Author hopes to get backing for semi-autobiographical play inspired by Tour de France legends

A former Granada TV presenter will this evening take to the stage of the Lowry Studio at Salford Quays to pitch his idea for a play, called Peloton, that is inspired by some of the legends of the Tour de France and his own participation in the Etape du Tour.

The play has been written by Trevor Ward, formerly a presenter for Granada Tonight who also thought up and presented the station’s show Something For The Weekend, reports the media website How-Do.

During the 1990s, he also co-presented a spot called Trev and Simon’s Big Bicycle Adventure with Simon O’Brien, the former Brookside actor who went on to co-host Channel 4’s Tour de France coverage as well as co-founding the Liverpool Cycle Centre.

Peloton reflects Ward’s own love of cycling and its central character, Jack Wade, decides to enter L’Etape du Tour after being made redundant on his 40th birthday. Ward has produced a short trailer for the play.

“Inevitably, this play is pretty autobiographical,” explains Ward, now back living in Manchester after being based in Scotland for a time.

“I was unemployed for a long time last year so entered the Etape du Tour, which gives amateurs the chance to ride a stage of the Tour. I did 4,000 miles of training which at least kept me from under my wife’s feet.”

“It takes a lot of motivation to go out and cycle 50 miles in the rain and cold every day, but I was inspired by the stories of cycling’s greats, men such as Jacques Anquetil and Fausto Coppi,” he adds.

“If you’re looking for role models, these guys are a big improvement on the modern-day likes of Wayne Rooney or Lady GaGa.”

This evening’s presentation takes place in front of an audience as well as a panel of theatre professionals who will decide whether to support the proposal and help Ward's play become reality.

Ward himself will take to a static bike on stage to deliver his pitch, which is supported by Evans Cycles and IG Markets, the latter helping him out with his costume for the evening after he got in touch via Facebook.

“It is not often that you see the sport of cycling in the theatre,” Chris Alfred, Sponsorship Co-ordinator at IG Markets told road.cc.

“We were impressed by Trevor’s vision and energy and we hope the IG Markets Gold Jersey from the Tour of Britain brings him luck in today’s presentation at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester.”

If you’re at a loose end this evening and can get over to the Lowry, the event, which forms part of the Library Theatre’s Re:Play Festival for new playwrights begins at 6.30pm and admission is free.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.