Cyclist Mark Cavendish knighted in king's birthday honours

Cyclist Mark Cavendish, winner of a record-equalling 34 stages of the Tour de France, has been awarded a knighthood in the king's birthday honours.

The renowned sprinter from the Isle of Man also won the men's road race at the 2011 UCI World Championships, in addition to matching the Tour de France stage record of Belgian great Eddie Merckx. Cavendish will look the take the record outright when he cycles in what is set to be his final Tour next month.

"I'm truly humbled to be honoured by His Majesty the King," said the 39-year-old, who is competing at the Tour de Suisse this week.

"It's always been the biggest privilege to represent my country, and seeing cycling as the sport, pastime and mode of transport I've given my life to, grow in Great Britain during the span of my career has given me joy and pride beyond words.

"I'm truly thankful to everybody that has lived this journey with me."

Another prominent British cyclist, Chris Boardman, who won an individual pursuit cycling gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, was also recognised with a CBE.

Former footballers Karen Carney (OBE), winner of 144 England caps, and ex-Scotland internationals Ally McCoist (OBE) and Graeme Souness (CBE) also received honours.