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“Inspirational” Mark Cavendish knighted in King’s Birthday Honours

Friday, 14 June 2024

Mark cAV

• Sir Mark knighted for services to the sport of cycling and charity work
• Athlete hailed as a "hero" and "inspiration" by first-ever cycling coach
• Chief Minister congratulates Manx Missile on knighthood
• Captain Stephen Carter and TT legend Richard 'Milky' Quayle also honoured

Champion cyclist Mark Cavendish has been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours.

The accolade comes just weeks after the 39-year-old achieved his 164th career victory, making him the most successful men’s sprint cyclist of all time.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK, said:

‘Sir Mark is a phenomenal athlete, role model and ambassador for both his sport and the Isle of Man. He has performed at the highest level for more than a decade and his achievements are truly an inspiration for us all.

‘As a nation, the Isle of Man prides itself on its cycling prowess and works hard to create an environment that nurtures talent, allowing our young people to flourish. It is extremely satisfying to see Sir Mark come through our junior cycling ranks and succeed at the very highest level.’

Sir Mark is the first person from the Isle of Man to be knighted since the diminutive comic, Sir Norman Wisdom, 24 years ago.

He is currently competing in Switzerland as he again targets the outright record for stage wins at the Tour de France this summer. The Manx rider equalled Eddy Merckx’s long-standing record after battling back from injury and illness to compete in 2021, and narrowly missed out on surpassing it in 2023, before suffering a broken collarbone that forced him out of the event.

Dot Tilbury, 74, was Cavendish’s first-ever coach while leading cycling races for children at the National Sports Centre (NSC) – a role she has 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. 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.'

Fellow Manx residents Captain Stephen Carter and TT legend Richard 'Milky' Quayle have also been recognised in the King's Birthday list. Capt. Carter has been awarded an MBE for 'outstanding services to maritime safety and his community' and former TT winner, Quayle, received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his 'outstanding contribution to road racing'.

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