Chris was runner-up to Bradley Wiggins last year when both cyclists were with Garmin-Slipstream.

The pair have since moved to Team Sky, of course, where Chris has been reunited with his uncle Shane, who acts as head coach to the ProTour outfit in addition to his British Cycling duties.

Brian Cookson OBE, President of British Cycling, said: “On behalf of everyone at British Cycling I’d like to congratulate Shane on this well-deserved honour. The contribution he has made over the past few years has been immense, and his knowledge and expertise will be invaluable with London 2012 looming ever larger on the horizon.”

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.