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.
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
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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(born 18 March 1981), nicknamed "Spartacus
", is a Swiss
professional road bicycle racer
for UCI ProTeam Trek Factory Racing
. Cancellara has achieved great success in the sport of cycling since becoming a professional cyclist. He is known for being a quality time trialist
, a classics
specialist, and being a workhorse
for his teammates that have general classification aspirations.
Cancellara began cycling after falling in love with an old bike at the age of thirteen. After that, he then began to take the sport more seriously and he won two consecutive World Junior Time Trial Championships in 1998 and 1999. At age nineteen he turned professional and signed with the Mapei-Quick Step team, where he rode as a stagiaire.
Since turning professional, Cancellara has ridden for four professional teams. He has achieved great success in the classics; he has won Paris–Roubaix three times, the Milan – San Remo once, and the Tour of Flanders twice. Cancellara has won the opening stage of the Tour de France five times and has led the race for 28 days total, which is the most of any rider who has not won the Tour. His success has not been limited to just time trials and classics, as he has won general classification of the Tirreno–Adriatico, Tour de Suisse, and the Tour of Oman. In 2008, he won gold in the individual time trial and silver in the men's road race at the Summer Olympics. In addition that, Cancellara has been the time trial world champion four times in his career.
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