Are these the best support cars in cycling?
Cars and cyclists don't always make for the best of bedfellows. But the pro peloton is one place where – most of the time – riders and drivers get along just fine…
The cars that follow pro cyclists tend to be pretty sensible. Scratch that, they tend to be Skoda estates… And while Skoda estates are great – I, like Sir Bradley Wiggins, drive one – sometimes something a bit more exotic comes along and turns the heads of cyclists who also happen to be petrol heads. Here are my favourites. (Although if someone had used a Lancia Delta Integrale as a team vehicle, there'd only be on car on this list…)
Team Sky's Jaguar F-Type
Team Sky's partnership with Jaguar – from 2010 to 2015 – was arguably the highest profile fancy car/cycling team mash up. At first they made do with X-Type estates – I've also owned one of these, it wasn't just a Ford Mondeo in a suit okay – but in 2014 they unleashed the, frankly, gorgeous bespoke F-Type R Coupe on the Tour de France. Built by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the F-Type was designed specifically to follow Sky riders during that year's final time trial. And to make middle-aged men go all wobbly when they heard the V8…
Brother's Maserati Ghibli
Brother, the official results, printing and imaging partner of the Tour of Britain have been providing neutral support vehicles to a number of leading UK events since 2011. Until this year that meant two – you've guessed it – Skodas. For 2017, though, Brother added a slightly more exotic Maserati Ghibli to the fleet. Sure, you can't fit a bike in the boot but you can get from 0-60 in a touch over five seconds!
Sunweb's Mini Clubman
An original Mini Clubman from the 1970s would only work as a support car for a team of toddlers on tricycles. Lucikly, we're now on version three of the reborn Mini and the truth is, they ain't that Mini anymore. Dutch outfit Team Sunweb have opted for the new Clubman as their team motor and they seem to be able fit a surprising amount into and onto it. Just wait until the Maxi is brought back to life – now that'll be the perfect team car!
Team Sky's Ford Mustang (and Focus RS)
After taking on the role of Team Sky's car supplier Ford realised it needed to bring something to the table that'd make the Jag F-Type look mundane. I've got to say the 2016 Mustang muscle car wasn't a bad effort…
…but as a middle-aged boy racer there's just something about this year's Focus RS.
Team Holdsworth-Campagnolo Ford Cortina
A special mention has to go to the beautiful orange and blue Ford Cortina used by top British team Holdsworth-Campagnolo in the 1970s. Pure class. (The car pictured is actually a replica used by the modern Holdsworth company when it relaunched in 2014.)
Morvélo Basso's Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
Sure, British amateur team Morvélo Basso might be the smallest outfit in this list but I think it takes the yellow jersey when it comes to team cars – a £235,000 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4. Capable of a mind-blowing 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph this Mark Cavendish of cars is supplied by the team's very friendly local supercar supplier Lamborghini Sevenoaks. Ours arrives next week…
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