After its introduction last year, Jaguar and Team Sky are once again running a series of rides out of Jaguar dealers under the banner ‘Ride like a Professional’. Participants will have the chance to take part in a grand final event with Team Sky at a private test track, and two overall winners will join the team at its winter training camp in Majorca.
Between July 26 and September 14, the car-maker is organising 33 rides around the country, more than doubling the number of rides lastyear and therefore more comprehensively covering the country.
Just like the team, riders will have vehicle support in the form of Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake estate, the car Sky has been using since the 2012 Tour de France.
One cyclist from each ride will be selected by Jaguar to compete in the Grand Final which will test both driving and riding ability. Finalists take the wheel of the XF Sportbrake and test their own driving skills in the Directeur Sportif Challenge, which will involve the driving skills required to support a professional cycling team.
Grand finalists will also compete in a time trial challenge, with the overall top competitors in both the male and female categories winning a trip to Team Sky’s winter training camp in Majorca.
The dealership ride outs are non-competitive, and will follow a range of 30-50 mile routes generated, plotted and recorded using Strava. A rider from each will be chosen at random for the Grand Final, which will take place late September to early October 2014.
For full details and to take part, head over to Jaguar's Ride Like A Pro page
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.