Cycling legend nets medal in Queen’s New Year Honours

Brian Robinson.

Brian Robinson.

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Mirfield cycling hero Brian Robinson will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM), it has been revealed.

The Stocks Banks Road legend, 86, has been included in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to cycling and charity.

Mr Robinson at Streetbikes' headquarters in Spen.

Mr Robinson at Streetbikes' headquarters in Spen.

He was the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958 and the prestigious Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré race in 1961 – his proudest achievement.

Speaking about the BEM, Mr Robinson said: “In a way it’s a surprise.

“A long time ago somebody proposed it but never got any further, we’re talking 40 years ago.

“It’s nice to come at this time of life.”

He said that it was really an award to cycling but he was just picked to receive it.

But he thanked Welcome to Yorkshire and Streetbikes, who he said put him forward for the medal.

Mr Robinson was one of Britain’s most successful riders to compete for continental professional teams in the 1950s and was a member of the British Olympic team at the 1952 games, alongside his brother Desmond.

He was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a stage of the race in 1958.

After retiring from professional cycling in 1963 he continued to have close ties with charities related to the sport.

He is a passionate patron of the Spen-based Streetbikes, which collects donated cycles, fixes them up and gives them to those in need.

“It’s a good cause and it gets people on bikes, so I’m fairly passionate about that one,” said Mr Robinson.

He is also a volunteer with Sustrans and devotes his time to the National Cycle Network.

The Brian Robinson challenge cycling event raises money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

And he is the president of the Dave Raynor Fund, which is a charity that provides financial support to young cyclists who want to try and make their way into continental cycling.

Mr Robinson was a significant figure in bringing the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014 to the UK.

After giving up the sport professionally, Mr Robinson took over his father’s building business, HF Robinson and Sons Limited, but retired from the trade aged 62.