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Cycling's Greatest Sprinter Mark Cavendish Knighted in King's Birthday Honours

Cycling's Greatest Sprinter Mark Cavendish Knighted in King's Birthday Honours

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Cycling’s greatest sprinter Mark Cavendish has today been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Cavendish was one of three British cycling legends to be recognised, with Great Britain Cycling Team Lead Race Mechanic Ernie Feargrieve receiving a British Empire Medal and Chris Boardman receiving a CBE.

Arise, Sir Cav

In a glittering career, the proud Manxman has amassed a total of 53 Grand Tour stage wins, including 34 at the Tour de France – a record he holds jointly with the great Eddy Merckx – with sights firmly set on a record-breaking 35th this summer. 

After starting his career on the Great Britain Cycling Team Junior Academy programme, he has entertained millions and inspired a generation of young British cyclists to follow in his tracks. A formidable racer on both road and track, his palmares also includes a world road race title, three world titles on the track and an Olympic silver medal.

In recent years Cavendish has provided invaluable support and guidance for the next generation of British talent.

Mark Cavendish wins stage 10 of the 2021 Tour de France

Responding to his knighthood, Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director, Stephen Park CBE, said:

“On behalf of the British Cycling I’d like to congratulate Mark Cavendish on receiving his knighthood. Mark is our sport’s greatest ever sprinter and one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen, but just as importantly he is a wonderful role model for the many young British riders seeking to follow in his footsteps.

“To still be competing for podium places after the setbacks he has faced is testament to his peerless grit, determination and love of the sport.

“Like millions of cycling fans nationwide we will be right behind Sir Mark this summer, but whatever happens, his place in the pantheon of British cycling greats is very much secure.” 

Mark Cavendish with a young rider at the 2017 British Cycling Natinoal Championships

Dot Tilbury, 74, was Cavendish’s first-ever coach at the Isle of Man National Sports Centre – a role she has now held for more than 30 years. She said:

“When I was coaching Mark as a boy, I had no doubt that he would go on to achieve amazing things. He was very passionate and driven – he would study courses to work out the best way around and research the latest gadgets to help him succeed.

“He comes back to the Island regularly and goes cycling with his children. It always causes lots of excitement whenever they are over.”

"Everyone in the Isle of Man, from young children to grannies, is so very proud of what he’s achieved. He has inspired many children to think that you don’t have to come from a big city to go after what you want in life.”

Recognition for Ernie and Chris

Ernie Feargrieve, Lead Race Mechanic for the Great Britain Cycling Team, receives a British Empire Medal for services to cycling. Over the past 26 years, Ernie has attended six Olympic Games, one Paralympic Games, seven Commonwealth Games and a staggering 48 world championships, providing first class support to British Olympic and Paralympic riders on many of the biggest days of their careers.

Ernie Feargrieve working on a bike track centre

Ernie has been mechanic for every single British world and Olympic track cycling medallist since 2000 including, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Laura Kenny. 

Not only is Ernie an expert at his craft due to his first-class knowledge and skill, but he is much-loved for his ability to put riders at ease and give them the confidence to perform at their best.

Chris Boardman on a segregated cycle lane in London

Chris Boardman was also recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours, receiving a CBE for his services to active travel. Chris has been a leading voice in the fight for safer streets for cycling, and in addition to his role as National Active Travel Commissioner, he is also the Chair of Sport England.

Chris was awarded an MBE for services to cycling in 1992 after winning individual pursuit gold at the Olympic Games in Barcelona –Great Britain’s first cycling gold at the Olympic Games for 72 years.