Chris Froome has been named in the Queen’s New Year honour’s list with the double Tour de France champion set to receive an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Froome won his second Tour de France title in 2015, along with a stage victory, and overall wins at the Criterium du Dauphine and Ruta del Sol.
Froome was named alongside British Cycling President Bob Howden and two volunteers in the Honours list for their services to cycling.
“I am extremely humbled and very proud to receive this honour. It is, obviously, further recognition for the sport of cycling and it caps a fantastic year for me professionally and personally. It wouldn’t be possible without the help of my team-mates, coaches and, of course, the love and support from my family,” said Froome.
Aside from an appearance at the Saitama Criterium, Froome has not raced since a crash that put him out of the Vuelta a Espana at the beginning of September. He is set to begin his 2016 season at the Herald Sun Tour at the start of February. The five-day stage race will be his first in Australia and his earliest start since the 2010 Tour Down Under. The Team Sky rider is yet to confirm the remainder of his build-up to the Tour de France, where is will be attempting to become the first since Miguel Indurain in 1995 to defend his title.
Howden said of Froome’s honour, “Chris’s OBE is well-deserved recognition of an extraordinary individual who represents the best of British sport – not only in terms of his achievements, and the hard work and dedication, which earns them but also in the way he conducts himself.
“He came under unprecedented pressure this year, which I know he accepts as a burden all sport’s great champions must carry, but the dignified manner in which he dealt with it was an example for us all.”
Howden is in his third year as British Cycling president after taking over from, current UCI President, Brian Cookson. He was re-elected for a third term earlier this year. “Naturally I feel very proud to have been honoured by Her Majesty but, like the thousands of volunteers up and down the country who help put on bike races, organise club runs, coach young people and help out in a thousand different ways, I’ve really been motivated by love of the sport,” said Howden.