Reader Reviewed The Great Cycle Challenge by Chris Hoy

The Great Cycle Challenge

Written by Chris Hoy
Illustrated by Clare Elsom

9+ readers   7+ readers   Reluctant Readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

The second in Chris Hoy’s cycling-with-a-touch-of-magic series sees Fergus and his friends Daisy, Callum and Minnie form their own cycling team, Hercules’ Hopefuls. They may not have brand new bikes, or fancy jerseys like their arch rivals Wallace’s Winners, but they’ve got lots of heart, and sometimes that what counts. It’s a classic children’s sports story, with a fun cast of characters, made even more lively by Fergus’s visits to a magical world, Nevermore. Not only does Fergus learn a lot about teamwork on his magical adventures, there’s also a clue as to the whereabouts of his dad, not seen since Fergus was a baby. A successful mix of pedal-action, friendship and fantasy adventure, this is a very satisfying story for newly confident readers. Clare Elsom’s lively illustrations add to the fun.

There are more books in the series to come, and readers might also like Frank Lampard’s football-with-magic series Frankie’s Magic Football. ~ Andrea Reece

Emma Matthewson, Editor, Hot Key Books, said: “Sir Chris has already provided a lasting legacy of inspiration to young people with his tremendous list of achievements. What drew me to Flyign Fergus was a genuine warmth and heart to the books and Sir Chris’s clear dedication to the next generation. We can’t wait to see young cyclists across the country enjoy reading about their new hero!”

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review The Best Birthday Bike, also by Chris Hoy. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Rachel Zinkin, age 9 - 'I thought this book was brilliant, not only because he got a bike for his ninth birthday just like me, but because his was magical.'
  • Pelayo Primo de Rivera, age 9 - 'Fergus receives a rusty old bike for his birthday, with the help of his grandpa it is transformed but will he win the race?'
  • Daniel Bisland, age 8 - 'I really liked this book because it was funny, imaginative and a great story to read!'
  • Hannah, age 8 - 'I really enjoyed this book because of the characters,and the story itself...I can't wait to read the next book.'
  • George Daniels, age 7 - 'Flying Fergus is inspiring in lots of ways  and made me believe in aiming to achieve success against the odds.'
  • Freddie Barth von Wehrenalp, age 8 - 'A magical adventure which gives me a real treat at bedtime.'
  • Bobby Earl, age 9 - 'I loved this book and it was great to read a book about cycling as I am mad about bikes.'
  • Lewis Briggs, age 9 - 'The book was fabulous! I really enjoyed reading it. It was humorous, full of fantasy and gave great imagery in my mind...I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you like cycling.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'A really great story, perfect for younger readers between aged 6 and 9 years old, especially reluctant readers as the print is quite big and there are lots of fantastic illustrations.'
  • Gabriel, age 10 - 'I like this book because it inspires people to achieve their dreams even though they don't have the latest brands...Its easy to read and a real page turner.'
  • Phoebe Allan, age 10 - 'I recommend this book for age 7-9. It is quite simple although it still has some hard words. However the majoroty of the book is direct speech.'
  • Kamran Mustfa, age 7 - 'It's a super book. It all starts off when he thinks he's a loser.'


The Great Cycle Challenge by Chris Hoy

Fergus is a boy with a big imagination and a very special bike. He is also the first member of the Hercules Hopefuls cycling team, set up by Grandpa Herc to fight off their arch rivals, Wallace's Wheels. Fergus's friend Daisy would love to join the team too, but she doesn't have a bike - her mum thinks everything fun is dangerous. Maybe Grandpa Herc and Fergus can do up a bike from scratch for Daisy, with parts from Grandpa's junk shop? Now it is just Daisy's mum they need to persuade...

Meanwhile Fergus takes a magical trip to Nevermore, where he and Princess Lily discover a magical compass bell once owned by Fergus's dad. Can the bell provide a clue to the whereabouts of Fergus's long-lost Dad?

With fantastic illustrations from Clare Elsom.

Sir Chris Hoy has written his stories with the help of Joanna Nadin.

About the Author

Chris Hoy

Sir Chris Hoy Sir Chris Hoy MBE was born and raised in Edinburgh. He raced BMX until he was 14. Chris won his first world medal in 1999 - a silver in the Team Sprint - and has won 11 world and two Commonwealth titles to date. Chris won his first Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004 and went on to win three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. In 2012 at his home Olympic Games in London, Chris won his fifth and sixth gold medals- in the Keirin and Team Sprint- becoming Great Britain's most successful Olympic athlete of all time with six gold medals and one silver. Chris was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and awarded a Knighthood in 2009.

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Book Info


128 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Chris Hoy
More books by Chris Hoy

Author's Website


Hot Key Books

Publication date

25th February 2016




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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