The best is yet to come for British Cycling - Howden

The best is yet to come for British Cycling - Howden

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Bob Howden was re-elected as president of British Cycling at the organisation’s 2014 National Council this weekend and promised: “The best is yet to come for British Cycling.”

After completing his first term of office following Brian Cookson’s departure, Howden was unopposed in the ballot at Crewe Hall.

“Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to the work done by cycling’s volunteers because without them we would not have a sport - it has been an honour and a privilege to serve them,” Howden said.

“The last 12 months have been an exceptionally exciting time to be at the head of British Cycling.

“The Tour de France in England and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland demonstrated this country’s passion for elite cycling. For me personally, to see the world’s greatest bike race in my home county was an unforgettable experience.

“Our riders continue to set the standard by which success in British sport is measured. Sir Bradley Wiggins’ world time-trial title was an extraordinary moment but the health of our elite teams was proven by an amazing 10 world titles in para-cycling events and the almost total dominance of our downhill mountain bikers.

“However, British Cycling has long insisted that the inspiration of medals and major events must be used to drive growth in the sport and we have seen that in spades in 2014 – over two million people are now cycling once a week and our membership has passed 100,000 for the first time in our history, having doubled since London 2012.

“Looking ahead, the best really is yet to come for British Cycling as an exciting generation of riders sets its sights on Rio 2016 and inspiring even more people to discover the joys of our great sport.

“We will work hard to ensure cycle sport continues to prosper, we will continue working with our commercial partners and with local authorities across Britain to create more opportunities for people of all ages to get into cycling and we will push national government hard to make our roads better for people on bikes.”

Following last year’s governance changes, this year’s board elections saw George Gilbert, Colin Docker and Nick Smith elected for three-year terms, Charles Jackson and Alasdair MacLennan elected for two-year terms and Tony Barry and Richard Kennedy elected for one-year terms.

Chief executive Ian Drake’s speech to National Council emphasised the importance of sustainability, membership growth and effective risk management to the long-term strategy of British Cycling.

Bill Owen and Peter King CBE were awarded British Cycling’s Gold Badge of Honour for services to cycling. They were also presented with framed Great Britain Cycling Team jerseys signed by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy.

The Sunday Mirror Trophy for membership growth was given to Yorkshire Region.

Other decisions by national council included the incorporation of a new membership category, Fan, for followers of the sport.