Tour de France and Olympic gold winner Bradley Wiggins has been knighted in the New Year Honours list. Paralympian Sarah Storey – who won four cycling golds at the London Paralympic Games – is made a dame.
GB cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford is also made a knight. Sailor Ben Ainslie is also knighted as is British Rowing’s performance director Dave Tanner.
The four knights and a dame are part of a special ‘Olympics’ section of the 2013 New Year Honours list.
Victoria Pendleton is awarded a CBE; Laura Trott and Jason Kenny receive OBEs. Paralympian Mark Colbourne and his tandem partner Craig Maclean are awarded MBEs.
There are also MBEs for Steven Burke, Neil Fachie, Philip Hindes, Peter Kennaugh, Dani King, and Jo Rowsell.
The honours cap an extraordinary 2012 for British Cycling, a year which has seen a first British Tour de France winner, world-leading success at London 2012 and surging participation numbers.
Wiggins, who was awarded his seventh Olympic medal when he won the time-trial just days after the Tour this summer, said: “It’s an incredible honour."
Sir Wiggo was the headline honour on broadcast news shows after midnight when the awards embargo was lifted, and his face also graces most of today’s newspapers.
“I don’t think it’s something I am going to use in daily life but an amazing thing to have in the drawer for my wife, my kids, my family," said ‘Sir Wiggo’. "It’s topped the year off.”
Storey said: “I am 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.”
Brailsford said: “It’s a great pleasure to receive this honour and tops off a fantastic year.
“I am extremely fortunate to have worked with an amazing team of riders and staff at both British Cycling and Team Sky and it is they who deserve the credit as our achievements are truly a team effort and I thank them all immensely.”
The news was welcomed by British Cycling president Brian Cookson, who said: “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."