Cycling champion Sid Barras receives honorary degree today
Sid, originally from Middlesbrough, had 200 wins in his 18 years as a professional, including the 1979 double of British national road race champion and British national circuit race champion. In addition to this, Sid won 150 amateur races before he turned professional.
He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to sport.
On receiving his award, Sid commented: "Receiving this award is the icing on the cake. I did 18 years as a professional cyclist and three or four years as an amateur before that. It was hard work and I loved every minute of it. This award just makes it all worthwhile.
"The highlight of my career really was that I was leading British professional for ten seasons on the trot. I won just under 200 professional races but if I had to single one race out it would probably be the Tour de Switzerland in 1973 when I held both the green jersey and the yellow jersey."
Father of professional cyclist, Tom Barras, Sid was one of the UK's foremost racing cyclists in the 1970s-80s and a national champion on three occasions.
He won a stage at the Tour of Majorca and the first stage of the Tour of Switzerland, taking the yellow and green jerseys in the process. Sid famously beat Eddy Merckx in 1977 at the Eastway Circuit in London, finishing second to German Didi Thaurau. As part of the legendary Leeds cycling scene, Sid still rides daily and has mentored many of Yorkshire's young cyclists and champions of today.
In addition he plays a pivotal role in the Dave Rayner Fund, a charity supporting up and coming riders.
Others receiving honorary degrees from Leeds Metropolitan this week have included: Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa and one of the world's foremost authorities on corporate governance, reporting and sustainability, Professor Mervyn King; Managing Director at the helm of the Wakefield-based organisation Group Rhodes, Mark Ridgway OBE, DL, who oversees the group's seven engineering companies; award-winning artist and Leeds Metropolitan graduate, Charlotte Harris, whose work is featured in the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery; chart-toppers and Leeds Met graduates Piers Aggett and Kesi Dryden, who make up half of the award-winning group Rudimental; Coronation Street boss, Stuart Blackburn and former Leeds United manager and player, Eddie Gray MBE.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "A British champion, Sid Barras continues to inspire the cycling world with his commitment and passion for the sport. We are delighted to recognise his significant contribution to sport, and this award seems particularly fitting in the year when our region has welcomed the world's largest free sporting event, Le Tour de France. There can be very few who have not been gripped by 'Tour fever'."