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Bradley Wiggins knighted for New Year

Dec 29, 2012, 9:23 AM EST

475131_ORIG Getty Images

The next time you see cyclist Bradley Wiggins on the town, “blind drunk,” celebrating his most recent victory, make sure you call him sir. He’s earned it.

Wiggins capped a career-year that included becoming the first British Tour de France winner, and then the most decorated British Olympian, with what he called the “ultimate accolade”: a knighthood.

“I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight, so it’s an incredible honor,” Wiggins told the BBC. “But there’s a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.”

Wiggins, who rung the bell to begin the London Games, won the road cycling time trial gold in London – his seventh career medal – to tie fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy for the most by any British Olympian.

“It will add to the myth. I will have to get a bowler hat as well.”

Yachtsman Ben Ainslie, who has won an Olympic medal at every Games since Atlanta in 1996, was also be made a sir, and 16-time paralympic cycling medalist Sarah Storey became a dame.