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British Cycling’s Brailsford, Kenny and Rowsell receive Queen’s honours for services to cycling

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Published: 28 February 2013
Report: British Cycling/Press Association
Images: Press Association

British Cycling's Sir Dave Brailsford, Jason Kenny OBE and Joanna Rowsell MBE officially received their honours from the Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace today, in recognition of their remarkable cycling achievements in 2012.

Above: Sir Dave Brailsford is invested as a knight of the British Empire.

Sir Dave Brailsford received his knighthood after masterminding an incredible year for British Cycling in 2012, delivering eight gold medals for the second successive Olympics, whilst, as head of Team Sky, he delivered an historic British 1-2 in the Tour de France.

"I'm here on behalf of the sport - what the riders, the backroom staff, and our partners have helped achieve. We've all contributed to the progression of cycling and I'm the lucky person who's here to represent all that."

Sir Dave Brailsford, British Cycling Performance Director

After receiving his knighthood, Brailsford said: "I'm honoured. It means so much and is such a humbling experience. I'm very proud.

"The Queen congratulated me on my birthday, which is actually on the 29th, which made her chuckle. I'm 49. We talked about the Olympics and how proud everyone was and what a great event it had been."

Sir David said he felt warm inside when he thought of the cyclists' achievements.

"I have seen their development for many, many years and all the background work, all the laughter and the tears and the pain. It was fantastic for the country, of course, but particularly good for the riders and the sport of cycling itself."

He added on Sky Sports News: "It's a unique moment in my life. It's nice to be here and it is a great honour.

"I've been involved in cycling for most of my life, and in the last few years British Cycling and Team Sky have really progressed and helped make the sport more mainstream here in the UK.

"I'm here on behalf of the sport - what the riders, the backroom staff, and our partners have helped achieve.

"We've all contributed to the progression of cycling and I'm the lucky person who's here to represent all that."

Above: Her Majesty the Queen congratulates Jason Kenny OBE for his sprint and team sprint double at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme Athlete Jason Kenny OBE received his honour at the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of his achievements at London 2012, part of the gold medal winning team sprint trio and gold medallist in the individual sprint.

For double gold winner Jason Kenny today's ceremony was more nerve-racking than competing. After meeting the Queen, he said: "It's a bit surreal but amazing. The Queen said she was very happy to give me the medal, so I said 'thank you very much'... No one compares to the Queen. I've been lucky enough to meet her a few times now, and you get 15 seconds."

Kenny continued: "It's the ultimate pressure situation. I'm not very good with words especially when the pressure's on."

Above: Joanna Rowsell MBE is all smiles as she is invested as a Member of the British Empire for her part in women's team pursuit glory at London 2012.

British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme Athlete Joanna Rowsell, one-third of the world beating women’s team pursuit squad, was also honoured for her part in clinching gold alongside Dani King and Laura Trott at London 2012, the culmination of an unprecedented run of record-breaking rides for the women’s pursuit squad.

Unlike team-mate Kenny, receiving another award for her mantlepiece presented Rowsell with no fears:

"After the Olympics I don't think I'll ever be nervous for anything again. I don't think you can ever have that level of pressure and expectation so I honestly wasn't nervous."

After receiving the award, she paid tribute to her parents, saying:

"They have supported me ever since I started cycling and back then no one really thought I'd get very far.

"They have supported me and taken me through the tough times."

Prior to the receipt of Brailsford, Kenny and Rowsell’s honours, British Cycling President Brian Cookson said:

"Cycling is the sport that redefined our national sporting identity last year and it was fantastic to see this recognised in the New Year Honours list. Sir Dave Brailsford, Jason Kenny and Joanna Rowsell's honours are well deserved and I wish them all a memorable day."

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