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Tour de France champ and Team GB boss in line for knighthoods, mum-to-be Stoery set to be named a Dame

Bradley Wiggins, Dave Brailsford and Sarah Storey are reportedly set to lead the list of people from the world of sport recognised in the forthcoming New Year’s Honours List. Wiggins and Brailsford are in line for knighthoods, reports Telegraph.co.uk, while Storey, who is also expecting a baby, is in line to celebrate a landmark year for her and husband Barney by being named a Dame.

This year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games mean that sporting figures will be more prominent on the list than has been the case in recent years, with only one person associated with sport usually named a knight or dame on each list, according to a quota system.

Run a bank or scale the career ladder in the civil service and you’re guaranteed a gong, it seems, but sportsmen and women, even world champions, really have to go above and beyond the call of duty these days.

That quota system, set by the Cabinet Office, has been thrown out of the window this year, however, with the Telgraph reporting that sailor Ben Ainslie and wheelchair athlete David Weir will also receive knighthoods.

It is rare enough for active sportspeople to be awarded such an accolade, and for four of them to be recognised in such a way underlines just what a unique year 2012 has been in the history of British sport.

Even lower tiers of honours, such as OBEs and MBEs, will be awarded to athletes in unprecedented numbers.

Not everyone associated with the Olympic Games who has been nominated for a knighthood has accepted, however – Danny Boyle, director of a spectacular opening ceremony that was in parts widely viewed as a thinly veiled attack on government policy on areas such as the NHS, is reported to have turned one down.

Besides his London 2012 time trial gold medal – the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career – Wiggins’ Tour de France win has been hailed as the greatest performance ever by a British sportsperson.

He has previously said that while personally he would be reluctant to accept a knighthood, he would put his own feelings aside and do so in memory of his late grandfather.

Brailsford, in his role as team principal at Sky, helped engineer that success, and has been mastermind of the dominant performance of Team GB’s cyclists in the last two Olympic Games.

On Sunday evening, he was named Coach of the Year for the second time at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, where Wiggins took the individual title.

Storey, meanwhile, this summer clinched four Paralympic Games gold medals in London, taking her career total to 11 – five of those won in the swimming pool starting at Barcelona in 1992, the sport she pursued before switching to cycling ahead of Beijing four years ago.

While the decisions over the honours will have already been made,The Sun has joined calls for Wiggins to be knighted, saying: “If you don’t feel Her Majesty’s sword on your shoulders for being the first Brit to win the Tour de France and then claiming Olympic gold, a unique achievement in cycling, you might as well cut your own head off.”

Should Wiggins indeed get knighted, it’s likely to lead to a bit of confusion within the ranks of the foreign press unfamiliar with the intricacies of the British honours system about how exactly he should be addressed – Sir Bradley, Sir Brad, Sir Wiggins, or something else?

In June last year, at a pre-Tour de France press conference in London’s Soho, a Norwegian journalist asked Mark Cavendish how he should be known after he had been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.

“Sir Cav,” he joked, to the merriment of all but the journalist who had asked the question, who apparently took the reply at face value. Quickly, the then HTC-Highroad rider added, “No. Mark Cavendish MBE!"

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.

18 comments

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notfastenough [3706 posts] 3 years ago
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Arise, Sir Sideburns.

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cidermart [489 posts] 3 years ago
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Good stuff.

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Arise, Sir Sideburns.

Well let's not forget the loin was knighted Sirloin, Sir Sideburns unlikely but it would be fun.

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Joselito [160 posts] 3 years ago
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Sir Velo.

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 3 years ago
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Lol.

Going to use that as my signature.
 19

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kobacom [98 posts] 3 years ago
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Arise Sir-cumference

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 3 years ago
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Arise Sir Rendipity

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paulfg42 [392 posts] 3 years ago
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Totally underwhelming (the news rather than the puns).

Surely the achievements of sports people are recognised within the sporting arena, rather than through an honours system used mostly to grease palms and reward political favours.

Down with this sort of thing.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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you ain't got to do much these days to get a gong, they don't mean as much as they used to imo

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Stumps [3354 posts] 3 years ago
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Karbon Kev wrote:

you ain't got to do much these days to get a gong, they don't mean as much as they used to imo

2012
1st Overall Tour de France 1st Stage 9 ITT & 19 ITT
1st Overall Paris–Nice 1st Points classification 1st Stage 8 ITT
1st Overall Tour de Romandie 1st Stage 1 & 5 ITT
1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné 1st Stage 4 ITT
3rd Overall Volta ao Algarve 1st Stage 5 ITT

Thats not much really is it  39

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't forget the time trial at the Olympics.

Any of the results that Wiggo achieved are outstanding on their own. To do them all in one season is a hell of a lot more than 'not doing much'.

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Hoester [68 posts] 3 years ago
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I think exceptional British talent/effort of any kind should be recognised and celebrated, across a wide range of formats and arenas.

How other people have orchestrated their way onto the honours list; and to acheive what gains, is (with respect) irrelevant in my opinion, and is potentially an argument for a different, more politically slanted forum.

It would be a sad day if British cycling success couldn't be unanimously supported by British cyclists.

Chapeau Sir (Bradley).

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andyspaceman [246 posts] 3 years ago
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He's had some great achievements and has absolutely deserved the BBC sports personality in the hardest year ever to win that, but I don't think he's quite yet made it as one of cycling's 'greats'. I would prefer it if these kind of awards were made upon people's retirement. What would it take to put him up there along with the likes of Indurain, Anquetil, et. al?

- The other two grand tours - that'd do it
- World TT champion - notable by it's absence (though a tall order with the likes of Cancellara and Martin on the scene)
- The hour - possibly the lest likely but the one I'd most like to see.

It takes someone with huge cahunas to have a pop at the hour - it is ridiculously hard, takes specialist equipment, and it is a very public failure if you don't make it. But if you break the record...then that's stuff-of-legends.

I reckon the strategy would be to have a tilt at Boardman's 'Best Human Effort' record with full aero kit. With proper training and preparation I reckon that could be in the bag. Then recover, and come back with the basic kit and round-tubed bike for a pop at the official UCI hour record.

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jollygoodvelo [1466 posts] 3 years ago
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He doesn't need to be a cycling "great" to win SPOTY. Just a British sporting great. And he is one, IMO.

I'd love to see him do the hour record too, btw.

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fatbeggaronabike [823 posts] 3 years ago
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This news item has appeared on another site and all the trolls have come out in force in the comments column.

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:

This news item has appeared on another site and all the trolls have come out in force in the comments column.

That sounds about right. Probably the usual Sports Direct wearing, Jeremy Kyle watching suspects who expect everything on a plate and get jealous with people who've actually done something with their lives.

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kylemalco [39 posts] 3 years ago
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Does froome get a knighthood next year if he can win le tour

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phax71 [287 posts] 3 years ago
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I thought he looked fairly non-plussed when Kate walked on stage at SPOTY ... and Cath looked pretty much angry / sickened ..

I cannae imaging Brad's a Royalist by any stretch of the imaginaton..... personally I'd love to see him tell the Palace to stick it .... won't happen though...

Republican, moi ??

Hell Yeah