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Place in the Garmin team car at next year's Tour de France up for grabs in charity auction

Prize on eBay aims to raise money for The Independent Christmas Appeal

One lucky cycling fan is being offered the chance to follow a stage of the 2010 Tour de France from the Garmin-Transitions team car through an eBay auction that aims to raise funds for The Independent newspaper’s 2009 Christmas Appeal.

So far, the prize, which carries with it return flights for two people from the London area and an overnight stay in shared accommodation in France, plus a Garmin-Transitions goodie bag, has attracted 39 bids, with the highest to date standing at £1,551.

The header on eBay – “Ride alongside Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France” – may need revisiting, although there’s every chance of course that you’ll see him on the road on a Team Sky-issue Pinarello. Lobbing a Garmin-Transitions bidon at him from the team car probably wouldn’t be the done thing, however.

Wiggo apart, the winner will have the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Tyler Farrar, David Zabriskie, Dan Martin and of course Britain’s own David Millar, who came close to snatching a breakaway win when the race hit Barcelona earlier this year.

Bidding on the trip, which you can find here, closes at around this time next Monday 21 December, and as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – seats on Sir Richard Branson’s spaceship are easier to come by for those with the cash to spare – it will be interesting to see how much is raised.

The prize is just one of dozens being offered by The Independent as part of its Christmas Appeal, which this year supports three charities - Action Aid, which specializes in community development in more than 40 countries worldwide, ComputerAid International which refurbishes old computers donated by UK companies and individuals and donates them free to charities and schools in the developing world, and Peace Direct, which backs peace-building efforts undertaken by locals in conflict zones around the globe.

Besides bidding on items in the auction, you can also contribute to the appeal by following this link.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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