To end what has been an unprecedented year for cycling, Tredegar’s Mark Colbourne has been named among a glittering list of sporting heroes in the New Year’s honours list for services to cycling.
The 42 year-old track cyclist will be honoured with an MBE, alongside British Cycling Performance Director and soon to be ‘Sir’ David Brailsford, formerly from Wales, who will be knighted.
Brailsford, who grew up in Gwynedd, powered stars like Bradley Wiggins to sporting history this year with a Tour de France win this summer, as well as fuelling Team GB to a raft of gold-medal performances at the London 2012 Games.
He will receive a knighthood alongside Wiggins - now likely to be more affectionately known as ‘Sir Wiggo’.
Meanwhile, Colbourne, who brought home a gold and two silver medals in the summer’s games in London, will be honoured with an MBE.
Colbourne broke the world record in the C1 3km pursuit – an event in which he became world champion earlier this year.
His British para-cycling team-mate, Sarah Storey OBE will be made a dame, and meanwhile Victoria Pendleton will receive a CBE.
Speaking on behalf of Welsh Cycling, Ian Jenkins, Welsh Cycling Director or Development, today praised all their achievements: “It’s an absolute credit to the athletes and coaches to receive this recognition from the Queen and a proud moment for everyone in Wales to see those with Welsh roots receive the highest national honour.
“Their achievements will inspire generations to come and Welsh Cycling warmly congratulates each one of them. It caps a remarkable year for cycling as a whole, but it also paves the way for an extremely exciting year ahead.”
A special honour’s list was made this year in tribute to the glittering tally of sports stars who performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Colbourne made a remarkable comeback to sport following a paragliding accident in Wales in 2009, which broke his back, leaving him limited to movement only in his hip flexors and quads.
It was a local taster session run at Newport Velodrome, run by coach Neil Smith, that saw Colbourne got on a track bike for the first time just two years ago. Now he’s to be recognised by the queen after clinching Wales’ first gold medal of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Neil Smith was awarded himself in Cardiff earlier this month, for volunteer services to developing cycling at the Wales Coach of the Year Awards.
Welsh-speaking Dave Brailsford has roots in Deiniolen, Gwynedd, and is the master and inspiration behind the Great Britain Cycling Team and Team Sky’s consistent success.
Aside from powering Wiggins to a Tour win earlier this year, he has been the key driving force behind some of the summer’s most celebrated moments that will inspire generations to come; when Team GB stars like Sir Chris Hoy, Voctoria Pendleton, Joanna Rowsell, and Laura Trott clinched a raft of gold-medal victories at the home Games this summer.
Jenkins adds: “We are delighted for Dave. It’s been a real pleasure to see Welsh athletes and coaches at the forefront of so much success this year and we must all look forward to building on the legacy they have helped to shape for cycling.”