A group of ten Irish cyclists have entered a new type of off season competition called ‘I’m a cyclist – get me out of here ! They will be marooned in a deserted house in Merchtem in the Belgian outback . Each day they will be given some very difficult tasks to complete and the last one standing at the end will be crowned ‘cyclist of the year’ !
The contestants are an eclectic band of celebrity Irish stars both past and present . First to enter is former Ras winner and current Thai bar manager ‘ Sprattzy ‘ . He is followed in by multiple Ras stage winner ‘Fritty’ . Next comes current pro Philly Diggins who is joined by fellow northerner Danny Macken . They are quickly followed by the fearsome foursome of Benny Kennedy , Ronny Power , Frankie Morgan and Timmy Cremmins . Last but not least come the elder statesmen Stevie og Kelly and Seanie ban Roche .
Their hosts Frank and Dec show them around the house and introduce them to Julian Daley and Kirk Boothard who will be setting their challenges each day .
The competition begins with the initial ‘Belgian tucker challenge’ . Julian , who had been out for a spin early that morning came across some delicious roadkill which he has laid out on plates before the contestants .
Sprattzy takes one look and says ‘ steady trapper , that don’t look too appetizing to me . Then he says the fate-full words : ‘I’m a cyclist get me outta here, Bubba’ .
Fritty just ploughs on and eats everything on the plate without blinking an eye .
Philly Diggins had been out in a night club the night before and is feeling a little under the weather and just can’t face it . He too says : ‘I’m a cyclist , get me out of here’
Danny Macken is looking for a different knife and fork as he broke his just as the challenge was about to begin . He finds replacements and manages to complete the task in record time .
Benny Kennedy takes one look at what is on the plate and without mincing his words lets everyone know just what he thinks of the so called food which is laid out before them . This is followed by the fate-full phrase : ‘I’m a cyclist get me out of here’
Ronny Power agrees with his training partner Benny and is glad to push the plate away especially as he is still feeling the after effects of the shenanigans in the lift at the airport the previous day . He too is a cyclist who wants out of here .
Frankie Morgan stumbled as he approached the table and knocked everything onto the floor, and a dog which had come in through the door which Frankie had left open rushes in and eats it all . A second plate is brought out and Frankie manages to get through it just inside the time limit .
Timmy Cremmins is still full from a stint of carbo loading in his local chip shop and pushes the plate away but asks if he can stay on in an advisory capacity for the other contestants . A request which is granted after he admits that ‘I’m a cyclist get me out of here .
Stevie og Kelly looks over the plate and analyses the contents . He purses his lips and exhales deeply before consuming the entire plate in his quest for victory .
Whilst Seanie ban Roche asks if he can have some Galtee cheese grated over the plate before he too consumes it’s contents .
So after round one , hosts Frank and Dec announce that there are now only five contestants remaining .
Time for the next challenge , ‘The endurance round ‘ . For this event Julian and Kirk explain that the contestants will have to ride their bikes on turbo trainers for as long as possible whilst drinking two water bottles full of Enervit each hour . There will be no toilet breaks so this will be an added difficulty as they will have to give up in order to answer the call of nature .
For the first two hours all is well , although the room is getting pretty warm as the condensation glazes the windows . Fritty has elbowed both competitors beside him and even managed to make Frankie Morgan drop his bottle into his rear wheel . This was quite an accomplishment as it had to fall from his hand , bounce off his left shoe , then the adjusting lever on the trainer before ripping seven spokes out of the wheel . Frankie then jumped off and ran to the toilet .
One down , four to go .
Seanie ban Roche began suffering form heat exhaustion after the four hour mark and collapsed onto the ground after dismounting the bike . Luckily an oxygen mask was nearby with a roll of tin foil to cover him up and he was soon back to normal , although disappointed to be eliminated from the competition .
This left just three .
Danny Mackin began to analyse the odds and calculated that Stevie og Kelly would probably keep going for a week and decided that enough was enough .
The final two were now selected so Julian and Kirk stepped in to end this round and bring the finalists on to their final and most difficult challenge .
Frank and Dec were all excited as they introduced the final challenge . This would be the ultimate Belgian tucker challenge . Two plates were produced and the silver covers were lifted up to reveal two pairs of Jonty Keevans socks which had been found in the back of the National team van after the Verona World’s four years previously . They were garnished with two have eaten powerbars which had been rolled flat by the team cars in the 2006 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne . To sweeten the taste two maxim gels covered in salty sweat were drizzled over the meals . In the background Tom Jones blared from a set of ipod speakers , singing about the green , green grass of home .
Both Fritty and Stevie og Kelly were taken aback with the ferocity of the task which lay ahead . Stevie og was first to get stuck in , but was quickly joined by Fritty . They both gagged but were also both consumed with the quest for victory . They were matching each other , fork for fork . Whilst Stevie og was the crowds favourite , Fritty was not going down without a fight . That was until he began to listen to the words sung by the welsh crooner . The more he thought about it the more homesick he got and suddenly he stood up and said ‘ I’m a cyclist get me out of here ‘.
Stevie og Kelly threw both arms aloft and savoured the victory , he was now cyclist of the year!