Freedom of borough for cycling legend who has brought 'special pride' to town
CYCLING supremo Dave Brailsford has been given the freedom of Erewash in a unanimous decision by the borough council.
Mr Brailsford, 48, who lives in Ilkeston, masterminded Team GB's seven gold medals at London 2012 and also managed Bradley Wiggins' stunning Tour de France win earlier in the year.
The last time the honour was given was five years ago to the Mercian Regiment, allowing the troops to march through the borough with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying.
In a speech at a meeting last night at Long Eaton Town Hall, Erewash Borough Council leader Chris Corbett said: "Thankfully we are not expecting Mr Brailsford to do the same."
And he joked: "I am also told you cannot be thrown out of a pub in Ilkeston if you have freedom of the borough but perhaps we should keep quiet about that."
Mr Brailsford, performance director for British Cycling, has been described by Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan as a "sporting legend".
During this year's Olympics, British cyclists won seven out of a possible ten gold medals on the track, plus a silver and a bronze.
There were also three other medals, including a gold for Bradley Wiggins, in the road events.
Mr Brailsford has hinted he will move on from British Cycling to concentrate on Team Sky, though he may still maintain a consultancy role.
Mr Corbett also said in his speech: "Like everyone, I was thrilled at our success in the Olympics, but took special pride in that the driving force behind so many medals was a resident of Ilkeston."
Labour shadow spokesman for culture and leisure Louis Booth said it gave him "great pleasure" to second the motion that Mr Brailsford should be given freedom of the borough of Erewash.
Mr Booth said: "Dave Brailsford ensures that people reach their full potential and we should all want to ensure that our citizens achieve their best."
He added that Mr Brailsford should consider taking up a career in politics.
He said: "He knows how to make the economy grow. Cycle sales have increased, Lycra sales have increased and sideburns have increased!"
The council unanimously passed the motion.