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Financial priorities come first for father of two

A man who wanted to upgrade his Sky broadband speed got something rather quicker than he bargained – a Pinarello bike Sir Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the 2012 Tour de France. But while some might envy Chris Green’s luck in winning it in a prize draw, financial realities mean he has to sell the Italian dream machine.

According to BBC Sport, Green “absent-mindedly ticked a couple of boxes on a letter about his internet service from Sky.”

To his surprise, two months late a box arrived containing a Pinarello Dogma 2, a signed Team Sky jersey, and a certificate of authenticity signed by team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford.

Green, aged 37, had recently bought himself a fairly decent bike, but decided to jump on the Pinarello for a quick blast on the roads near his home in Surrey.

"It was like going from an Escort to a Ferrari," he said. "It felt so light that when I got out of the saddle it was like there was nothing beneath me."

On reflection, it was a bit too much bike for him to handle, and his suggestion to his wife that it might look good on the wall was met with the response: "It's very nice, darling, but it's not going in the living room."

“I'd love to keep hold of it,” says Green. “But we're a single-income family with two kids. It's a no-brainer, really.”

The bike, equipped with Shimano Dura Ace Di2, Osymetric chain ring and Shimano Dura Ace C35 Prototype wheels, among other things – sadly, Wiggins’ SRM power meter wasn’t thrown in – is listed on pre-owned high-end bike specialists, London Cycle Exchange.

There, it says: “Offers more than £8,000 will be considered.”

The fact the bike is currently showing as ‘sold out’ suggests that a buyer has already met that price.

Anyone buying the bike for £8,000 will get themselves a considerable bargain. A fairly bog standard (okay, we're being relative here) replica would cost more than that. Okay this bike has been used, but it has been used to win the Tour de France by the first ever Briton to do so and has been looked after by some of the best mechanics in the business while doing so.  

You can still view the listing, complete with photographs, here.

Part of the reason Green listed the bike on London Cycle Exchange, according to the BBC, is that the UK market for sports collectibles is dominated by football, with cycling very much a niche area.

Sports memorabilia expert from Bonhams in Chester told the BBC: "We have never sold a bike. We did once sell a Lance Armstrong jersey, though. I think it got nearly £600," he added.

Potential buyers are split into three categories; fans wanting a connection with the sport, investors looking for something that will rise in value – unlikely in the case of that Lance Armstrong jersey – and institutions such as museums or clubs.

But London-based Graham Budd, who trades in sports memorabilia, said cycling hasn’t traditionally been a category attracting much interest, although that is starting to change.

"There hasn't really been a market for cycling collectibles in this country, but we are just beginning to see one emerge," he said.

In fact, only last week, he sold his first bicycle: "We sold the bike that Erika Salumae [of Estonia] won the sprint on at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona," he revealed.

"It was a significant moment because the Berlin Wall had just come down and it was Estonia's first Olympic medal as an independent country.

"The auction was front-page news there, and all over the TV as well. She's a big star. It went for £8,000 to an Estonian buyer in the end."

The price that bike fetched, and the nationality of the buyer, are connected.

Salumae’s was the first gold medal won by an athlete competing for Estonia since the Berlin Games in 1936, and the country has only won two Summer Olympic gold medals since then, and four in the Winter Olympics.

The bike therefore occupies a significant place in Estonia’s sporting history. It is unique.

That, Budd said, creates issues regarding exclusivity when it comes to selling Wiggins’ Tour de France-winning bike, given that according to Sky, it is one of three Pinarello Dogma 2 bikes he used during the race.

"All collectors crave owning something that nobody else has," he explained.

Regarding the bike ridden by Wiggins, he said the problem was that “we are not sure how unique this bike is, and wherever you have the risk of multiples, value is diluted.

"It happens quite a lot with football shirts - players get given long-sleeve ones and short-sleeve ones, and some like to change into a fresh shirt at half-time. It can be difficult to prove that your shirt is THE shirt."

Budd himself should know that even when it is unique, Wiggins-related memorbilia may not tempt buyers. Last year, the throne the cyclist sat on outside Hampton Court Palace after winning Olympic Time Trial gold failed to reach its reserve in an auction held by Budd's firm.

