Ultimate cycling companions chosen by winner of Etape Pennines competition

Who is your ultimate cycling companion?

Organisers of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines posed the question in a recent competition and asked Rob Hayles to choose the winning entry.

The former world pursuit and madison champion selected an entry from Lorna Johnston, who placed Team Sky’s Bernie Eisel, actor, Ewan McGregor, and businessman, Lord Sugar, in her top three.

Bradley Wiggins scored the most nominations in a competition in which entrants suggested their ultimate riding companion. He was joint top with comedian, John Bishop

“After his ride in the Tour de France, I would have to take Bernie Eisel – a ‘super domestique’ to get me over the hills and the view from riding his back wheel wouldn’t be an altogether unpleasant one.

“Ewan McGregor (there appears to be a theme developing in the eye candy stakes here….) as he sure knows a thing or two about getting around on motorised bikes but needs to be shown the joy of road biking plus his banter would be fairly decent.

“And last but not least would be Lord Sugar. His stories about buying a van and setting up his business while he was still in nappies would keep me amused and I hear he takes you on flying lessons in his plane once you’ve done 40miles with him,” she said.

Lorna’s prize – two free entries to the Etape Pennines – will allow her to start alongside Hayles at the front of the pack.

Other fantasy companions to score highly with competition entrants were Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy, Tour de France winner and six-time Olympic gold medalist respectively.

Comedian, John Bishop, a keen cyclist, drew an equal number of nominations to Wiggins, topping the chart with the Team Sky leader, perhaps indicating the need to share a joke while taking on the challenge of a sportive.

The top five nominations, from first to fifth, were: Bradley Wiggins and John Bishop, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Chris Froome, Michael McIntyre. 

Hayles, who will ride the 78 mile sportive in County Durham on Sunday October 7 as event ambassador, chose the comedian, Billy Connolly, singer, Rihanna, and any footballer from the Premier League, to demonstrate how hard pro cyclists work for a fraction of a footballer’s wage.

Less than 150 places are left on the rolling 78-mile sportive whih will raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The charity provides free car and support to terminally people and their families across the UK.

Did your ultimate cycling companion appear on the list of nominees from the entrants of the Etape Pennine? Tell us yours in the forum.


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