Tour de France winner Chris Froome and British Cycling president Bob Howden have been given OBEs in the Queen’s New Year Honours list. Also honoured are Ruth Fagan, a cycling policy adviser at the Department for Transport; Alison Grant, chair of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers Cycling Club; and Peter McQuade, founder of the Paris to Hayling charity cycle ride.
Howden said: “Chris’s OBE is well-deserved recognition of an extraordinary individual who represents the best of British sport – not only in terms of his achievements, and the hard work and dedication which earns them, but also in the way he conducts himself.
“He came under unprecedented pressure this year, which I know he accepts as a burden all sport’s great champions must carry, but the dignified manner in which he dealt with it was an example for us all.”
Froome said: "I am extremely humbled and very proud to receive this honour. It is obviously further recognition for the sport of cycling and it caps a fantastic year for me professionally and personally. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of my team-mates, coaches and of course the love and support from my family."
Howden’s OBE comes in the third year of his presidency and after a volunteering career which started over 40 years ago and which progressed to race organising, regional committees and a place on the British Cycling board.
He said: “Naturally I feel very proud to have been honoured by Her Majesty but, like the thousands of volunteers up and down the country who help put on bike races, organise club runs, coach young people and help out in a thousand different ways, I’ve really been motivated by love of the sport.
“Cycling has come a long way in the last ten years and much of the credit for that is due to an army of people who are passionate about cycling in their communities and give freely of their time and expertise, so it was great to see the Government start to recognise the value of volunteers in the new sport strategy announced just before Christmas.
“Without those people, the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott would not have made their first steps in the sport, without those people the huge numbers we have inspired to get on their bikes would not have the network of clubs and events needed to support them and without those people we simply would not have a sport.
“Volunteering in cycling is incredibly rewarding, I would recommend it to anyone of any age and I’m an example how far volunteers can progress in this great sport."
About five hundred people receive OBEs each year. They are given out twice a year – in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in mid-June and in the New Year’s Honours List on the 1st January. Recipients receive their honours at investiture ceremonies at either Buckingham Palace or one of the Royal households.