According to a survey by the washing powder brand that sponsors the GB cycling team, England's disappointing Euro 2004 football campaign followed by Britain's Olympic cycling success has made riding a bike more popular than playing football among children.

Kids prefer bikes to footie, says Persil

The research was based on a YouGov survey of 2157 British adults between August 20-23 2004.

In south east England, 80 percent more youngsters prefer cycling to football, found Persil’s pollsters.

Only in the north of England would kids rather play football than cycle, with 46 percent more preferring footy.

In London 34 percent more prefer riding their bikes and in Scotland 20 percent more.

The two sports were found to be equally popular in the Midlands and Wales.

British rider Chris Hoy, who took the gold in the men’s one kilometre time trial in Greece, said: "Our success in Athens should be a great platform to inspire healthier children today and future generations of champions in the sports they already enjoy."

As well as supporting the GB Cycling Team – members get free washing powder and the team gets cash – Persil supports the Go-Ride programme, an initiative aimed at encouraging under-18s to get on their bikes.

Before the Olympics, Persil had a £2m billboard campaign featuring riders from Team GB.…/pc_british_cycling_team

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