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Oi! Hoy! What about the Bran Flakes?


The Guardian carried an interview with Sir Chris Hoy last week, ahead of today’s launch of his autobiography. It’s always nice to see reports about cycling in the national press, so after fixing breakfast, I settled down to read it.

The article gave a revealing insight into the four-time Olympic gold medallist’s daily routine prior to the accident last February that has sidelined him for much of this season.

“I’m used to getting up in the morning, training, having my lunch, training, having my dinner and going to bed. That's pretty much it”.

Such is the less-than-glamorous side of a champion track cyclist’s life. But wait a minute. There’s something missing there, surely? What about the most important meal of the day?

Sir Chris’s face beams back at me from the Kellogg’s Bran Flakes box. Maybe the breakfast cereal is suitable for all meal occasions, and he scoffs it for lunch and dinner? Not according to Kellogg’s website, which puts Bran Flakes firmly in the breakfast camp, saying “Chris likes to start his day with a delicious bowl of Kellogg’s Bran Flakes.”

Desperate for confirmation that I am following at least part of the diet that has helped Sir Chris to world and Olympic glory, I wonder whether the Guardian has excised breakfast references from its story? If he has told them “I like to start the day with a delicious bowl of Kellogg’s Bran Flakes,” that’s bound to have been cut from the final copy, since the paper isn’t one that embraces overt plugging of products.

Helpfully, there’s a video of the interview on the Guardian website. Unhelpfully, it doesn’t include the passage in question.

And so, we are none the wiser. Is Bran Flakes really the breakfast of champions? Does Sir Chris actually sit on the benches at the Manchester Velodrome munching away on a bowl or two before taking to the track? Does he really tell passing kids to get “on yer bike” when they offer to race him? Has Kellogg’s marketing department given him an earful about his omission, if such it was?

Forget who-is-and-isn’t doping, whether Lance can win an eighth Tour de France, rumours that Dennis Menchov is having stabilisers fitted to his 2010 bike, or Team Sky’s prospects for next season and whether Wiggo will be with them or Garmin-Slipstream – I think I might have just stumbled upon the most burning question in cycling today.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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