One-off bikes can command high prices at auction, however. In 2009, a Trek Madone customised with a butterfly theme by artist Damien Hirst that Lance Armstrong rode in that year’s Tour de France raised $500,000 for the Livestrong charity at a sale at Sotheby’s in New York.

It was one of seven bikes given the custom treatment by famous artists and ridden by Armstrong in his comeback season that raised a combined $1.3 million at the auction.

A prototype Cinelli Laser Nostra fixed-gear bike was expected to fetch up to $20,000 when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York City last night in a charity auction on behalf of the AIDS charity, (RED).

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.

63 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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Good luck to the fella.
I personally hope he gets more than 8 grand.
Anyone who criticises him for selling it needs to have a word with themselves - he sounds like a decent bloke doing the best for his family.
And its worth remembering ultimately Rupert Murdoch paid for this bike so no moral dilemma there eh?

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northstar [1107 posts] 4 years ago
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*rolls eyes*

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Super Domestique [1619 posts] 4 years ago
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Who'd want an ex team sky bike anyway!  35

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jova54 [676 posts] 4 years ago
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Whatever he gets, it'll probably only off-set his Sky bill for a couple of months  19

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sm [405 posts] 4 years ago
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Di2? Sell, sell, sell!

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Flying Heron [54 posts] 4 years ago
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Lucky chap, wish him all the best.

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Malaconotus [104 posts] 4 years ago
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Eight grand?!?!? For the actual bike on which Britain's most medalled Olympian became the first Briton ever to win the Tour de France? It's a lot of money, but I'd have thought it would fetch several times that.

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dunnoh [214 posts] 4 years ago
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My misses has just remarked that if I had won it I could have put it on the lounge wall! That's a real piece of history. Amazing

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Super Domestique [1619 posts] 4 years ago
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Malaconotus wrote:

Eight grand?!?!? For the actual bike on which Britain's most medalled Olympian became the first Briton ever to win the Tour de France? It's a lot of money, but I'd have thought it would fetch several times that.

Especially when building a replica would have cost you over £10k

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Leviathan [2841 posts] 4 years ago
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I'll open the bidding at £8.95.

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Gkam84 [9111 posts] 4 years ago
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I was going to hold my tongue. But after a few "interactions" on twitter and seeing the state of comments sections lately. I'm not going to hold back.

This is a f*cking joke, this was a fan competition, some "fan" he his, gets the bike and then sells it. Sky already kicked up a fuss about another prize bike they gave away being punted on eBay for £10,400 and now this.

It'll make up their mind not to give away prizes like that anymore.

If he didn't want it, give it back or donate it to a charity auction, but to just sell it pisses me right off.

He WON the f*cking thing, he's not out of pocket, just a greedy c*** who can't appreciate the TRUE value of the bike.

I'm VERY skint at the moment, but there is no way I would be selling it. I am not even a Wiggo fan, but I can appreciate that this back, being 1 of only 3 made, is a piece of history.

Disagree with me all you want, I couldn't give a toss what you think, that's MY opinion.

(p.s If you "LIKE" this post, don't just click the button, interact with the forum)

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NorthEastJimmy [95 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd have done exactly the same thing and laughed at anyone ^ who thought otherwise! I'm sure Bradley wouldn't care less what the winner did with it. You can have your opinion but there's no point calling him greedy as you obviously don't understand his situation.

And as for getting in a huff about it...  24

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badback [302 posts] 4 years ago
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It would have been a keeper for me and I'm not a particularly big Wiggo/Sky fan.

As Keith eloquently said it's not cost him nowt (more of an early Xmas pressie), plus it's a little bit of history.

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johndonnelly [81 posts] 4 years ago
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badback wrote:

it's a little bit of history

Keeping it would be amazing but I'd have been thinking that its quite a big bit of history. That raises some challenges of its own. How much would I actually ride that bike, or would I just keep it locked away to keep it safe from crashes? What if it gets nicked (this does happen, even in Surrey)? Insurance preserves the financial value for me, but not the impact of the unique object.

Donating it to a bike museum would be fantastically generous, but perhaps not everyone can make that sell to their spouse.

