Two-time London 2012 Olympic champion Jason Kenny received word of his OBE while in Australia training for further glory.
The 24-year-old from Bolton won sprint and team sprint gold at the Olympic Velodrome in August as Britain's cyclists won seven out of 10 titles on the track.
Kenny, who received an MBE after winning his first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, was at a training camp in Perth, Western Australia when his mother opened an official letter from the Palace detailing his New Year Honour while he was on the other end of the phone.
"My mum opened a letter for me whilst I was in Perth," he told Press Association Sport. "It's something really special that you don't ever plan for. It's something you can share with the family and something really nice when it comes along.
"It's a great honour and it's not every day you get to go to Buckingham Palace, so to get that invite is really special."
Kenny's girlfriend Laura Trott, who also won double gold in London aged 20, was also honoured with an OBE.
Kenny recently admitted feeling the post-Olympic blues, but now he is focused on the remainder of the season and targeting glory at February's Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk.
"I'm feeling pretty positive now," Kenny said. "I enjoy training, I enjoy racing and I enjoy going well. I was really glad to get stuck into that again and hopefully I'll be in the position to win more medals in the future.
"Minsk is getting closer and closer. There's only one hard training block to go now before the World Championships."
The last time Britain's sprint cyclists were in Perth - their regular winter training base - was in preparation for London 2012, but there was no sense of this month's trip being a reward for their summer efforts and the appetite for further glory remains.
"Everyone went with the same mindset, which was to get all the hard yards in now," Kenny added.
"A World Championships is still a massive deal for us and Perth was an opportunity to get away from all the distractions at home and the perfect training.
"We've got everything we need there and you can get your head down and do four solid weeks of training."