The “voice of cycling” Phil Liggett is to be awarded the 2015 FT Bidlake Memorial Prize for his contributions to cycling.
Liggett, 72, has enjoyed a 50-year career in the sport, most notably as a commentator.
Named in honour of Frederick Thomas Bidlake, the man considered the father of time trialling, the award is handed out each year to the most outstanding performance or contribution to the betterment of cycling.
“I’m well aware of its history and in such a year too, when British riders did so well in every aspect of the sport; in particular, [Lizzie] Armitstead and [Chris] Froome have been the two stars of the season,” he said.
“I understand it was given because of my history, rather than for this year in particular."
Liggett started his cycling career as an amateur racer and a journalist here at Cycling Weekly. He then went on to organise 22 additions of the Milk Race alongside making his name as the broadcaster he is most famous for.
He will commentate on his 44th Tour de France and 15th Olympic Games this year. Liggett added: “I haven’t missed a day on the Tour since 1979…at my age I should know better, but I don’t.”
Approaching the twilight of his career, Liggett also commented on the boom in British cycling stating: “It’s come at the end of my career, but in Britain, cycling is a pastime and sport which everyone is interested in.”
Previous recipients of the award include the late Tom Simpson, Olympic and world road champion Nicole Cooke and Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins. The plaque will be officially handed over to Liggett in early 2016.
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