Victoria Pendleton signs with Hovis

The British bread brand founded in 1886 has signed Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton as a brand ambassador. Pendleton spent six hours recreating the iconic 1973 ‘Boy on a bike’ TV advert. 

The Premier Foods-owned brand will deploy Pendleton in a series of campaigns, including encouraging cycling; healthy-eating and education initiatives. 

Pendleton said: “I hope my work for Hovis will inspire a new generation of girls and boys on bikes who enjoy cycling as much as I did when I was younger and maybe even inspire some champions of the future.”

Hovis was an early supporter of cycling. In 1899 Hovis launched a series of eight cycle road maps covering England and Wales. Each map listed hostelries that served Hovis bread. These guest houses displayed a sign with a cycle wheel and the letter H for Hovis, clearly modelled on the winged wheel sign of the Cyclists’ Touring Club.

The maps were published by G Philip and Son and the co-sponsor was the Cycling Components Manufacturing Co., Birmingham. This series continued for 25+ years.

In 1973, director Ridley Scott created one of the best-loved TV adverts of all time: the ‘Boy on a bike’ advert. This was set against Dvorak’s New World symphony, rearranged for brass, and featured a delivery boy freewheeling down a cobbled ‘northern’ hill. In fact it was filmed in Dorset.

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