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In a recent blog I covered companies that have sponsored teams, from the pregnancy testing kit manufacture to the blind charity lottery, but on the flip side what have riders advertised for a bit of extra pocket money on the side of their team wage.

On a recent trip to the Basque region after a long ride I put my feet up switched the tv and within one ad break between el Simpsons there was two adverts featuring tour winning Spaniards.

This got the old grey matter working, there’s been a few great and terrible adverts involving pro cyclist over the years. So here we go, I’ve rummaged around in the corners of my mind and the interweb to gather a few of the best, worst and “interesting” adverts from a plethora of pros.

I’ll start with the advert that got me thinking. 5 time tour champion, and from what I can gather a lover of yoghurt, Mr Miguel Indurain. This tour champ clearly didn’t make enough money from his Tour wins. Here Miguel watches a bit of bike racing between a peloton made of just guys in red or yellow kit, then its back to his kitchen where he tells us about the benefits of the yoghurt based drink.

In the same ad break, a man who has a bit of time on his hands due to his season being cut short, Contador, who is spokesperson for a butchers, na I joke (if only). This is a slick ad, and clearly had a larger budget than Indurain. Contador whips about on his bike in his custom Sportful kit.

Staying with Contador he’s also the star along with a few other riders in a series of shockingly bad Sidi adverts. If you’ve ever seen them on Eurosport you’ll know what I’m talking about. The ideas for these ads are slightly odd, from Contador being a chef and cooking up a pair of Shoes. Great shoes but the adverts don’t do them any justice.

Back in the 90’s with the boom in video games Giannio Bugno, then riding for the Mega Drive team, sits and has a tinker on the latest technology, a hand held games console – The Sega Game Gear. Sega had to go under the name of Mega Drive in spain apparently due to Sega being a rude word.


One of the more memorable magazine adverts involves the grease monkey/ Italian stallion Mario Chipollini showing off the latest north wave shoes. This advert appeared about 12 years ago will stick in people’s mind for several reasons. Not because he’s dressed as batman but the magazine it appeared in had to have a sticker covering the breasts of woman he’s holding. Clearly this advert was for the slightly more liberal European market.

Omega Pharma, a now long term sponsor of a few teams, has been the culprit of getting pros to make fools of themselves for publicity. Early season photo shoots for the pharmaceuticals brands have seen rides in a few classic poses, from this years pics of the Omega Pharma-Quick step guys cuddling up next to one another to advertise pillows (I think), to a slightly disturbing shot of Nico Mattan sharing a bath with team mates and shaving each others legs.

Chris Hoy did a stunning job when he stared in a few TV adverts for a breakfast cereal, even claiming he filled himself up on the said brand before a good load of training. Yeah right!

At the moment due to the Olympics a few of the choice British athletes are helping out with pushing a few of Proctor and Gamble’s stable of products. Sir Chris Hoy is showing us all that a nice close shave using Gillette helps him win. Just a shame they missed the trick of him shaving his legs. Cavs on hair care duty, selling Head and Shoulders, I haven’t got through the ad yet to know as his “amazing” slick back of his hair is just hysterical.

Victoria Pendleton has coined in on her profile and looks to advertise everything from bread to shampoo.

For Cav, Hoy and Pendleton lets just hope that this out of work “work” isn’t going to stop them from achieving their goals.

Seen any quality ads involving pros that I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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