Allure of top endurance cyclists
WOMEN rate top male endurance cyclists more attractive than lower-ranked ones - even without knowing who they are - a finding that sheds light on the mating game, a scientist said yesterday.
Evolutionary biologist Erik Postma of the University of Zurich selected portraits of 80 cyclists who took part in the 2012 Tour de France, one of the most gruelling events in sport, and asked participants in an online survey to rate the faces for attractiveness.
A total of 816 people took part in the vote, nearly three quarters of whom were women.
What emerged, says Mr Postma, was a remarkable link between a rider's average success in the competition and his perceived good looks.
"Riders that performed consistently well across the whole race received the highest performance score," he said.
"This performance correlated well with their final placing" in the Tour de France.
On average, the top 10 per cent best-performing riders were considered a quarter more attractive than the bottom 10 per cent, Mr Postma found.