On Friday June 12th at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Birthday Honours were handed to a number of cycle industry and sport figures. Mark Sutton documents a proud day for cycling...

Cycling’s Sirs and Dames

Past president of the Pedal Club and Pickwick Bicycle Club, Bob Chicken set out in the bicycle trade in 1949, taking on a role within his father’s bicycle business established in 1919.

Now living in Madeira, Bob has spent his life working within the bike trade and promoting cycling to the masses, becoming a key industry spokesman as cycling enjoyed the heydey that was the 1950s. Having lived through the Second World War, Chicken strongly believed in European unity and became involved with European markets, bringing a number of admired foreign brands to the UK.

Last year, the trade also nominated and chose Chicken as the winner of BikeBiz’s own Industry Achievement award, cementing his place as an industry icon.

Author Greame Fife has documented Chicken’s life in a biography titled A Passion for the Bike, which is available via Chicken Cyclekit, as well as a number of book stores nationwide.

Cedric Chicken, the director of Chicken Cyclekit, commented on the MBE awarded to his father, stating it was a "very special day for Bob and for the family."

Now a household name, Chris Hoy has achieved a remarkable amount in a short space of time, even beating F1’s Lewis Hamilton to the Sports Personality of the Year award.

Hoy is only the second cyclist to win the prestigious award. The three Olympic Golds Hoy earned in Beijing instantly made him a cycling icon and placed him in the record books as the first Brit to do the triple for 100 years.

Little known to many, Hoy began his cycling career racing BMX between the ages of seven and 14, ranking second in Britain at one stage.

The instant fame has also brought about a number of opportunities for Hoy to promote cycling, notably a partnership with cereal manufacturer Kelloggs. Hoy was presented with his Knighthood by Prince Charles, while his mother was also awarded an MBE for her services to healthcare at the same ceremony.

Sharing the Beijing limelight, Bradley Wiggins was also recognised at Buckingham Palace for his two Golds – one in the team pursuit and the other in the pursuit. Lance Armstrong is reported to have hailed Wiggins as “the best pursuiter of all time”.

Wiggins, who has a long history of track Golds in the World Track Championships, picked up his CBE.

As the man of the moment immediately after the close of the Beijing Olympics, the press was frantically trying to pinpoint exactly where Brailsford would be coaching in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Working on the theory that lots of small gains equates to one large progression, the performance director’s transformation of Team GB into a medal winning machine drew attention globally with some reports suggesting he was approached by other nations to train their cyclists.

At the last meet of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group in Westminster, Brailsford did however hint that he may be in charge of a an expanded Team
GB, including a possible ‘freestyle BMX team’.

Brailsford’s contract with British Cycling runs until 2012. However, it has been confirmed by the man himself that there is a ‘get out’ clause should he choose to pursue other interests.

British Cycling’s executive director, Peter King, was awarded a CBE on the back of his 12 years service to the organisation. King took over at BC when membership was hitting new lows, yet as sports governing bodies go, it’s now one of the most successful around under his stewardship.

King is also a tireless fundraiser for a prostate cancer charity, having been diagnosed himself back in 2004.

Former national manager of the Paralympic Team, Tony Yorke also received an OBE for his role in bringing Paralympic cycling governance to the UCI.

Ellen Hunter, the Welsh paralympian who won both the individual pursuit and the kilo time trail at the Beijing Games, also collected her MBE.

Previously, Hunter has scooped Golds at the 2004 Paralympics and both the 2006 and 2007 World Disability Championships.

Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff, Paul Manning, Nicole Cooke, Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero also become MBEs for each of their individual Gold medal achievements.

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