HSBC and Laura Kenny have launched The People’s Peloton, a new campaign aimed at harnessing the power of support around the Great Britain Cycling Team at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
The rallying call ahead of the Championships, which run until 29th September, encourages people to get behind the home riders and to send messages of support on social media using the hashtag #PeoplesPeloton.
The campaign also aims to tap into the psyche of the British cyclists competing on home soil in the hope that the support will give them a psychological edge over the rest of the riders in the peloton, and features sports psychologist Jamil Qureshi explaining the power of home advantage.
Qureshi said: “It is well-known that animals fight harder when they are defending their own territory and the same can be applied to sport. Our determination to succeed at home comes from years of evolution and our primeval nature, which means we are hard-wired to defend our territory.
“Sporting success is never achieved in isolation. We are a social species and perform better when we are supported by others. A purposeful crowd working together to achieve a goal is extremely powerful and in a sport of marginal gains, cyclists can access great strength from knowing there are people willing them on in their endeavours.”
Olympic medalist, Laura Kenny, said: “Competing in front of a home crowd like I did at London 2012 is a feeling like no other. The experience of thousands of people willing you over the finish line creates an incredible energy which really gives you the extra advantage.
“I always read the messages of support that people send me on social media whenever I can, and I would encourage the whole nation to get behind the British cyclists at the UCI Road World Championships and send in your own messages of support. It is a thrilling event and very competitive, so we need to maximise the home support as much as possible to ensure we give our cyclists the best possible chance of victory.”
Luke Harper, HSBC UK’s Head of the British Cycling Partnership, said: “The UCI Road World Championships returning to the UK after such a long period is a huge moment for cycling in the UK, and through the People’s Peloton HSBC UK hopes to mobilise people across the UK to get behind the Great Britain Cycling Team.
“We hope through the People’s Peloton and the UCI Road World Championships we can inspire more people to get out on two-wheels to help turn the UK into a healthier and happier cycling nation.”
The bank has partnered with British Cycling for the past eight years and has said the aim of the partnership is to get millions more people into the sport by 2020, including ‘lapsed riders’.