A Lancashire cycling fanatic has earned a place amongst the global sporting elite.
Brian Cookson has bagged a seat on the top table of the World Cycling Body as President, after support from key Olympic figures Sir Chris Hoy and Lord Coe.
The former Penwortham schoolboy earned the honour after revamping British cycling.
Mr Cookson was President of British Cycling from 1996-2013, a period which saw 19 Olympic gold medal wins, a vast increase in recreational cycling and two Tour De France victories.
Eccleston based Sir Bradley Wiggins played a huge part in that success and the newly appointed President of the Union Cycliste Internationale also lives locally in the Ribble Valley.
The 62-year-old was made an honorary fellow of UCLAN in 2009 and was one of the first leading figures - after Sir Tom Finney - to publically back the Preston Guild Wheel.
The Guild Wheel is a 21-mile cycling route around Preston and was supported by the Ribble Valley Cycling Club, where Cookson first started biking.
He said: “As a Lancashire lad, who started his cycling in the beautiful countryside around Preston,
“I am honoured to be a Guild Wheel Patron. British Cycling fully support this exciting project as it will encourage a significant increase in cycling, running and walking and benefit thousands of Prestonians.”
Peter Ward, chairman of the GWUC and life member of the RVCC said: “Everyone involved in the Guild Wheel and the Ribble Valley Cycling Club are very proud of him. When he took over British cycling it was in a bad condition.
“But he transformed it and it’s great he has been recognised internationally.”