Mark Cavendish awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours

Manx Missile's achievements recognised with gong - but will TDF green jersey prove more elusive?

by Simon_MacMichael   June 11, 2011  

Mark Cavendish celebrates on the Vuelta podium after winning Stage 13 (copyright Unipublic:Graham Watson)

Mark Cavendish has described being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List as “A massive honour,” and says that the timing of next year’s Olympic road race means that he should be in perfect form to challenge for the gold medal at London 2012.

The HTC-Highroad sprinter, who in last month’s Giro d’Italia won his 25th Grand Tour individual stage, said: "It is a massive honour for me to be recognised like this - it is not often that a cyclist is honoured without winning an Olympic medal,” reports the website sportinglife.com.

"It is a great list of names that have been honoured and for me to be alongside them is massive for me,” he continued.

"Cycling is growing and I am more known now, but I don't do this for any celebrity status, I do it for the love of the sport.

"To know that cycling is getting recognised makes me massively proud."

The 26-year-old currently has 15 Tour de France stage wins to his name and has won the final stage on the Champs-Elysées – often dubbed ‘the sprinters’ world championship’ for the past two years, although he has not yet managed to win the points classification.

That’s something Cavendish intends to change, although changes to the way points are awarded – this year there will only be one intermediate sprint per stage, but it will be worth 20 points to the winner – may count against him, effectively creating a race-within-a-race, even on the mountain stages.

"The Tour de France is in three weeks and I will be aiming for more stages in that and the green jersey, and the World Championships in Copenhagen are another big goal for me,'' he explained.

"I won't be changing much in my professional season in the build-up to the Olympics because I'm a professional athlete and I have to do my job.

"Not changing my preparation will be the best thing for the Olympics - the road race falls one week after the Tour de France finishes, so I should be on really good form for that.

"At the Olympics there will be pressure to try to get Britain off to a good start. But we have a strong team and I am looking forward to it.''

Cavendish’s Tour de France preparations continue with his participation in the Tour de Suisse, which starts today with an individual time trial – at 7.3km, most it’s really a prologue – around Lake Lugano.

Last year, Cavendish was fined after he was ruled to be at fault for a high-speed crash that took out Heinrich Haussler as the pair vied for a sprint, the incident ending the Cervelo-TestTeam rider’s season.

However, the Manxman last night explained on Twitter that there was little prospect of a repeat of that type of incident this year, saying “Just saw race handbook for TourDeSuisse. No chance of another.. ahem.. mishap between Haussler & myself. BECAUSE THERE'S NO F*CKING SPRINTS.”

At some point of course Cavendish will have to take time out of his schedule to visit Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE. We’re guessing that appointment will prove easier to arrange compared to the two and a half years it took to schedule a date for him to receive the Freedom of the Borough of Douglas on his native Isle of Man, which he finally picked up earlier this year.
 

16 user comments

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Sir Philip Liggert has a nice ring to it..

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [933 posts]
11th June 2011 - 10:07

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Does MBE stand for "Motor-assisted Bike up mt Etna"?

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
11th June 2011 - 11:08

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londonplayer wrote:
Does MBE stand for "Motor-assisted Bike up mt Etna"?

Applause

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7495 posts]
11th June 2011 - 11:14

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Today and MBE; next year, after the Olympics, a K?? Big Grin

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [526 posts]
11th June 2011 - 11:21

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So who reckons he'll have his bike decals changed to show Mark Cavendish MBE?

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [468 posts]
11th June 2011 - 11:39

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Dear oh dear, this arrogant idiot hasn't done anything yet, really ffs?

posted by Karbon Kev [652 posts]
11th June 2011 - 12:47

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Karbon Kev wrote:
Dear oh dear, this arrogant idiot hasn't done anything yet, really ffs?

No? could have fooled me.

antonio

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posted by antonio [899 posts]
11th June 2011 - 13:28

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No sign of him on the list on direct.gov (unless my eyes are decieving me).

posted by mrsminx411 [84 posts]
11th June 2011 - 14:11

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Karbon Kev wrote:
Dear oh dear, this arrogant idiot hasn't done anything yet, really ffs?

Really? double world champion? stage wins in all three grand tours, and six in one year at the TdF? Commonwealth gold medallist? MSR winner?

Whether you like Cav or not, which you clearly don't, saying he hasn't done anything is absurd.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7039 posts]
11th June 2011 - 14:20

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Not just stage wins, 15 of them in the TDF - that's not only a hell of a lot more than any other Brit, it's more than 'legends' like Zabel, McEwen or Cippolini got in their entire careers.

As Dave said, you may not like him, but that shouldn't detract from admitting his achievements.

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posted by abudhabiChris [471 posts]
11th June 2011 - 15:08

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mrsminx411 wrote:
No sign of him on the list on direct.gov (unless my eyes are decieving me).

I noticed that too. I'm assuming it's because the Isle of Man isn't part of the UK, and only UK recipients are listed on direct.gov. For example, there's no mention of Australians named in the Birthday Honours either.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7495 posts]
11th June 2011 - 15:37

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Wonder if he can be bothered to turn up and collect it, or if the Queen will have to work round his busy schedule?

posted by wild man [274 posts]
11th June 2011 - 16:30

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He's a sprinter... of course he's arrogant!

Undeniably the best road sprinter in the world at the moment and he knows it. Arrogance would apply if he thought he could just rock up and win. But as the documentary on telly the other day showed, Cav is a stickler for practice and doesn't leave anything to chance.

Great to see a Brit with his kind of self-belief for a change. Self-deprecation and modesty is all very well, but doesn't make for exciting viewing!

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
11th June 2011 - 17:53

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wild man wrote:
Wonder if he can be bothered to turn up and collect it, or if the Queen will have to work round his busy schedule?

She's going to get a place on HTC team for the TdF and has to lead him out with medal in hand Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [8167 posts]
11th June 2011 - 18:47

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Simon - He's not on the overseas list either. I suspect someone's been making mischief.

posted by mrsminx411 [84 posts]
11th June 2011 - 18:55

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Confusingly, the Overseas list isn't actually where they list most of the people overseas who get honours. He's on the Commonwealth List.

Can't find a link to the original. but luckily the top Google hit takes you to the list as republished by that bastion of the monarchy, The Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/11/queens-birthday-honours-list-20...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7495 posts]
11th June 2011 - 20:31

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