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Knighthoods for Wiggo and DB, Sarah Storey made a Dame; honours too for other London 2012 gold medallists

Bradley Wiggins and Dave Brailsford have been awarded knighthoods in the New Years Honours List, published today, while Sarah Storey becomes a Dame, the female equivalent of a knight. The trio are among five people connected with London 2012 to be so honoured, the others being sailor Ben Ainslie and David Tanner, performance director of British Rowing.

The fact that five such honours have been awarded this year - a quota system usually means that just one person from the world of sport is made a knight or a dame - reflects not only the impact on the national consciousness this year of Great Britain's success at London 2012, but also the fact that awards at this level aren't made to reflect a solitary performance, but rather reflect years of dedication.

Wiggins' time trial victory in London, which came ten days after he became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, is the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career, the first coming in Athens eight years ago.

In a decade as performance director at British Cycling, Brailsford has overseen Team GB's dominance on the track at the last two Olympics, as well as being the architect of Team Sky's success.

Storey, who won four gold medals in London, now has 11 career Paralympic golds, the first five in the swimming pool and dating back to Barcelona in 1992. Being named as a Dame ushers in what was already set to be a momentous year for her and husband Barney - the couple are expecting a baby.

Victoria Pendleton, winner of the keirin in London and already an MBE, is awarded a CBE, while British Cycling's golden couple, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, who won two gold medals apiece in London this summer and subsequently revealed they were dating, are both made OBEs.

Kenny, who was part of the gold medal winning team sprint trio along with Sir Chris Hoy and Philip Hindes, and who also won the individual sprint, was already an MBE, awarded, like Pendleton's, after the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

MBEs go to Paralympic champions Mark Colbourne and Neil Fachie, tandem pilot Craig MacLean and Olympic gold medal winners Hindes, Stephen Burke, Peter Kennaugh, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell.

Other cycling gold medal winners this summer such as Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy, who rode in the team pursuit with Kennaugh and Burke, had already been awarded MBEs after winning their first gold medals four years ago.

Speaking of his knighthood, Brailsford told the Team Sky website: "On the one hand you feel proud and honoured but on the other it feels quite humbling. I think more than anything else it’s recognition for everything that has happened in cycling, not just for this year, but over a period of time and the development of the sport. I’m the lucky one that gets recognised.

“I’m just an orchestra conductor and I am only ever going to be as good as the people playing the instruments by making sure they are all coordinated. I am very reliant on being able to recruit and develop the best people in given areas and I think I have been very lucky in having some absolutely brilliant people who have worked with me.

"But more than anything it’s bike riders that win races and gold medals and I have been incredibly lucky to have such a talented bunch of riders come through the system in the last few years and I think they are the ones that deserve the credit.

“After a year like this my ambitions are sky high and I’m still very hungry. I get up in the morning and think about how we can better and I’ve got a group of people around me who think all the time about continuous improvement. That is quite contagious and once that ball starts rolling it’s very difficult to stop it.”

Wiggins, who said earlier this year that he would be reluctant to accept a knighthood but would do so because his grandmother told him that his late grandfather would have wanted him to do so, added: “It’s an incredible honour and an incredible thing to have.

“[Sir] is not something I would like to use in daily life because it would still sit uneasy with me. The only thing I have insisted on is that my wife and children call me Sir at home but other than that everyone is free to call me Bradley!

“The goal this year was to win the Tour de France and the Olympic Games and we did that. I think it’s everything else that has happened since then, which have not been the biggest achievements but the most rewarding - things like Sports Personality and the Knighthood - because those things are out of your hands. So to be awarded those is humbling.”

Storey, whose 11 Paralympic gold medals puts her level with Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson as Great Britain's most successful female Paralympian - although the swimmer turned cyclist has 22 medals in total against the former wheelchair athlete's 16 - said: “Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept this.

“I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success, I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.

“Now to be a Dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be.”

British Cycling president Brian Cookson commented: “This is a fitting end to a phenomenal year for us. Dave, Bradley and Sarah’s outstanding achievements this year have made us all proud to be British and have shone a spotlight on our sport, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people to take up cycling.

“Cycling is the sport that has redefined our national sporting identity this year and it is fantastic to see this recognised in the New Year Honours list. On behalf of all their colleagues and fellow members of British Cycling, I warmly congratulate all three on achieving this highest of all national honours.”

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.

22 comments

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Littlesox [78 posts] 3 years ago
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Arise, Sir Bradley of Wiggins.

Earl of Mod and holder of the Yellow Jersey.

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malmesburyclarioncc [26 posts] 3 years ago
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Another first for next year? The first ever British knight to win the TdF!

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BikerBob [116 posts] 3 years ago
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Very disappointing Victoria wasn't made a Dame after all her successes  2

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belgravedave [268 posts] 3 years ago
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Sadly it seems Wiggins has accepted the title, one of the few public figures I really supported and found inspirational has gone from hero to zero.

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davidtcycle [62 posts] 3 years ago
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I think for the first time in my life I understand why we have an honours list and all that Sir and Lord stuff. Sometimes money and fame just don't fit the bill as rewards for the things some people achieve. David Brailsford and Sarah Storey and what they have done fit that category, as for Wiggo being the first Brit to win the Tour de France? Thanks Bradley - it's a weight off my mind, one less thing for me to have to do, I can now go back to painting the shed  1

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Simon_MacMichael [2452 posts] 3 years ago
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belgravedave wrote:

Sadly it seems Wiggins has accepted the title, one of the few public figures I really supported and found inspirational has gone from hero to zero.

