Friday, May 8, 2009

Mark Webber saddles up

Fresh from securing his highest ever finish in Formula One, motor-racing star Mark Webber is setting his sights on another challenge – The Cycling Plus Sportive supported by Pacific Outdoor Equipment at BikeRadar Live.

British-based Australian Webber, who steered his Red Bull Racing car to second place in the rain-lashed Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai this last Sunday, will return to the UK at the end of May to ride the Cycling Plus Sportive on May 30.

Webber is a keen cyclist and uses both mountain- and road biking to stay in the shape required to race at 200mph.

"I'm really looking forward to the Cycling Plus Sportive. I've been cycling seriously since around 2000 – I love the fitness, fresh air and focus riding a bike gives me," said Webber. "I'm hoping to persuade a couple of mates to join me on the sportive and just have a great day's riding. I've got fond memories of Donington Park, too, because in the late 1990s I won a sports car race there and finished on the podium quite a few times too, so I know the track well and it'll be fun to ride around it!"

Webber isn't the only bike-loving F1 driver. Current F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button is a keen cyclist and triathlete. Last year, the Brit who won the first two GPs of the season for Brawn GP was presented with two rather nice Scott bikes. Another bike nut is four-time F1 World Champion Alain Prost, who has been a regular competitor in the Etape du Tour.

Webber, who began his F1 career in 2002 with the Minardi team and has also raced for Jaguar and Williams, will ride the Cycling Plus Sportive after returning from this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix. He has yet to decide whether he'll ride the 100-mile or 100K option.

Webber is no stranger to endurance riding - he organised (and even broke his leg in a bike crash during) his own adventure race, the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge and is behind June's Ride to the Horns sportive in the Chilterns on June 14.

Source: Bike Radar Live

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