Cadel claims the yellow guernsey with Aussie travellers

On September 28, 2011 at 01:00 PM

Aussies ditch footy and cricket heroes in favour of sitting next to cycling superstar on a flight

Despite Australia being a country renowned for its passionate cricket and rugby supporters, the stars of cycling, swimming, surfing and tennis have proved more popular choices to sit next to on a plane than the Australian cricket captain and top rugby league and rugby union players.

To coincide with its FriendTrips Facebook competition, asked Australian Facebook users* which sports star they would most like to sit next to on a plane.

Cadel Evans, the most recent and only Australian winner of the famed Tour De France, was the most popular choice for many Australians with more than one in seven (14 per cent) wanting buckle up next to the cycling hero.

Even though ‘Thorpie’ has been out of the limelight and not swimming competitively for many years, he was the second most popular holiday companion with more than over one in ten (13 per cent) wanting to sit next to the ‘Superfish’ as he makes his comeback for London 2012. In fact, he was the most popular sports star for Aussie women with almost one in five (16 per cent) saying they would like to sit next to him on a plane.

In third place was surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore, who, as the most popular female sports star in the survey, beat the likes of Michael Clarke, Benji Marshall and Harry Kewell. Rounding out the top five were tennis player, Samantha Stosur, fresh from her US Open victory and soccer legend Harry Kewell.  

Although the Rugby World Cup has put the focus of Australian sports fans squarely on the Wallabies, in a coup for rugby league almost one in ten (8 per cent) Aussies said they would prefer to travel with NRL stars Darren Lockyer or Benji Marshall compared with just one in 50 (2 per cent) who said they would like to travel with Wallaby young guns Quade Cooper or James O’Connor.

Queenslanders famous patriotism is clearly evident with almost one in five (18 per cent) selecting Darren Lockyer as their most desired travel partner, more than double the votes of any other state. Lockyer also proved very popular with older Australians (aged 65+) where his long career and clean image propelled him to third favourite overall for that age group.

Expedia’s FriendTrips competition on Facebook asks Aussies to select five of their Facebook ’friends’ to join them on a virtual plane for the chance to win one of six dream holidays to destinations such as Chile, Hawaii and Argentina. In total, the six trips are valued at more than $250,000. For more information, visit:

Notes to editor

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*About the survey

Pureprofile fielded the online survey on behalf of™ between 29 August and 2 September 2011, among a nationwide cross-section of 1,000 adults aged 18+ years old in Australia. The data was weighted to be representative of the total Australian population on the basis of gender, location and age. With probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results for the sample have a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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