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Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions. I'd read and repeated, the saying for years. British F1 star James Hunt famously had a patch on his racing overalls proudly claiming it was 'Sex'. Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book of the same name, but it was actually US breakfast cereal, Wheaties, who coined the phrase. To hammer home the link between sporting success and a first meal of the day consisting of wholegrain flakes, the makers of the cereal emblazoned their orange box with a photo of an athlete.

Being a UK-based breakfaster, I discovered all this recently after being in contact with 1970s flat track racer Scott Brelsford (brother of 1972 GNC champ Mark), for Sideburn 42. I can't find anything elsewhere on the web, no other photos, but I asked Scott how come he was the first ever motorcycle racer to be on the box and he said, a friend of Roger DeCoster suggested him, he didn't expand, and as I said, I couldn't find anything anywhere else. The photo on Brelsford's own facebook shows a box with a photo of him, the shot taken back in the mid-70s when he was racing the Erv Kanemoto-prepared Champion Kawasaki H2R two-stroke triple.

Evel Knievel was on a box, but only in a retro way years later. After Brelsford there was not another motorcycle racer for 40 years, until motocross champion Ryan Dungey in 2016.

There have been more speed skaters featured on Wheaties boxes than motorcyclists of all types and disciplines. Speed skaters! Still, I never started riding to be mainstream.


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