Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Knighthood for Yorkshire Tour de France Grand Depart boss Gary Verity in Queen's Birthday Honours

Malcolm Shepherd of Sustrans gets CBE, while CTC's Roger Geffen recognised with MBE...

Gary Verity, the man who masterminded Yorkshire’s successful bid to host the start of last year’s Tour de France, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The list of recipients of honours also includes Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, who receives a CBE, and Roger Geffen, CTC’s campaigns and policy director, who gets an MBE.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Verity receives his knighthood “for services to Tourism and the Tour de France Grand Depart 2014.” Last month, the region also hosted the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, which the agency organises in partnership with Tour de France owners ASO.

He said: "I am honoured, delighted and quite frankly stunned by being given an award which is normally reserved for sporting legends, great actors and others of national importance.

“In many ways this award is for the thousands of Yorkshire businesses across the county and the millions who turned out to make the Grand Départ one of the most memorable days in the county's history, and a weekend I will never forget.

“It is also a recognition of the phenomenal talent, dedication, and hard work of the whole Welcome to Yorkshire team. I am thrilled for them."

The CBE awarded to Shepherd, who has worked in the charity sector for the past quarter of a century, is in recognition of “services to transport and the environment.”

He said: “This award is a great, and unexpected, honour for me. It means more than I can say and I am most grateful.

“It is humbling that the contribution I have made towards protecting the environment and improving people’s health has been recognised so generously.

“I have had the great privilege to work for, and with, a series of inspiring organisations, most recently  Sustrans, who have given me the opportunity to put into practice my own deeply held convictions, and help make a tangible difference to the everyday lives of so many people.”

Like Verity, he paid tribute to the hard work put in by the staff of the organisation he runs, saying: “I have been inspired by the many talented people I have had the pleasure to work with over the years, most particularly my colleagues at Sustrans. This award is also recognition of their work.

“The journey thus far has required immense energy and determination, but my driving force remains a desire to safeguard our future and foster the health and well-being of the generations to come."

Geffen, who joined national cycling charity CTC in 2002 having first become involved in cycle campaigning in the 1980s, is awarded his MBE “for services to cycling.”

He said: “If I’m really honest, the accolade I’d most dearly love would be a Government commitment to invest at least £10 per head annually on cycling – rising progressively to £20 per head – together with the design standards to ensure this money is well spent!

“So, humbled as I am to receive this honour, I promise that it won’t in any way weaken my resolve to continue campaigning for those outcomes!

“Seriously though, I genuinely regard this as an award for the fantastic collective efforts made by everyone involved in cycle campaigning, both in CTC and our partner organisations.

“I pay particular tribute to the many local volunteers involved in campaigning at the local level. They are absolute heroes, and I want to dedicate this honour to their efforts too,” he added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment


SirCav | 9 years ago

When Gary Verity was overlooked for an honour - any honour - in the New Year Honours List, I was dumbstruck. Memories of those two fantastic days in July when the TdF passed through Yorkshire still burned bright and I was sure Mr Verity was a shoe-in for a gong. Instead, nothing.
I am so pleased his efforts and the efforts of those behind the scenes who all helped bring the Tour to Yorkshire and who not only did their county but also their country proud, have finally been recognised and rewarded. Sir Gary will bear the title, but I feel it is one shared by many more besides. Chapeau, Sir Gary!

Latest Comments