Want Simon Geschke to wish you happy birthday for £8.30? Meet the pro cyclists on Cameo
The personalised message service is home to many famous faces, including pro riders
The internet and social media has brought all sorts of notable people, actors, musicians and professional athletes, closer to their fans.
Many are now just a tweet away, or post updates to Instagram showing you what their life away from the limelight is like. Cameo takes that a step further - an app that allows anyone to pay a famous person to record a custom message for them. You can request pretty much anything within reason, whether it's wishing someone happy birthday or a get well soon message, and the likes of Caitlyn Jenner, David Hasselhoff and Lindsay Lohan are all on the platform.
It turns out a bunch of pro cyclists are too, and while they may not command the £2,000 asking price of Jenner, or £250 for Hasselhoff, a number of notable names from the peloton are signed up ready to say, well...pretty much whatever you ask.
Philippe Gilbert is one such rider. As he prepares for his tilt at a fifth different Monument victory at Milan - San Remo in August, you can pay £41.50 for him to record you a video message after his training is done for the day.
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The Lotto-Soudal star appears to be one of the more popular riders on the platform, recently recording a number offather's day messages as well as giving people training advice. With 57 five-star reviews, Gilbert's clearly doing it right.
Other current members of the peloton offering up their services include Movistar's Enric Mas (£33.20), Team NTT's Michael Valgren (£41.50) and CCC's Simon Geschke, for the more affordable rate of £8.30.
Ex pros are also getting in on the action, with George Hincapie offering to give special shoutouts for £45.65, recording his promo video from podcast studio for 'The Move', which he records with Lance Armstrong in Aspen.
Another former Motorola team-mate, Bobby Julich, is also offering shout-outs, and says he's available to also answer questions and provide coaching tips, all for £33.20 a pop.
While some riders have found it a way to make some extra pocket money, and who can blame them in these uncertain economic times, others are using their platform for a charitable cause. Ineos' Owain Doull is recording messages for £15.77, with the proceeds going to Noah's Ark Children's Hospital in Cardiff, while Phil Gaimon charges £83, with the money going to No Kid Hungry.
The last word must be saved for EF Pro Cycling's Lachlan Morton, however, who charges an eye-watering £830 per video. Maybe he forgot to include a decimal point when setting his price, or maybe the videos he records are true works of art. Either way, it's an outlier for sure.
Clicking his profile picture to bring up the promo video where the person usually gives an introduction to what they'll provide on the platform, Morton is instead shrouded in darkness, half-naked, remaining silent as crickets can be heard chirping in the distance. It's...interesting to say the least.
So maybe next time you're stuck for what to get your cycling-mad friend for their birthday you could do worse than Phil Gil wishing them many happy returns in English, French, Dutch or Italian.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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