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

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.

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.

15 comments

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andylul [410 posts] 4 years ago
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Photoshopped?

Was G too busy to actually be there?

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notfastenough [3665 posts] 4 years ago
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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?!  4

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kylemalco [37 posts] 4 years ago
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Has he been shrunk during the photoshop process

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Chuck [530 posts] 4 years ago
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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!

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yenrod [106 posts] 4 years ago
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Obviously Fiat want to exclamate their motor...in doing so have made the advert a bit stupid ?

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andylul [410 posts] 4 years ago
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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

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Oh heck... [47 posts] 4 years ago
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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...

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OldRidgeback [2567 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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OldRidgeback [2567 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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veseunr [256 posts] 4 years ago
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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!!

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 4 years ago
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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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cat1commuter [1420 posts] 4 years ago
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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

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Mostyn [396 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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pmr [196 posts] 4 years ago
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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?  39

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.

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petethegreek [24 posts] 4 years ago
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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!!