I see where you're coming from, but Wiggins is on record as saying that if it were solely down to him, he would have been inclined to reject it. Accepting it because that's what his grandfather would have wanted it isn't a bad thing in my book.

I'm pretty sure he's not going to do a Ben Kingsley and throw a tantrum if anyone doesn't use 'Sir' when addressing him.

Guaranteed that the Italian media will now start calling him - incorrectly, but rather endearingly - Sir Wiggins.

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Cooks [491 posts] 3 years ago
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Nothing for Froome? Makes me sick.

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Leviathan [1988 posts] 3 years ago
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Message to the Queen: mind the sideburns with that sword.

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thnurg [9 posts] 3 years ago
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Well done Bradley. Now perhaps it's time to let Chris Froome have a shot. He's the stronger rider after all.

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a bit bummed, too! But he's still a hero of mine...

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belgravedave [268 posts] 3 years ago
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Funny how they all use the wife/parents/grandparents/kids/my sport excuse etc.
Shame Danny Boyle isn't a cyclist.

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pwake [376 posts] 3 years ago
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belgravedave wrote:

Sadly it seems Wiggins has accepted the title, one of the few public figures I really supported and found inspirational has gone from hero to zero.

Yes, accepting this honour definitely negates all the hard work, sacrifice and achievements that have made him who he is today; what was he thinking! I've just finished reading his book, but that's going on the bonfire, along with the Weller and Oasis CDs and my Fred Perry shirt...
I suppose him only already being a CBE was acceptable?

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Why is everyone so annoyed?

Shouldn't we be happy for him?  39

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belgravedave [268 posts] 3 years ago
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@pwake, you've brought up a few different issues in reply to my post, so lets start with the CBE.
Yes the CBE was acceptable, if you look at who gets these on the whole they go to persons who have done life long works be it in public service/charity or teaching/research. So even though he hasn't done life long anything yet at least he joined an honourable group.
As for Knighthoods well I cannot fathom why anyone would want to belong to that group.
I read his book as well and it definitely left the impression he was not and never wanted to be part of the old order be it in cycling or politically/socially, so a good PR machine or very inaccurate?
Maybe not burn it but a good door stop.
As for Weller, Oasis and Fred Perry. Well back in the days of The Jam I was a new romantic, never listened to Oasis as I was a Suede fan and finally if your going to wear a polo it has to be Lacoste.
Hope that clears my reasoning up.

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks for the advice but Brad Wiggins book will remain firmly on my bookshelves of cycling books. They are many people who get given awards who don't deserve them - however Wiggins and Dave Brailsford don't fall into this category.

What DB has done with cycling is truly remarkable. As for Brad, over the years we've watched him become the finest pursuiter this country's ever produce and then take his talent to the road. I've stood by the side of roads in France and in Surrey this year and watched his performances with immense pride.

Do they both deserve this accolades? Too bloody right. People want something to moan about? Moan about the bankers, the civil servants who get them just because it's 'Buggins turn'.

Some people just have to have something to moan and grumble about or they're just not happy.

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Littlesox [78 posts] 3 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

Why is everyone so annoyed?

Shouldn't we be happy for him?  39

Totally agree with you Raleigh and would say this to the detractors.

I do not understand any of the negative comments ref Sir Bradley Wiggins.

If on this site, you presumably have an interest in the sport of cycling, and after years of (not even) near misses and crumbs of success, a British rider has won the most prestigous event in the world, and 10 days later added yet another Olympic Gold to his already significant tally in front of a home crowd.

What more do you want FFS ?

Celebrate and be happy for him and the current general health of the sport in this country.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Sam1 wrote:

Some people just have to have something to moan and grumble about or they're just not happy.

 41

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 3 years ago
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Team Sky in their black kitt now have their Knight Rider  4

As a Brit, I think any award is an honour and privilege. I think as British cycling fans we should be pleased for and proud of Brad, Dave and Sarah's achievements.

I notice no one is having a dig at DB or Sarah? Funny that...

With regard to Pendleton, as a fan I do think she has had enough attention recently - and she does love the attention so perhaps thats why Queeny didnt add her!  39

I am a bit surprised Froome wasn't on, but as Kenyan born does that mean he wouldn't qualify? I dont know the answer, Im just asking the question... If it doesnt disqualify him then I think at least an MBE was deserved.

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jdstrachan@yaho... [52 posts] 3 years ago
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Here Here Sir Littlesox!  41

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Yeah, might have been nice for Froome's Tour 2nd place to have been rewarded in some way. But the sporting awards seem to have gone to the gold medal/ first placers...nowt to do with being Kenyan-born - both parents are Brits anyway, right?and for that matter Brad was born in Ghent..  16 And look at Mo Farah and plenty of others..

I just think that with such a year it's first place or nowt..

Hopefully plenty of opportunity for Froome to turn winner in the next couple of years.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Mo Farah's first Olympics.

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OldnSlo [135 posts] 3 years ago
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Froomes time is a coming,this year could be his TDF year - if he focuses on the game plan and remembers that it is a team sport - oh and he remembers to tell his missus that as well. 2013 could be great year... looking forward to it.