People consider cyclists to be 13 per cent more intelligent, 13 per cent cooler and 10 per cent more charitable than the average person, according to research commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on the launch of its 39th London to Brighton Bike Ride.

With British cyclists taking centre stage at the Tour de France and Olympics and the splendidly side-burned Bradley Wiggins bringing a cool nonchalance to the sport, it appears that many of us now think cyclists are made of special stuff.

In a psychological study conducted by scientists at Mindlab, an implicit association test examined people’s subconscious attitudes towards different sports.

The test revealed that people think cyclists have a unique blend of intelligence, generosity and 'the cool factor'.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis said: “Because Implicit Association Tests measure unconscious responses, they are able to reveal what people truly believe. They provide insights into people’s beliefs unbiased by any desire to conform to the opinions of others. These results indicate we view cyclists as possessing attributes of which they can be proud."

For details of this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride visit