Selling it yields control and is messy, but if the value is right (and maybe £8K is low, but that was just a suggested minimum) at least suggests that the purchaser can put appropriate value on it and treat it accordingly.

I can certainly see how selling it at a good price would be the best of some difficult options.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 4 years ago
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Competitions are run for a reason.
Marketing.
This fella entered the competition and in return Sky get a marketing opportunity. They have got a damn sight more than 8 grand of marketing/ promotion out of the competition or else they wouldn't have run it.
Its a competition and this fella won a prize in a game of chance and as in almost all competitions 'the house always wins'.
Boo hoo for Sky if this fella wants to sell - my heart bleeds for the multi gazillion dollar mega corporation.
Im sure if this bloke was a rich single man he would have kept it but at the end of the day the cash is more important to him and his family than some bits of carbon and metal.
He and his family get the cash, some rich person gets a bit of history, Sky get their marketing opportunity.
Everyone is a winner.

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bici1977 [42 posts] 4 years ago
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Wait a second here... its his bike right? He won it so its his right? So he can do with it what ever he damn well pleases... he doesnt need your approval to sell something he legally owns.

Sure it would be nice to have a bike like that but I personally dont think Pinarellos look actually that good (these forks man!) and if I could get an extra 10 grand out of it... hell yeah Id sell it! (and then buy myself a bike I actually want to ride)

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Rouboy [93 posts] 4 years ago
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Calm your passion chap. Its his bike let him do what he wants! Its not worth bursting a blood vessel over.

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issacforce [212 posts] 4 years ago
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Oh and its his fault that ur skint like

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Super Domestique [1619 posts] 4 years ago
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As much as it was his bike once it was given to him. I am a little surprised that, on a site for cycling fans, there is so little appreciation for a nice bike / race history.

It's a shame that such competitions aren't open to fans only though. Can't help thinking of the expression 'pearls before swine.'

Let's hope whoever bought it is a real fan of the sport. Who knows, they might even know how to put the bar/hood angle properly!

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I was going to hold my tongue. But after a few "interactions" on twitter and seeing the state of comments sections lately. I'm not going to hold back.

This is a f*cking joke, this was a fan competition, some "fan" he his, gets the bike and then sells it. Sky already kicked up a fuss about another prize bike they gave away being punted on eBay for £10,400 and now this.

It'll make up their mind not to give away prizes like that anymore.

If he didn't want it, give it back or donate it to a charity auction, but to just sell it pisses me right off.

He WON the f*cking thing, he's not out of pocket, just a greedy c*** who can't appreciate the TRUE value of the bike.

I'm VERY skint at the moment, but there is no way I would be selling it. I am not even a Wiggo fan, but I can appreciate that this back, being 1 of only 3 made, is a piece of history.

Disagree with me all you want, I couldn't give a toss what you think, that's MY opinion.

(p.s If you "LIKE" this post, don't just click the button, interact with the forum)

I absolutely agree 100%.

I have a bike thats not a collectable by any means, but its one I built and painted and its a bit of a pride and joy that I rarely ride, I wanted to put that up on the wall and my wife went berserk, how ever talking to her last night she actually pointed out the part of the wall that this could go on.

For those that think its a good idea to sell it, how would you feel if you gave a bike to a relative that couldn't afford one, only to find out that they had sold it off for the money?

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Super Domestique wrote:

As much as it was his bike once it was given to him. I am a little surprised that, on a site for cycling fans, there is so little appreciation for a nice bike / race history.

It's a shame that such competitions aren't open to fans only though. Can't help thinking of the expression 'pearls before swine.'

Let's hope whoever bought it is a real fan of the sport. Who knows, they might even know how to put the bar/hood angle properly!

I noticed that, maybe it should have been confiscated for that reason alone?  39

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southseabythesea [149 posts] 4 years ago
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Sell it...I'd rather spend the money on doing things with the family and kids than have a bike up on the wall!

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md6 [181 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

For those that think its a good idea to sell it, how would you feel if you gave a bike to a relative that couldn't afford one, only to find out that they had sold it off for the money?

