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The Cycling Portal

Cappiello Jacquelin Le Rire 1903.jpg

Cycling is a means of transport, a form of recreation, and a sport. It involves riding bicycles, unicycles, tricycles and other human powered vehicles. A bicycle, the most notable instrument of cycling, is a pedal-driven land vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. As a sport, cycling is governed internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale, headquartered in Switzerland.

Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world.

Cycling is widely regarded as a very effective and efficient mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances. Bicycles provide numerous benefits by comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise necessarily involved in cycling, that cycling involves a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, much reduced traffic congestion, easier parking, greater maneuverability, and access to both roads and paths.

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2012 Paris–Nice
The 2012 Paris–Nice was the 70th running of the Paris–Nice cycling stage race, often known as the Race to the Sun. It started on 4 March in Dampierre-en-Yvelines and ended on 11 March in Nice and consisted of eight stages, including two time trials that bookended the race. It was the second race of the 2012 UCI World Tour season.

The race was won by Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, who took the lead on the second stage of the race and held the race leader's yellow jersey to the finish, becoming the first British rider to win the race since Tom Simpson in 1967. Wiggins also took home the green jersey for amassing the highest number of points during stages at intermediate sprints and stage finishes. Wiggins won the general classification by eight seconds over runner-up Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), who was winner of the race's queen stage to Mende. Movistar Team's Alejandro Valverde completed the podium, 62 seconds behind Westra and 70 seconds down on Wiggins.

In the race's other classifications, Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team won the white jersey for the highest placed rider born in 1987 or later by placing fifth overall in the general classification, while Vacansoleil-DCM rider Frederik Veuchelen won the King of the Mountains classification. Vacansoleil-DCM also finished at the head of the teams classification at the end of a fruitful week for the team, in which their riders also claimed three stage victories.

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Tom Simpson
Thomas "Tom" or "Tommy" Simpson (30 November 1937 – 13 July 1967) was one of Britain's most successful professional cyclists. He was born in Haswell, County Durham and later moved to Harworth, Nottinghamshire. Simpson began road cycling as a teenager before taking up track cycling, specialising in pursuit races. He won a bronze medal for track cycling at the 1956 Summer Olympics and a silver at the 1958 Commonwealth Games.

In 1959 at age 21, Simpson was signed by the French professional road-racing team St. Raphaël-Géminiani. He advanced to their first team (Rapha-Gitane-Dunlop) the following year, and won the 1961 Tour of Flanders. Simpson then joined Gitane-Leroux-Dunlop; in the 1962 Tour de France he became the first British rider to wear the yellow jersey, finishing sixth overall.

In 1963 Simpson moved to Peugeot-BP-Englebert, winning Bordeaux–Paris that year and Milan – San Remo in 1964. In 1965 he became Britain's first world road race champion and won the Giro di Lombardia; this made him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, the first cyclist to win the award. Injuries hampered much of Simpson's 1966 season. He won two stages of the 1967 Vuelta a España before taking the general classification of Paris–Nice that year.

During the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France, Simpson collapsed and died during the ascent of Mont Ventoux. He was 29 years old. The post-mortem examination found that he had mixed amphetamines and alcohol; this diuretic combination proved fatal when combined with the heat, the hard climb of the Ventoux and a stomach complaint. A memorial near where he died has become a place of pilgrimage for many cyclists. Simpson was known to have taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career, when no doping controls existed. Despite this, he is held in high esteem by many cyclists for his character and will to win.

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Mario Cipollini, on his return from retirement to win the 2002 World Cycling Championship


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