Shane Sutton has become the latest member of Team GB’s cycling set-up to receive official recognition, with the Australian-born British Cycling Performance Manager for Road and Track awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, published earlier this week.
Sutton, currently head coach at British Cycling, was one of the architects of Team GB’s impressive medal haul at the Beijing Olympics. Based in Cardiff, one of his achievements was helping Nicole Cooke win gold in the Women’s Road Race, to which the Welsh Cyclist subsequently added the title of World Champion.
In his own cycling career, Sutton helped Australia win gold in the team pursuit at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. On the road, he won the Milk Race in 1990, as well as the Herald Sun Tour in 1983.
The latter has a special history with the Sutton family. The year after Shane’s triumph, his brother Gary won it, while last year, Gary’s son Chris finished second behind then Garmin-Slipstream team-mate Bradley Wiggins. Both, of course, are now at Team Sky, where Sutton works as Head Coach.
Sutton spoke of his delight at receiving the award, telling the British Cycling website: "It's obviously a huge honour to be awarded with an OBE and it's something to be proud of. For me though, it's not a personal accolade. The riders, the coaching team and the support staff I have around me make up a big percentage of what we've achieved and so the recognition is for all of the GB Cycling Team to share."
Great Britain Cycling Team's Performance Director, Dave Brailsford, added: "Shane is an integral part of the GB Cycling Team and brings an amazing energy and understanding of the riders which few other people can match. He is a major contributing factor to our success and it's been great fun working with him over the years."
British Cycling president, Brian Cookson said: "I am absolutely delighted to see Shane recognised for his service to our sport. He has been a tower of strength and reliability in the Great Britain Cycling Team and a key element in our success in recent years. I offer him my sincere congratulations."
It’s not the first time that Sutton’s achievements have been recognised outside the sport of cycling. In 2008, in the wake of Team GB’s Beijing success, he was named UK Coach of the Year, and last year he won the title of UK Performance Coach of the Year by UK Sport last year.
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.