Which is a totally different situation. He has a bike which he bought but on recieving something of value he sold it on to help provide for his family. If i won it I quite possibly would have other priorities that putting it on my wall, and i don't have a family to look out for.

IMO getting in a huff about what this guy did is ridiculous, jealousy is never a good look.

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dave atkinson [6329 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

This is a f*cking joke, this was a fan competition, some "fan" he his, gets the bike and then sells it. Sky already kicked up a fuss about another prize bike they gave away being punted on eBay for £10,400 and now this.

It'll make up their mind not to give away prizes like that anymore.

If he didn't want it, give it back or donate it to a charity auction, but to just sell it pisses me right off.

He WON the f*cking thing, he's not out of pocket, just a greedy c*** who can't appreciate the TRUE value of the bike.

it's not a fan competition. it's just a competition, run by sky, the TV company, not the cycling team. he entered it, and won. the prize becomes his, and he can do what he likes with it. sky (the TV company) are the ones bankrolling sky (the cycling team) - they no doubt have an agreement in place that they get a number of team bikes a year to use in promotions. the team can piss and moan all they like about the bikes ending up on ebay but i bet they're not actively looking for another sponsor. sky (the TV company) won't care; it'll be a numbers game for them.

the way i see it, two people win here. the competition winner gets a pile of cash for winning a competition that it sounds like he barely knew he entered, and someone that *really* wants wiggo's bike gets wiggo's bike. i don't have a problem with that.

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crazy-legs [934 posts] 4 years ago
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Quote:

For those that think its a good idea to sell it, how would you feel if you gave a bike to a relative that couldn't afford one, only to find out that they had sold it off for the money?

Quite happy, none of my relatives would fit any of my bikes never mind ride them so yes, I'd actually expect them to sell them off! The money they made could be used to better their lives in other ways - maybe buy a bike that fits them! Bad analogy.

And if I won Wiggins' bike, it'd be straight on ebay (well maybe not ebay, more likely offer it to a museum or a collector), I can't stand Pinarello! Fugly bikes.

It's a competition, he won it fair and square, he can do what he wants with it. Get over yourselves. It's not really any different to Team Sky auctioning it off themselves.

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dave atkinson [6329 posts] 4 years ago
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talk to anyone that gives away bikes on a regular basis and you'll learn that most of them end up on ebay

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caaad10 [190 posts] 4 years ago
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The best bit is that it is used, so doing a few miles on it won't devalue it (unless.... imagine binning it!) before eventually selling it, well that's what I would do

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DrJDog [426 posts] 4 years ago
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boo hoo, didn't win a bike, did we? You jealous, bad tempered, miserable little git.

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aslongasicycle [389 posts] 4 years ago
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New societal moral code:

If you have valuable things you must never sell them because other people like them and want you to keep them.

Unusual.

I just won Guernica in a Picasso giveaway competition I entered in the Radio Times. Bugger. My house is about to be repossessed. Not that the canvas will fit in it anyway.

No house. My wife, a kid, a dog and a big painting worth £300M quid living in sheltered accommodation. Ace.

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wwfcb [83 posts] 4 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I was going to hold my tongue. But after a few "interactions" on twitter and seeing the state of comments sections lately. I'm not going to hold back.

This is a f*cking joke, this was a fan competition, some "fan" he his, gets the bike and then sells it. Sky already kicked up a fuss about another prize bike they gave away being punted on eBay for £10,400 and now this.

It'll make up their mind not to give away prizes like that anymore.

If he didn't want it, give it back or donate it to a charity auction, but to just sell it pisses me right off.

He WON the f*cking thing, he's not out of pocket, just a greedy c*** who can't appreciate the TRUE value of the bike.

I'm VERY skint at the moment, but there is no way I would be selling it. I am not even a Wiggo fan, but I can appreciate that this back, being 1 of only 3 made, is a piece of history.

Disagree with me all you want, I couldn't give a toss what you think, that's MY opinion.

(p.s If you "LIKE" this post, don't just click the button, interact with the forum)

I'm so glad you have graced us with YOUR opinion, as the wait was killing me.

 41

Yet again why do people have to criticize what someone buys or does what they want with their own money or items.

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