Wales

The Geraint Thomas effect: 'Bike sales jump' on back of success

Damian Harris
Image caption Damian Harris owns a bike shop near where Geraint Thomas went to school

Bike sales have "gone through the roof" on the back of Geraint Thomas's Tour de France success, a shop owner has said.

Welshman Thomas will still be wearing the yellow jersey on Sunday and is set to be crowned winner of the biggest competition in cycling.

Cardiff bike shop owner Damian Harris said he had seen a noticeable uptick in sales.

And Welsh Cycling said there was a "real buzz" around cycling thanks to Thomas's heroics.

"The effect on business has been really good," said Mr Harris, whose shop Damian Harris Cycles, is near Whitchurch High School where Team Sky rider Thomas went to school with the likes of Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton.

"It has been incredible - road bike sales have gone through the roof the last couple of weeks with more and more people coming in and inquiring, and I am pretty sure it is on the back of Mr Thomas doing his thing."

Image caption Gwilym Preest, assistant at the Bike Shed in Pontcanna, said people had been inspired by Thomas's success

And another Welsh business benefiting from the 'Geraint effect' is Pontypool-based manufacturer of Team Sky bikes, Frog, added Mr Harris.

"There are children coming in, parents coming in and buying children's bikes for the summer and they are saying 'I want Team Sky, I want Team Sky' - It has been really good."

Gwilym Preest, mechanic at the Bike Shed in Pontcanna, where Thomas lives, said his customers are gripped by the Tour: "People have been coming in and talking about it all the time, saying about how he is doing so it has definitely got people out talking about it."

Image copyright Gwilym Preest
Image caption Gwilym Preest met Geraint Thomas by chance in a Cardiff pub

Across Wales, children are being enthused by Thomas's exploits and getting down to their local clubs, according to Anne Adams-King, chief executive at Welsh Cycling.

"There's a real buzz across the cycling community in Wales who are all showing their support for Geraint," she said.

"Seeing Geraint as a Welsh rider who has progressed through our talent pathway to riding at an international race of this level is extremely inspiring for our clubs and programme riders."

Image copyright Welsh Cycling
Image caption Anne Adams-King, chief executive of Welsh cycling, said there was a "real buzz" around cycling in Wales

Welsh Cycling registered a record almost 7,000 members this year and almost a quarter of a million people cycle across Wales each week, with many choosing to join one of the country's 158 clubs.

Mr Harris said: "It gets more children on bikes, it gets more adults on bikes and the effect of someone from Wales achieving this is incredible.

"[Interest in cycling] did fluctuate after the Olympics for a year and then it flattened out. But now it is back with great vengeance and it is just incredible."

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