Sir Chris Hoy has opened The Cycle Show.
Great Britain’s most successful Olympian was guest of honour at the opening of the show at Birmingham’s NEC, which opens to the public for three days tomorrow.
In a brief interview compered by Eurosport commentator, David Harmon, Sir Chris told said cycling had reached the mainstream.
“Cycling is becoming so much more popular. People are really getting behind it, and I think people are showing a bit more respect to cyclists on the road,” he said.
Hoy added two gold medals to his palmares at the London Olympic Games in August, winning the team sprint with Phillip Hindes and Jason Kenny, and taking individual gold in the keirin.
He told an audience at The Cycle Show that understanding of his sport, and of road racing, had increased among the public and large, and said highlighted the achievements on the road of Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, runner up, Chris Froome, and 2011 world road race champion, Mark Cavendish.
“It’s definitely become much more mainstream and people definitely know what you’re talking about and the intricacies of the different events: they know about the keirin, they know about the madison and they know about the Tour de France.
More people understand about General Classification, they understand that Cav’s a sprinter and Chris Froome’s a climber, and all these things that you had to explain for half an hour before and people would look at you with a glazed expression at the end of it,” he joked.
Hoy admitted to being a ‘bike geek’ and said he had visited last month’s Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He compared the experience to being ‘like a kid in a sweet shop’ and said he was looking forwards to checking out ‘trick new components’ at The Cycle Show.
“Events like today are pushing the sport. It’s the innovation and the bikes as well that people find interesting. It’s making cycling more accessible to as many people as possible. Now, I’d love to be able to do something to help cycling grow in this country; encourage people to get on their bikes. I’m getting involved in a project which hopefully I can talk about a bit more in a few weeks time,” he said,
The Cycle Show opens to the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 9.30am until 5pm. Adult tickets cost £16 on the door, or £13 if bought online in advance and collected at the show.
A Super Crit race on Saturday night will feature Olympic champion, Ed Clancy, and is free to watch.