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Nicky Hayden one of People Magazine's 50 hottest bachelors

Nicky Hayden one of People Magazine's 50 hottest bachelors

Nicky Hayden one of People Magazine's 50 hottest bachelors

Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden scored a victory among a very select group of world-class competitors on Wednesday morning. But instead of his MotoGP rivals Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi, Hayden beat out an NFL football player and a country singer.

The 23-year-old Kentuckian was chosen over the others on a re-staged version of "The Dating Game," a classic American game show that pits three men against each other for the heart of a woman. The game was staged outdoors on the Rockefeller Plaza set of the NBC's "Today" show, the New York-based highest rated morning show in America with an average audience of six million viewers.

People Magazine was responsible for Hayden being on the show. The 23-year-old Kentuckian was chosen as one of the 50 Hottest Bachelors of 2005 in the June 27 issue. Joining Hayden in the roster of bachelors are Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Colin Farrell, all fellow motorcyclists.

"Now that I'm in People Magazine I hope these women start answering the phone when I call," Hayden joked.

The company Hayden keeps in People Magazine is nearly as exclusive as the 22-rider MotoGP grid.

"We're actually looking at guys all over the country all year long," PEOPLE Magazine's Danielle Dubin said. "He really met all the criteria that we have for a hot guy, mainly that he's hot. He's also at the top of his game and doing something a little unusual. It fits in really well with our daredevil section. He races motorcycles at very high speed. He races the top international circuit. He's clearly successful. At 23 years old he's a pretty accomplished guy and a catch by anyone's standards."

Sarah Hostetter, 25, of Seattle, Washington, chose Hayden over the other two candidates - Dhani Jones of the Philadelphia Eagles and country music singer/songwriter Keith Anderson - after asking each a series of questions.

"I finally won something this year!" Hayden said. "It's kind of nice. I don't mind doing this stuff, but I really want to win races. It's definitely good for the sponsors. It seems to be getting a lot of interest for the Red Bull USGP which is important for everybody."

Hayden said that on the set of the television show he was a different kind of nervous than he is astride the Repsol Honda RC211V on the starting line of a MotoGP race.

"On a starting line, I guess you get nervous, but more excited," he said. "It's a different feeling. That feeling on the starting line, that's what I live for. I love that."

Hayden was in New York for a whirlwind day of media appearances between two races. The Repsol Honda team tested on Monday in Montmeló, a day after Hayden finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Catalunya. On Tuesday he flew to New York and prepared for today's excitement, while finding time to go for a run in Central Park. Then he was at it early on Wednesday morning, signing autographs for fans on the "Today" show and posing for photos on a Honda CBR-1000RR painted in the colours of Hayden's RC211V.

Hayden will be home in Kentucky for the weekend, and then leaves Sunday for the Dutch TT at the famed Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, site of the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.

All photos by Henny Ray Abrams

MotoGP, 2005, Nicky Hayden

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