Wiggins and Brailsford react to Knighthood news, Storey to be given Damehood
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wiggins and Brailsford react to Knighthood news, Storey to be given Damehood

by VeloNation Press at 7:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Over a dozen cyclists given awards in New Year’s Honour’s list

Bradley WigginsTour de France and Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling performance director and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford have both given their reactions after learning that they are to be awarded Knighthoods in the New Year Honour’s list, while the increasing profile of the sport is reflected in the fact that many other cyclists will also be awarded.

“It’s an incredible honour and an incredible thing to have,” said Wiggins. “[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.”

In his autobiography, Wiggins suggested that he would probably decline a knighthood if he was offered one. “During the Games, there was speculation about whether I might end up with a knighthood in the same way that Sir Chris Hoy did after his great year,” he wrote then. “People asked me about it, so I did wonder whether I would accept it if it were to come my way.

'The point is that I can never see myself being given a title like Sir Bradley Wiggins. I have never considered myself above anybody else. I have always struggled with hierarchy and status. I don't know what it is – maybe just my upbringing, the area I'm from – but I'm quite happy to play second fiddle.”

Wiggins became Britain’s first-ever Tour de France winner this year, and also won the Olympic time trial, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Brailsford helped guide him and also worked with Britain’s other road and track riders, helping the country have another very successful Games. The country took eight gold medals plus others of different colours.

“On the one hand you feel proud and honoured but on the other it feels quite humbling,” said Brailsford. “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.”

The duo are just two of fourteen from cycling who will be honoured. Eleven-time Paralympic cycling champion Sarah Storey will be given a Damehood, the equivalent of a knighthood.

“I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept this,” she said. “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.”

Victoria Pendleton has been made a CBE (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire) while there are OBE (Officers of the Order of the British Empire) awards for double London 2012 winners Jason Kenny and Laura Trott.

Meanwhile Steven Burke, Mark Colbourne, Neil Fachie, Philip Hindes, Peter Kennaugh, Dani King, Craig MacLean and Jo Rowsell have been given MBEs (Members of the Order of the British Empire).

British Cycling president Brian Cookson said that the honours were deserved. “This is a fitting end to a phenomenal year for us,” he stated.

“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.”


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