Geraint Thomas to help front Fiat and British Cycling 'share the road' campaign

Initiative ties in with Italian marque's sponsorship of governing body

by Simon_MacMichael   January 30, 2012  

Fiat Punto GBT

Olympic champion cyclist and Team Sky star Geraint Thomas has been recruited, along with other GB riders, to front a campaign called ‘Let’s clear the air’ that is to be launched jointly by British Cycling and car maker Fiat, its official vehicle supplier.

According to the trade website BikeBiz, the campaign aims to "to improve relations between cyclists and motorists on the road." It is timed to run alongside the relaunch of the Fiat Punto. One model in the new range, the GBT (pictured) comes with a year’s membership of British Cycling thrown in.

Thomas, who is alternating between the road and the track in the build-up to the London Olympics, where he aims to retain the team pursuit gold medal he helped Great Britain win at Beijing four years ago, spoke about his involvement in the initiative in a column for the newspaper Metro last week.

“Off the bike I’ve been working on a campaign with Fiat trying to improve relations between cyclists and motorists on the road – to prove we’re not guys in Lycra who don’t pay taxes,” he said – although BikeBiz points out that Fiat too was until recently of incorporating the incorrect term ‘road tax’ in its print adverts.

Thomas added: “Most cyclists own cars too, so we all need to try and get along!” In fact, market research has shown that regular cyclists are more likely than average to have more than one car in their household, while according to the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey, 83 per cent of cyclists own a car, compared to 82 per cent of non-cyclists.

Fiat’s UK website has a page dedicated to its backing of the governing body, where it says it is “lining up some exclusive offers for British Cycling members.” As yet, there’s no details of what those might be, although members are encouraged to sign up for updates.

In the past, Fiat was the official vehicle supplier to both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia – which last year began in the Italian marque’s home city of Turin – a role now undertaken by Volkswagen-owned Skoda.

News of Fiat and British Cycling’s joint campaign comes in the same week as the US arm of German car manufacturer Volkswagen unveiled a partnership with national cycling advocacy group, Bikes Belong.

15 user comments

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Photoshopped?

Was G too busy to actually be there?

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [397 posts]
30th January 2012 - 12:58

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Good news, I had a couple of near misses yesterday. Can GT do anything about the girl pulling out in front of me while on her phone as well?! Big Grin

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2329 posts]
30th January 2012 - 13:06

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Has he been shrunk during the photoshop process

posted by kylemalco [31 posts]
30th January 2012 - 13:45

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Could be interesting and productive. Let's hope they can at least go some way towards clearing up the road tax thing!

posted by Chuck [219 posts]
30th January 2012 - 13:45

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Obviously Fiat want to exclamate their motor...in doing so have made the advert a bit stupid ?

posted by yenrod [69 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:12

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kylemalco wrote:
Has he been shrunk during the photoshop process

Appears to be riding an Islabike with Pinarello paint job - those wheels scale up to about 18" by my reckoning

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [397 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:36

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Geraint Thomas is a fantastic rider, of this there can be no doubt.

However, I don't see him doing that well and winning much this year, sadly.

Not since he appears to have lost his right leg in some tragic accident which has gone unreported...

Ooooh, me legs...

posted by Oh heck... [46 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:49

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yenrod wrote:
Obviously Fiat want to exclamate their motor...in doing so have made the advert a bit stupid ?

Exclamate?

Anyway, it's all good that VW and Fiat are doing something positive in this regard.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1786 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:50

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Oh heck... wrote:
Geraint Thomas is a fantastic rider, of this there can be no doubt.

However, I don't see him doing that well and winning much this year, sadly.

Not since he appears to have lost his right leg in some tragic accident which has gone unreported...

A tragic photoshop accident that no-one was supposed to notice.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1786 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:51

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Having is right hand stuck to that Fiat may give him a chance despite his leg though!!

The Fiat must have an output similar to Cavendish .... although slightly slower 0-60!!

posted by veseunr [258 posts]
30th January 2012 - 14:52

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I *think* the lower right leg is lurking behind the downtube/Gatorade bottles. Difficult to tell conclusively though.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7014 posts]
30th January 2012 - 15:32

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G is the right person for this job. Tweet of his from last Wednesday:

GeraintThomas86 wrote:
Dear driver of bus number 245 out of Altrincham station... Next time you want me to get on your bus, let me get off my bike first #nobhead

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1270 posts]
30th January 2012 - 17:06

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Good to see the NUMPTY comments on this topic!

IMHO it's good to hear that the bicycle and motorised vehicle issue is at least being tackled by two car manufacturers! Geraint Thomas is one of the up and coming young cyclists; and shows great potential for the future. Oh BTW I can see his right leg (it's just tucked back on the pedal) as the left leg is fully forward on the left pedal, the right leg is back; and slightly covered by the frame DT.

Well done Geraint, for bringing the issue of safer cycling on our roads to the fore-front. Fiat and VW are showing some initiative; lets hope other manufacturers join the campaign.

posted by Mostyn [368 posts]
1st February 2012 - 10:25

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British Cycling membership free with a new car?
Wouldn't it make sense to give cycling membership with a new bike, and AA membership with the car? Thinking

How about they at least make a built in bike rack or something on it!!!

Anyway, we do need a campaign like this as motorists really do drive like cyclists dont exist.

posted by pmr [131 posts]
2nd February 2012 - 9:15

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okay how far could they go with this
a mobile phone company or two to highlight the danger of driving whilst on the phone. Stobbarts to cover the lorry angle. Avon to cover the makeup angle. a deicer supplier to cover those to lazy or inpatient to clear their windows. the police to prosecute a few more numpties. and maybe Garaint should have a halo as we are all angels on the road arent we!!

Zero emissions so Zero tax

posted by petethegreek [22 posts]
2nd February 2012 - 20:26

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