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Tro-Bro Léon racing, 2009

Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bikers", or less commonly, as "bicyclists". Apart from two-wheeled bicycles, "cycling" also includes the riding of unicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, recumbent and similar human-powered vehicles (HPVs).

Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number approximately 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 in comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise involved in cycling, easier parking, increased maneuverability, and access to roads, bike paths and rural trails. Cycling also offers a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, and much reduced traffic congestion. These lead to less financial cost to the user as well as to society at large (negligible damage to roads, less road area required). By fitting bicycle racks on the front of buses, transit agencies can significantly increase the areas they can serve.

Among the disadvantages of cycling are the requirement of bicycles (excepting tricycles or quadracycles) to be balanced by the rider in order to remain upright, the reduced protection in crashes in comparison to motor vehicles, often longer travel time (except in densely populated areas), vulnerability to weather conditions, difficulty in transporting passengers, and the fact that a basic level of fitness is required for cycling moderate to long distances.

Selected article

The 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné was the sixty-fifth running of the Critérium du Dauphiné cycling stage race; a race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation, rated as a World Tour event on the UCI calendar, the highest classification such an event can have. The race consisted of eight stages, beginning in Champéry on 2 June – the first such start for the race in Switzerland – and concluding in Risoul on 9 June, and was the sixteenth race of the 2013 UCI World Tour season.

The Dauphiné was viewed as a great preparation for July's Tour de France and a number of the contenders for the general classification of the Tour participated in the Dauphiné. It featured mountainous stages as well as an individual time trial similar in length to the Tour.

The race was won by Great Britain's Chris Froome of Team Sky – the third successive year that the squad had won the race, after Bradley Wiggins' victories in 2011 and 2012. Froome took the overall lead of the race after winning the fifth stage, and maintained his advantage to the end of the race to win his fourth stage race of the 2013 season. Ultimately, Froome won the general classification by 58 seconds over runner-up and team-mate Richie Porte, a domestique for Froome in the mountainous stages on the route. The podium was completed by Daniel Moreno of Team Katusha, who finished 74 seconds in arrears of Porte, and two minutes 12 seconds behind Froome.

In the race's other classifications, Garmin–Sharp's Rohan Dennis was the winner of the white jersey for the young rider classification as he was the highest placed rider born in 1988 or later, finishing in eighth place overall. Despite not winning any stages during the race, Gianni Meersman of Omega Pharma–Quick-Step won the green jersey, for the winner of the points classification – gained at intermediate sprints and stage finishes – while the red and white polka-dotted jersey for the King of the Mountains classification went to Argos–Shimano rider Thomas Damuseau.

The teams classification was comfortably won by Team Sky for the second year in a row; they were over twelve minutes clear of the next best team, Saxo–Tinkoff.

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Radfahrer Winterberg.jpg

A downhill biker in the Bikepark Winterberg.
Photo credit: H005

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Selected biography

Bradley Wiggins
Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins, CBE (born 28 April 1980), nicknamed "Wiggo", is a British professional road and track racing cyclist who rides for the UCI ProTeam Team Sky.

Wiggins began his career on the track, but has made the transition to road cycling and is one of the few cyclists to gain such success in both forms of professional cycling.

Wiggins was born in Ghent, Belgium, before moving to London, where he began track cycling. He has won six gold medals at the track world championships, his first in 2003 and his most recent in 2008; three in the individual pursuit, two in the team pursuit and one in the Madison. He won a gold in the individual pursuit at the 2004 Olympic Games and two golds in the individual and team pursuit at the 2008 Olympic Games.

After the 2008 Olympics, he showed his ability in stage races on the road when he came fourth in the 2009 Tour de France. In 2011 he claimed his first victory in a major stage race came in the Critérium du Dauphiné, and he also finished third in the Vuelta a España. In 2012 Wiggins won the Paris–Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de France and the time trial at the Olympic Games.

In the news

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Miguel Indurain, on seven-time champion American Lance Armstrong and the latter's having won the general classifications at the Tours de Suisse, Georgia, and Luxembourg but neither the Giro d'Italia nor the Vuelta a España, with the Tour de France the three Grand Tour events


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