Mark Cavendish will tonight be the guest of honour at a reception at Douglas Town Hall on his native Isle of Man as he finally receives the Freedom of the Borough first bestowed on him following his first Tour de France stage wins in 2008.
Now, more than two and a half years on, and with a further 11 stages of cycling’s biggest race in his palmarès, among other victories, the Manx Missile will finally receive the award, with his busy schedule making it impossible to schedule a suitable date until now.
The delay in fixing an appointment to receive the award had seen the HTC-Highroad sprinter come under criticism from politicians on the island.
Presumably that will all be forgotten tonight as Cavendish receives the illuminated manuscript confirming the honour, which has previously been bestowed on the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Norman Wisdom, and the Bee Gees.
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.