Olympic Champion Chris Boardman, MBE, named as ambassador for Friends Life Tour of Britain

Published on: Thursday, 21-August-2014

Chris Boardman, the Olympic gold medal winning cyclist, has been named as the ambassador for the Friends Life Tour of Britain.

Chris, who became a household name after winning gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, will represent Friends Life in the build up to the Tour of Britain offering insight and expert analysis ahead of the race. Knowsley will be hosting the Stage Two start this year from Knowsley Safari on Monday, 8 September – further details regarding the route and activities on the day can be found on www.discoverknowsley.co.uk

He will also continue to represent the Life and Pensions specialist next year ahead of the Friends Life Women's Tour and the Tour of Britain 2015.

"For a company the size of Friends Life to invest in cycling really shows the health of the sport,” said Chris. "It enables an event on the scale of the Tour of Britain, with all its history, to get even bigger and better.

"I've been speaking to the Government recently and one of the things they want cycling to do is partner with industry to make the sport sustainable and to give more people a stake in what we're trying to do. Everyone is now getting behind what is a fantastic sport.”

Since Chris's career as a professional cyclist came to an end he has never been far from the sport, developing his own range of bikes and recently working as a commentator on the Tour de France and at the Commonwealth Games.

As the ambassador for the Friends Life Tour of Britain, Chris will be making a series of short films about cycling, ranging from how to get started in the sport to analysis of the Tour and looking back on his own glittering career*.

Andy Briggs, Chief Executive of Friends Life said: "Having Chris Boardman as our ambassador for the Friends Life Tour of Britain is fantastic. He was an incredible cyclist and really helped bring the sport into the mainstream in this country. This year's race is shaping up to be one of the best ever and it's great to have Chris Boardman providing his expertise in the build up to it.”

The Friends Life Tour of Britain received a significant boost this month when it was announced that Sir Bradley Wiggins would be defending the title he won in 2013.

"It makes an enormous difference to those who aren't diehard cycling fans. You need the Brit to support,” said Chris. "With Sir Bradley Wiggins being back, everyone wants to see him because he's a real character.”

Friends Life announced that it was to become the first title sponsor the Tour of Britain last month. It followed the great success of the inaugural Friends Life Women's Tour earlier this year, which the company has also agreed to sponsor in 2015.

The Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest professional cycle event, with more than 100 top cyclists racing through nine stages, covering more than 1,350 kilometres. The 2014 event starts on 7th September in Liverpool, with a world-class field competing over eight days before culminating in a time trial and Criterium in London on 14th September. More than a million fans are expected to line the route to watch the country's largest free-to-spectate sporting event.

The sponsorship will also include the Friends Life Yellow Jersey, which will be worn each day by the race leader. Friends Life will also be supporting the Tour Ride, a mass-participation event to take place in October.