Cavendish now Member of the British Empire

HTC-Highroad sprinter honoured by the Queen

Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad has been named a Member of the British Empire.  The British sprinter was awarded the title by Queen Elizabeth II in her official birthday honours list.

"I can announce today I'm being awarded an MBE in Queens birthday honours. Proper happy about it. Shows cycling's popularity now in Britain." Cavendish revealed in a Twitter message on Saturday morning.

"It is a massive honour for me to be recognised like this - it is not often that a cyclist is honoured without winning an Olympic medal,” he said during an interview with the British news agency PA, published by

"Cycling is growing and I am more known now, but I don't do this for any celebrity status, I do it for the love of the sport. To know that cycling is getting recognised makes me massively proud."

Tour de France the next big goal

The 26-year-old Cavendish has won 15 stages of the Tour de France, seven at the Giro d'Italia and three at the Vuelta a Espana, plus the points jersey at the latter race.  He also won Milano-San Remo in 2009.

He rides the Tour de Suisse that begins today in Lugano and is looking to add to his total of Tour de France stage wins in July, as well as taking the green jersey there for the first time. Cavendish will also target the world championships in September and the London Olympics in 2012.

"The Tour de France is in three weeks and I will be aiming for more stages in that and the green jersey, and the World Championships in Copenhagen are another big goal for me,'' he said.

"At the Olympics there will be pressure to try to get Britain off to a good start. But we have a strong team and I am looking forward to it.''

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